Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Week(s) (02/10/11)
TITLE: I Hear The Sound
By Leola Ogle
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With every bounce, the tiny girls’ hair flies behind them like superman’s cape, the sun shimmering over the array of blonde, brown and black locks. They jump and giggle with blissful abandonment, trying to out-do each other, or the boys, with their childish acrobatics. Their joy is so infectious I can’t help but smile, wishing I had a fraction of their energy.
I hear the sound….of the delightful laughter of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, combined with the twanging of the trampoline springs. It is more beautiful to me than any symphony.
I love the sound of four-year-old Jada and two-year-old Caleb having a good time with some of the other children in our large family. When they first arrived six weeks ago, they seemed confused and a little frightened. It was hard on them when mommy left, now daddy was gone also, and they would be living with their grandparents, my oldest daughter and husband.
The weeks since mommy left has turned into months. My grandson valiantly attempted to be both mommy and daddy while juggling his job as an Air Force EMT, housework, laundry, and children’s activities. He didn’t quite have that special touch of fixing Jada’s long, curly hair like mommy would, or have as much time for bedtime stories for Caleb. Sometimes his hours were long, so the children just stayed overnight with the babysitter. They are stationed in another state, so there is no family near enough to help.
I hear the sound….of many who have been praying for them. Where would we be without praying family and friends? I think it’s a blessing that God made children so resilient and adaptable; still they miss their mommy and daddy and the familiarity of home.
In the six weeks they have been here, Caleb has had pneumonia twice. Then Jada got sick. We all do our best to nurture, love and help, but there’s nothing quite like mommy and daddy.
As I sit on the patio swing listening to the sounds, I wonder how many in our nation ever think of the children of the deployed – little ones like my great-grandchildren who are too young to understand. All they know is that mommy, daddy or both are gone – and the days stretch into weeks, then into months.
Before it involved my family, I gave little thought to our deployed military unless I saw something tragic or heartwarming on the news. I’ve always been appreciative, but certainly never considered the sacrifice their spouses or children made. Oh, how different when it touches us!
Rachel is returning from Afghanistan in seven weeks. Ethan deployed to another part of Afghanistan six weeks ago, and won’t be home for another twenty-four weeks. Although both are in Afghanistan, distance prevents them from visiting each other. For twelve weeks Jada and Caleb are without mommy or daddy.
The sound of the twanging of the trampoline ceases, and we all go inside. I hear the sound of Caleb’s raspy breathing – he needs a breathing treatment. His lungs aren’t completely clear yet.
I hear the sound of fingers clicking across keyboards as stories, pictures and videos fly back and forth on the internet to keep mommy and daddy connected with their little ones. The miracle of Skype gives opportunity to see and talk.
I close my eyes and I hear the sound….of Caleb coughing and a mother in combat fatigues softly weeping because she can’t hold and comfort her sick baby.
I hear the sound….of a father, separated by oceans and continents, praying for his wife and children.
I hear the sound….of a mother, grandmother beseeching God for her loved ones’ safe return.
Faintly, in distant weeks, I hear the sound of homecoming – a mother reunited with her children; then many weeks later, the sound of a father returning to his wife and children. Homecoming is a beautiful sound.
But I hear a greater sound! It started with the beginning of mankind, and has resonated and thundered through the ages. It is a sound some have never heard; others have heard it, then lost it; and many struggle to hear it for the first time. It is a wondrous sound that we often take for granted; a sound made possible because of the sacrifice of so many.
It is the sound of freedom!
** Dedicated to my grandson, his wife, their children, and the countless others and their families, who have, and are making the sacrifice for our freedom.
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