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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: The Bouquet
By David&Dee Jobes


There she lay, Susan, in the hospital bed, as Jerry approached her
and lovingly brushed the hair from her head. The tears started streaming down his face, as precious memories started to dance in his mind. He thought back to a time when they walked to the dorm room together, as they held hands and walked to their classes; those precious memories of her on graduation day; watching her toss her cap form her glistening, golden head; and the day that she walked down the isle to become his beautiful wife.
There she lay in the hospital bed, as Jerry leaned over her and placed three beautiful red roses in a empty vase on the bed stand near her. Thinking in his heart how many times that a rose had brought laughter and joy to her heart. He could always see that her eyes would light up when ever he gave her a rose. Her heart was now weakening each day and the chemotherapy the doctors said was really taking a toll on her body. Jerry had tears in his eyes, as he looked down at what remained of her frail body and only a few strands of that golden hair that use to glisten like the reflection of the sun. “Only three roses,” he thought. “Maybe I should go to the florist and get her a dozen and when she awakes, maybe that will bring some joy to her heart .” Then there was a knock on the door. “May I come in, Jerry.” “Oh that’s the familiar voice and face of Jackie ,Susan’s best friend.”
Jackie was always there for her. They grew up together and new each other since first grade. They were what you would call friends for life. They had the same Faith and they shared the same likes and dislikes. Jackie was an only child and her mother was a widow, so all Jackie new as family love was the love of her mother and her best friend Susan growing up. “How is she doing?” she asked Jerry, as tears ran down her face. “Not to well! The doctors say it could be any day when The Lord calls her home”. “I’m so sorry to hear that. She has always been like a Sister to me.” “Here I have these yellow roses for her.” “Thanks Jackie, you know how much my Susan loves roses and your roses and the red ones might cheer her up a little. You know, Jackie ,when I married Susan ten years ago on that beautiful summer’s day and when we took our vows for better or for worse and in sickness and in health, I would have never imagined that I would be in this hospital today with Susan being so ill.” “Me to, Jerry! I would have never imagined seeing Susan like this.” Jackie bent over and gave Susan a kiss on the forehead and placed her three yellow roses in the vase right next to Jerry’s. “How many visitors has Susan had? Has her sister visited her? I know she lives in Australia now. Will she be coming by soon?” As the words fell from Jackie’s lips, there was a knock on the door. “Hi , it’s Sandra!” “Hi Sandra we were just talking about you and here you are.” “How is she doing?” asked Sandra with tears flowing down her eyes, as she stared at her little sister, remembering the reflection of how they once were both golden blonde hair angels. That is what their mom and dad called them. Sandra had three beautiful pink roses in her hand and placed it in the vase along with Jerry’s red roses and Jackie’s three yellow roses and went and kissed Susan on the head.
“How is she doing,” asked Sandra? “ She sure has been brave about all this. “You know, she has e-mailed me almost every day and not once did I see a complaint.” “ That’s Susan for you,” replied Jerry. “She always is the sunshine in the rain. I know that comes from her Faith. You know, I would have never made it this far with out mine either,” replied Jerry.
“Is Mom and Dad coming by today,” asked Sandra. “I think they’re on their way,” said Jerry. “Oh it looks like Susan was writing something in her journal. She shared with me as were e-mailing that she wanted to share her thoughts during her stay at the hospital.” They could hear two familiar voices in the hall. “ Could you please tell us which room our daughter, Susan Light is in?”
The nurse instructed them to go to room 307. “Thanks!” “Oh look it’s Mom and Dad,” cried Sandra! She ran to embrace them with tears in her eyes and gave them a big hug. “Oh honey it is been 3yrs since we have last seen you.” Susan’s mom looked over at Jerry and gave him three beautiful white roses, with babies breath; and asked how was her daughter doing with tears in her eyes. A nurse came by and asked if there was any thing that she could do. Jerry asked, “If it is possible, do you think you could maybe find a bigger vase for my wife? My wife’s vase is full with all these roses and there a three more that we need to put in it.” “Sure,” said the nurse. “I think we may even have one on our desk. One of our nurses retired and she was given a beautiful floral arrangement with a lovely crystal vase. I’m sure that she would not mind if we used it. She has such a generous kind heart. She’s a Christian like, your wife Susan. I know your wife is a Christian. I have witnessed her reading her Bible every night at ten o clock; just before I leave my shift.” The Nurse went and spoke with, Flora, the nurse who had just retired and shared with her about Susan’s health and their need for a vase. Flora walked in the room with tears in her eyes and said, “ Here you are.I would like for your wife to have this vase and this one flower. I think it is called the Rose of Sharon.” “ Wow!” Thought Jerry. “ What a wonderful gift.” Jerry thanked her and said, “ God Bless you!” Flora gave him a hug and then walked away. Susan’s Mom placed the 3 beautiful white roses, with the babies breath, along with the Rose of Sharon and the roses from Jerry, Jackie and Sandra in the crystal vase, and said, “Oh my that is the most beautiful bouquet of flowers that I have ever seen in my life!” She had tears in her eyes and went over to kiss her daughter along with her husband Jack, Susan’s Dad. Susan then opened her tired eyes and softly said, “ Jerry, Mom, Dad, Sandra, Jackie you all are here.” Then she looked upward and whispered Thank You Lord!” Looking over at the Bouquet of Roses, with tears of joy in her eyes, she whispered, “ My Favorite flowers!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Porter 10/10/05
Hello there. I'm judging this week, so can't actually comment on your entry, but wanted you to know before you wrote something for the next topic, that your entry had to be disqualified because it was way over the maximum word count allowed. The maximum is 750 words, and you came in at 1,189. I'm so sorry.

Just keep the word counts in mind for the future (150 minimum, 750 maximum) and remember to break up the dialogue into new paragraphs, and you'll be fine.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Jan Ackerson 10/12/05
This is very sweet. I'm sure that your next entry will qualify now that you know about the word count. I did have an (unintentional) laugh in the first sentence, when Jerry brushes the hair from her head. Unless he left her bald, I think you may have meant "...from her eyes." Really, a piece with lovely emotional content.