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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: CRAZY EIGHT'S IN THE GARDEN
By jodie banner
04/09/08


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"Grandpa, are you there? Wake up, please! I miss you and if you would just wake up I promise I'll talk to you this time. I won't get mad and walk away. I'm so sorry, please come back."

"Marlee honey, Grandpa can't hear you. He's with Jesus now."

"No he's not! He's right there. Grandpa, wake up! Please!"

"Oh honey, we talked about this. Thatís just his body; the man you knew as your Grandpa is gone. He went to heaven to be with Jesus."

"I hate him, Momma. Jesus had no right to take him away!"

"Marlee! Do not say things like that."

"I don't care! It's not fair!"

Marlee's mother watched her run out of the church and into her garden next door. Maybe some time alone will help her to calm down. "Dear Heavenly Father, help her. I know it's hard for her nine-year-old mind to understand. Please give her peace; nothing I say seems to be right. Only You can reach her now, Lord."

--------------------------------

"Grandpa, why did you have to die? Jesus had no right to take you away. You're my Grandpa!"

Marlee was crumpled under her Mother's dogwood tree. This had been her and Grandpa's favorite spot. They had countless tea parties here.Grandpa loved playing hide and seek, or tag with her. Then when he was no longer able to run he had taught her to play Crazy Eights, Rummy, and Gin sitting on this very grass. She remembered the last time they had been here together. It was right before he had gone to the hospital for the last time.

"What do you want to play today Grandpa?" Marlee asked

"Oh, I don't know, why don't we just chat for awhile so I can catch my breath? The walk out here gets harder every day. I want to make sure I talk to you about something really important, just in case we don't see each other again."

"Grandpa, you'll get better. Remember last year when you got the flu, it took a long time but you got better. You'll get better this time too."

"Just for a little while, okay Mar?"

"Fine, we'll talk first, then I'm going to beat you at Crazy Eights!" Marlee cuddled up against him.

"Mar, I know your Momma takes you to Sunday school and youth group. I've heard you recite scriptures at church; you're very good at it. You know your Bible inside and out. But, do you know Jesus, personally?"

"Do you mean am I saved? Of course I am. Jesus died to save me, I'm a sinner, but now I get to go to heaven because I asked Jesus to forgive me. We've been praying that prayer at Sunday School for as long as I can remember."

"I know you know that, but do you know Him in your heart. Other than bedtime with your Momma and at church, do you ever pray by yourself, Mar? Is Jesus with you in everything you do?"

"You mean like He is with you and Momma? You guys are always talking about Him. This is stupid. I told you I was saved, okay! I don't want to talk about this anymore. I'm going to get the cards."

Marlee remembered the concerned look on her Grandpa's face when she had returned a few moments later. But, he smiled when he saw her. That night he was taken to the hospital and he died the next morning.

Oh Grandpa, you were right. I don't pray unless someone tells me too. "Dear Jesus, please forgive me for being mad at you. I just miss my Grandpa so much. I want to see him again someday. I want to know You like he knew You. He always said You were right there with him everywhere he went. I want to do it for real this time. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I'm sorry You had to die. Please come into my heart and save me. Be with me everywhere I go. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Oh, would you tell my Grandpa so he won't worry about me, and tell him I can't wait to play Crazy Eights in Your garden. Amen again."


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This article has been read 528 times
Member Comments
Member Date
c clemons04/11/08
Sweet stuff, good job!
K. J. Cash04/11/08
I played cards with my grandpa's sister, Aunt Elsie. We usually played Rummy, but some Crazy Eights too! Thanks for stiring such good memories. Great story!
Marilyn Schnepp 04/12/08
It's difficult to type when your eyes are all blurred and misty - and, believe me, your story caused a Niagara Falls to flow down my cheeks. (The best sign a writer can have is move their reader to emotional tears or laughter And...this you did! Great job!
Lyn Churchyard04/13/08
You've captured a child's grief here very well. How wonderful that her Grandpa was able to talk to her about Jesus. I'm so glad she realised the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. Very well written indeed.
Chely Roach04/13/08
This was such a sweet story, and you captured the voice of a child so well...especially with "Amen again". Loved it.
Karen Wilber 04/13/08
Beautiful message. This illustrated something we talked about in Sunday School today: the richness of a relationship on earth when the participants are united in their relationship with Christ.
Joshua Janoski04/13/08
Wow I had to fight back the tears. What a tender story. What a wonderful grandfather.

Excellent writing. It really touched me. :)
Glynis Becker 04/13/08
This is very sweet. Wonderfully done.
Debbie Wistrom04/13/08
Loved everything about this from the title to the ending. Wonderful entry.
Jan Ackerson 04/14/08
I like the flashback structure--it works very well for this story.

Some minor punctuation problems, but nothing that's hugely distracting. Of the child-and-grandparent conversations about Jesus that I've read this week, this one seemed the most realistic. Good job!
Patty Wysong04/14/08
A very wise grandfather, indeed. Not only did he live his life for her to see, he made sure he talked to her.
Loren T. Lowery04/15/08
Tender, sweet and wise. The love these two shared shines through in this wonderful story. I liked, too the hope it promises in that they will be together again to play "Crazy Eights" in the garden!
Sara Harricharan 04/16/08
I'm so gladd that Marlee had the chance to rethink and then talk to Jesus. What a different POV from a 9 year old! I liked the title and how you tied it in-great job! ^_^
Sheri Gordon04/16/08
This is very touching. I had tears in my eyes from the first sentence.

Maybe it's just me--but I was a little confused by the reference to 'youth group.' I thought 'youth group' was for adolescents--not 9-yr olds. Also, some of the dialogue and thoughts seemed a little advanced for a 9-yr old--but then again, I haven't had a 9-yr old in over 8 yrs. :)

Excellent job with the topic.
Tim Pickl04/16/08
I love the double-meaning of the title, and how you brought Marlee's character to deepen her relationship with Christ.