Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)
TITLE: Red, Orange, and Wiggly Reflections of a Great-Grandma
By Kaye Swain
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Looking at the blond, curly-haired little boy, his great-grandma’s heart melted with love.
“Of course we can, Jeremy,” she replied from her blue and comfortable recliner. “Do you remember where the balloon box is?”
“Oh yes, grandma!”
Moving swiftly, with a confidence that came from past balloon adventures, he went straight to the box in her closet and brought it back to her. Gently placing it in her lap, he smiled with glee at all the different colors and shapes of balloons in the box.
“All right, honey,” her soft voice broke into his excitement. “Which one would you like?”
“Red!” he stated with a big grin. “Red and wiggly!"
“Red and wiggly, it is,” the elderly great-grandmother replied as she picked up the red balloon with plenty of curvy ins and outs and the balloon hand pump. “Can you help me blow it up with the pump?” she asked.
Excitedly, he took it in his hand and pumped away vigorously as she held the balloon tightly on the end of the pump, so no air could escape. Sadly, she reflected on how, just three years ago, she could do the pumping by herself while he enjoyed watching her. Now she didn’t have enough strength.
In just a minute, he had a delightfully long red wiggly balloon all blown up and knotted with her weak, but willing help.
When they finished, he turned to her and said, “Is it Tommy’s turn now?”
Smiling, she nodded yes and watched as he ran out to get his brother, stopping at the door to say a quick and breathless, “Thank you, grandma! I love you, grandma!”
Then off he ran, down the hall. A few minutes later, his seven year old brother appeared at the door and he, too, got to pick just the right color and shape of balloon (orange), as well as help pump it up. Giving his great-grandmother a big hug and a bigger thank you, he, too, disappeared down the hallway.
Exhausted, she rested her head against the recliner and started to doze off. A few minutes later, she woke with a start to hear her daughter asking, “Hi mom, did you and the boys have a nice time together?”
Thinking over the last 30 minutes, she relived simple family memories from 20 years ago. Back when she was her daughter’s age today, she used to take her grandchildren for long walks in the field by their horse ranch. Now, she got tired so easily. This 30 minutes had left her more exhausted than any of those two hour hikes!
Sighing a bit over her fragile body, she also remembered those sweet smiles and warm hugs. She looked up at her daughter mistily, as her daughter repeated the question, “Mom…are you OK? Did you and the boys have a nice time?”
Smiling broadly, she replied, “Outstanding. Simply outstanding.”
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