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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)

TITLE: Linked Hands, Linked Hearts
By Nancy Hardy


I sit at her bedside and watch her sleep restlessly. I hold her hand, a hand that I have memorized over the years. The hand that was tightly wrapped in mine as I walked her to her first day of school. The hand that was always turning the knob to my bedroom when the monsters came in the night. The hand that was reverently folded in prayer as she accepted Jesus into her heart. The hand that wiped the tears from her baby brother’s face and told him to get back on his bike and try again. I know of no greater earthly happiness than the gift of parenthood.

I set boundaries; she attempted to break them. She ‘deliberately’ pushed my buttons; I ‘purposely’ embarrassed her. She asked me if she could get her nose pierced, I asked the Lord for added strength. I know of no greater earthly test in patience than the gift of parenthood.

Our relationship goes way beyond biological kinship. She is my kindred spirit, my sister in Christ, and my best friend. We laugh ’til we cry, we shop ’til we drop and we pray ’til something happens. We talk into the wee hours of morning. She shares her fears, her joys, and her dreams. I share my reassurance, my happiness, and my wisdom. Parenting has its nerve-wracking moments; it will drive you to your knees in urgent supplication faster than anything else will. But the pure joy of being a mom far out weighs the intense contractions of their pre-mature puberty.

Times flies. Here I sit, awaiting the birth of my first grandchild. My thoughts selfishly wander. Will it be a girl? Will she take my best friend away from me? Will she be my replacement? I know I’m being silly, but she is my only daughter. Emily squeezes my hand drawing me from my contemplation.

“Another contraction, love?”

“No, just reading your thoughts.”

“Well, you know the rule … knock before entering.” I smile as her piercing green eyes lock with mine.

“Don’t worry so much, Mom, you’ll get wrinkles.” Suddenly she clutches my hand again, as a contraction interrupts her attempt to reassure me.

Eighteen hours later, I am a grandmother. I enter the dimly lit room. There’s my angel, holding a tiny cherub of her own.

“All ten fingers and toes?” I ask.

“Yes, with Brian’s dimples, my red hair, and your hands. Oh Mom, I wish he could be here. I mean, it’s our first child and…”

“I know, baby. He’ll be here soon. His CO phoned about an hour ago; he’s on his way. ‘Till then, you’re stuck with me.”

“Mom, I didn’t mean…”

“Shh, I know.”

For some reason my trepidation returns. As much as I try to hide it, she can sense my foolish insecurity. Again, she takes my hand. Silently we communicate. She tells me what words cannot. It is from within that muted conversation I find peace.

“So, have you decided on a name?” I softly inquire, breaking the comfortable stillness.

“Timothy James,” Emily proudly replies. My face reflects a kaleidoscope of emotions; her lips twitch, as she tries not to laugh. My final expression is pure joy.

I futilely attempt to cover up the obvious. “Now Emily, you know that, while I may have been temporarily consumed with jealousy, I would’ve been just as thrilled if the Lord had graced us with a precious bundle of pink.”

“Yeah, right Mom.” My daughter chuckles. She is a breath-taking vision of a first-time mother. I give her a look of mock rebuke before cradling my extremely handsome grandson.

“Welcome to the world, Timothy James. I’m your Grandma Lilith, yes I am. I’ll be the one that pampers you to the nines just before giving you back to mommy. Oh yes, I will…”

“Mom!” Now it is Emily’s turn to chide me. I choose to ignore her and continue to croon into the ear of my precious, sleeping legacy.

Once my daughter falls into slumber, I look up to the ceiling and give the Lord a grateful wink. I thank Him for answered prayer.

I sit by Timothy’s bassinette and watch him sleep peacefully. I hold his hand, a hand I will memorize over the years.

Just like our hands, time has linked our hearts.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Pat Guy 04/11/05
Beautiful! Pat
Helga Doermer04/11/05
Evocative of the special relationships that only mothers and daughters can know.
Betty Shattuck04/11/05
A beautiful article of mother/daughter relationship. Mothers and sons can also have a beautiful relationship though a little different. I have two daughters and one son plus one granddaughter and looking forward to other grandchildren. Your article brought tears as my youngest daughter is getting married soon. My mother and my children are my best friends since my husband is now in heaven with by very, very best friend, Jesus.

You have a beautiful gift of writing - good job!
Leticia Caroccio04/12/05
This is an awesome piece of writing! From start to finish it moved me from deep in my heart. Your expressions of love on paper do not compare to the expressions of love that is the reality of your life with your children.

So many lines to choose from that were my favorite, they are narrowed down to these:

"She tells me what words cannot. It is from within that muted conversation I find peace". This was beautifully expressed.

"I choose to ignore her and continue to croon into the ear of my precious, sleeping legacy". Such wonderful words put together to make an impact.

I really loved this one very much. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Debbie OConnor04/14/05
A delight to read from beginning to end. Love it! :)
Suzanne R04/16/05
I like your title and final line, centred and italicized (well done!) about linking hearts. The whole article was beautiful. And your own jealousy was humorous but many readers could identify, I'm sure.
Dixie Phillips04/18/05
What an inspirational story! It should be shared at a Mother/Daughter Tea for Mother's Day. It reminded me of a plaque I saw in the Bible bookstore: Mothers and daughters are closest when daughters become mothers! Your story was so refreshing! I loved every bite!
Mitzi Busby04/18/05
This is absolutely beautiful. I know that God has big plans for Timothy because of his godly grandma.
Deborah Porter 04/18/05
Congratulations Nancy - I know you're on cloud 9 and deservedly so. Well done. Now I know you are going to think you aren't worthy of this, but I have to say it - it's time to move up to Level 3 lovely lady. Love always, Deb (Challenge Co-ordinator)
Peggy Yengling04/18/05
Oh, Nancy... This piece is exquisite! It goes right to our hearts and awakens all the feelings that are part of a mother's love. It is both tender and powerful, and one reaches the end with sadness because we will lose touch with these two special people! Your own warmth and understanding of the human soul comes shining through, once again! Love, Peggy
Debbie Roppolo05/10/05
What a beautiful article! It brought tears to my eyes.
Sharon McClean05/14/05
Nancy, I am in awe! This is beautiful. You have such a beautiful heart and such delightful way of expressing it. For sure being a parent is one of God's most precious gifts. Love, Sharon