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

TITLE: A Story Never Too Old
By Marie Hearty


Constance did not try to stop the tears from pouring down her cheeks and onto her blouse. There was no use in denying the inevitable as she had been there, done that. Sitting beside the bed in the corner of the living room, she stroked the top of her elderly mother’s head that had been resting on her duck feathered pillow ever since she had brought her home from the hospital. Not wanting to leave the tiny frail figure, with her face peaking over the blanket tucked just below her chin, Constance was determined to remain by her much loved mother’s side, until the very end.

“NANNY,” Julia burst through the door.

“Shh . . . she’s sleeping.” Constance whispered to her only daughter. “You don’t want to wake her.”

“Yes I do.” Stamping her foot, she walked toward the bed. “I have something VERY important to tell her.”

“You know Nanny is very sick.”

“But . . . And why is her hair all gone?” Julia cried.

“Well, you know that Nanny has cancer and she had to have something called chemotherapy. It made her lose her hair.”

“Oh, okay.”

As Constance watched Julia walk out of the room, her head hanging like a week old stalk of celery, she could not help but smile at her determination in wanting to talk to her grandmother. Yet she understood all too well as she thought of her own grandmother, who, if it were not for her, she would not be the person she was today. Not only had she taught her how to live well, she always had been available to listen to Constance without judging her. So when she knew her dad would get mad at her for something that had happened at school, she would go to her grandmother where she knew she would always be safe.


“Yes, Mom, would you like something?” She stood, hoping she would ask her to get her a drink and something to eat as she had not eaten anything that day.

“Can you help me onto my side? I want to look out the window.”

“Sure.” Constance gently, but firmly, grabbed her mom under the arm and pushed her over just a bit.

“Thank you, dear.”

“Would you like a drink?”

“No, it is almost time to go. I see him waiting.”

Constance’s stomach lurched. “What are you talking about?”

Before she could answer, Julia bolted into the room. “NANNY, you’re awake.”

“Yes, darling, I am. Come here.”

Julia ran into the outstretched arms that were waiting for her and snuggled in close. “I need to talk to you, Nanny. I’m scared.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I watched a scary movie at my friend’s house and I am afraid the ghosts will get me.”

“You have nothing to fear, my little one. Have you asked Jesus to watch over you?”

“I don’t know how.”

Constance could feel her mother’s eyes as they looked her way and she knew that she was disappointed in her for not telling Julia about Jesus. That had been the only thing she had not understood about her own grandmother, how she could have had such a strong faith in God, because what she had told her about Jesus, Constance had never been able to believe. Yet now that many years had gone by, it was time for her to listen to the story of Jesus once more . . . this time told by her mother.

As Julia sat on the bed and listened, her eyes brightened with every word her grandmother spoke as she accepted Jesus into her heart.

“He will be with you always, dear. Never forget that.”

Peace flowed over Constance like a waterfall and the thing she believed at one time that she could never do, she accomplished that afternoon along with her daughter. Yet as she watched her mother look once again toward the window, she could not help but feel that something big was going on.

“Are you okay, Mom?”

“I have never been better.” With those words, she ran into the arms of her Lord.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lauryn Abbott04/10/08
What a beautiful story! I really liked the description of the little girl's head hanging like a week old stalk of celery. Very moving.
c clemons04/12/08
I like the title, needs a little work here and there with the diaglogue. You changed the MC thoughts to the mother's at the end. Rework that, something like, Constance could just imagine her mother running into Jesus's arms. Keep writing.
Marilyn Schnepp 04/12/08
At the beginning I thought it was off-topic; however, after reading to the end I found that it was through the grandmother that the story of Jesus was told. Very touching.
Joshua Janoski04/13/08
I enjoyed this story, the dialogue, and the characters. It was easy for me to picture everything that was going on.

I look forward to reading more of your entries in the near future. Thank you for sharing this.
Patty Wysong04/16/08
This is a beautiful story. I loved the image of her head hanging like week old celery and I could picture Julia bursting in. The ending was just right.