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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)

TITLE: What If..
By Esther Portalatin


What If?
On a beautiful Spring day I looked out of my window and thought of all the beautiful things the other children had on while playing outside. Why couldn’t I have those things?, I thought to myself. Only ten years old and I already knew how to do the things every woman should know, such as, wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the house, cook and even iron. No I wasn’t a Cinderella, I was just a child who had to help my mama do the daily things she couldn’t do on her own. You see, mama had a rare disease that no local doctor could cure. “ Why couldn’t we have the money to get mama to the best doctors? I had to question God. Was it wrong of me to be angry at God? Was it wrong of me to want to have a mom who was well and not sick? Was it wrong of me to want to be rich?
While in school every day I thought of mama. I wondered , what if I found one million dollars? How would I spend it? I thought one thing only, taking mama to the best doctors in the world. Maybe they would find a cure to stop her from hurting all the time. Maybe she would be able to walk again and not cry from pain. What if God granted me three wishes? What would I wish? I would simply wish for mama to get well three times. What if I wasn’t born? Where would I be? Maybe mama would have been well. You see, mama got sick when she had me. She almost died. Was I to blame? I had so many questions.
During lunch I sat alone. I always sat alone. I didn’t want anyone asking me any questions as to why my mama never came to see my teachers or events that I was a part of. It was always daddy that came. He felt bad for me. He knew how I wished mama could come hear me sing or act in the school play. Dad always made sure he was there. He could see the look on my face when I would see moms tell their children how proud they were of them. Why did God choose me for this hard task? What had I done so bad in life? I longed for my mama to be happy. I longed for my mama to smile again. I longed for normalcy. Was that so bad? My life was already complicated at ten years old.
I remember the day mama died. I sat by the window and looked up to heaven. I could almost hear her tell me that she was alright, that she could walk and that she had no more pain. I could almost see her smiling down at me. I could feel her love in my heart and that was something I would have forever. God became my mama. The pain was so intense that I would hug mama’s pillow every night as I slept. It made me feel that she was near me and I could still smell her scent. Oh how I longed for mama to still be here. She would never see me get married. She would never see my children. One day I picked up her bible and I began to read Psalm 91, which was her favorite. I found comfort and peace in reading it. Then I found a note she had left for me in the bible. It read, “My dear little princess, never forget how much I love you. God made you special and I am so proud of everything you have done. I am so thankful he gave me you. He has a great plan for your life. Don’t be angry at God for taking me home, he knew I was tired of suffering. It is up to you to continue your walk with the Lord. Continue to sing to him for he loves you more than you’ll ever know. I will always be in your heart. Always look to God in everything you do. I love you very much. Mama”. Well by the time I finished reading that letter, I was blinded by my tears. I knew mama was in heaven.
I realized that I was rich after all because in Christ I had everything I needed. I lacked nothing, and had everything. My mom left me the best inheritance, Christ.

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This article has been read 422 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marina Rojas05/04/12
This is a sweet tribute to a mother's memory. Really cuts to the core of a child's heart and was a good read.

I would have liked to have a few paragraph breaks, for the visual aspect of it, but this article has a lot of heart in its message.
C D Swanson 05/04/12
Awww. This story was so touching and I wanted to hug the little girl so bad.

Beautiful job of capturing the reader with the topic at hand, and so well written. I loved it and the powerful and yet poignant message it delivered. Thank you!

God bless~
Donna Wilcher05/05/12
I enjoyed this very much.

I could see this written in a diary format, which would have made the impact of this story stronger, and give the reader rest between ideas.

I loved the ending! This would make a great Mothers Day article.
Mildred Sheldon05/07/12
What a tender loving article. It touched my heart. You did an outstanding job staying on topic. Thank you and God bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/08/12
This piece gripped my heart in so many ways. What a beautiful yet heart wrenching story.

There are just a few things you could do to make it even better. Break it into small paragraphs and then double space between them to give the reader more white space. Words like Mama and Dad should be capitalized when a substitute for a name. If you have an a, or my, or other qualifier in front of it then it should be lowercase.

This reads as a testimonial so I hesitate to add this but if you could do more showing than telling. It would paint a picture in the reader's mind. For example: Just by changing the opening sentence to something like I gazed out the window and my heart ached as I watched the neighborhood kids riding bikes, whizzing by on skates, and playing baseball.
I tried not to change it too much but by adding the word gazed and heart ached helps the reader see the MC looking out and missing all the fun.

But even without the things I mentioned above this is a powerful story. My eyes welled with tears because I have health problems and am in and out of the hospital so much. I worried about my kids, were they getting enough of me, was it hard when only Daddy came to their games.

I was reassured when my youngest was about 6 or 7 and said, "Mommy, I'm glad you're sick cuz you are always here for me. If you got healthy then you'd be working like my friends' moms and I'd never see you." I realized that my kids turned out as great as they were in part due to my illness. Unless I was in the hospital, I was there when they left for school and when they came home. We'd snuggle in bed and talk or play games. It didn't matter but it strengthened our bond. Your story reminds me of those times and now when I worry about how they are going to afford to throw a nice wedding, go to Seminary and off to college but they remind me that God will provide and he does. I wouldn't trade those moments for any amount of money. Your story reminds me of all I'm thankful for. You wrote a gripping, well-written story on topic with a powerful message.