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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)

TITLE: Generational Glimpses
By Ruthie Forgey


The sulfuric smell of struck wood matches and sweet tobacco invaded my olfactory memories as I took a seat in the creaky old front porch swing. The chains were rusty and the paint was weathered and cracked, similar to my own recollections of my past. I began to sway slowly, back and forth and sometimes side to side, riding on the images from a sweet time long ago. I closed my eyes and imagined that he was sitting there beside me. His profile exposing grey whiskers, a pipe laying in a limp grip out of the corner of his mouth, and a twinkling blue eye as he gazed lazily at traffic passing by. A Denim blue overall strap sliding down his thinning shoulder as age quietly crept up on him like a mist settling over a lake. A nostalgic grin pulled at the corners of my mouth as I remembered my grandfather’s mischievous spirit. He delighted in a dare and told enchanting stories of the adventures they had afforded him. He also dared to delight his grandchildren with loose change, a teasing tongue and tender touches. I felt the quake of his vibrant chuckles deep inside me, and I felt energized by their genuineness. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he was a present man, adding depth and color to my sometimes shallow world. Truth was the trumpet from which he sounded his life and integrity the compass he chose to follow. He taught me principles through riddles and scriptures through song. I never heard him raise his voice but I often saw him raise his standards, striving to be better today than he was yesterday. He fought most of his battles by surrendering and in surrendering taught me to win. His prayers were powerfully random, as he would pray out loud as we walked the trail to feed the animals, water the flowers or just driving down the road. Unannounced and bold, He would begin to talk with God and I felt special to be privy to such sacred conversations. How I miss him! How I wish to be with him just one more time. The rushing of my children and their cousins running out of the screen door, all different ages and sizes suddenly shattered the quietness of this moment. Some ran to play hide and seek, while the older ones gathered at the end of the porch to play musical instruments of their choice. As I began to curiously observe each one of them, a wonderful encounter began to transpire. In my nieces blue eyes, I caught the twinkle I used to see in my grandfather’s, in my nephews deep laughter, I recognize the genuineness of my grandfathers laughter. In the lyrics of the song my son was singing were the riddles and scriptures my grandfather had taught me. I looked down in deep gratitude and then noticed my hands, recognizing the similarity to my grandfather’s hands. I realized that I was indeed seeing him “one more time”, through the generations of his children, grandchildren and soon to be great-grand children. I smiled at the revelation and prayed a random prayer in powerful silence, thanking God for allowing me to spend time with my grandfather during this family reunion.

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This article has been read 449 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray06/13/08
Oh, I can see the beloved old man firing arrows all over the country via the descendants. Very picturesque writing.
Jan Ackerson 06/14/08
I love the alliteration in "teasing tongue and tender touches." This is very well-written, but may put off readers with its large block of unbroken text.

Very nice job.
Patty Wysong06/17/08
I loved how you saw him one more time through the family members sitting there--Families are so special that way. It's a bond that is deeper than the surface...