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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hum (06/06/13)

TITLE: The Comfort Of A Song
By debbie edwards


They had been humming and singing the song ever since she had received the order. To them, it was their song and no one else’s. The song helped all of them to believe that mommy would be home again. All they had to do was sing it even when she was gone; and some how they would feel warm again as if mommy there in next to them.
“Lets sing it one more night.” She said gingerly trying to fight the tears. The girls snuggled deeper with her. “Come on.” She whispered and forced a smile. “We’ll hum and sing it”.
“I don’t want to sing it.” The oldest child protested, “I don’t want you to go.”
“I know.” Mommy reached out to embrace her girls closer. “ I have to go. But I will be back. I promise.”
The youngest daughter pouted. “I don’t want you to go either.”
“Yes, I know.” Their mother said quietly. “Come on. I’ll start to hum it for you.” The girls smiled and commenced singing to their mother’s hum. “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you tomorrow I’ll miss you.”
“Remember I’ll always be true.” She opened her smiling lips and sang, “Then while I’m away I’ll write home every day. Then I’ll send all my loving’ to you.”
Before each girls slipped under covers, mommy bent down to kiss them goodnight. She brushed a stray tear from her right eye and closed their bedroom door. “I better go to bed early. She told her inattentive husband. He was engrossed in his video games.
The children were still asleep when she silently tiptoed in their room to peck them a goodbye kiss. Her car ride was waiting outside when she gave her sleeping husband a last glance, still hoping that he would at least wake up and wish her well. She knew if she awoke him to tell him goodbye it would only start a problem she couldn’t fix. To comfort herself she started to hum the song she shared tenderly with her children. Closing the door, she realized that this was moment she waited for. Recruiters told her about magic places she could visit when she joined the air force. Now, the dream was a better reality. She hadn’t realized when she joined that she would give birth to two adoring children. What captured her face and held it high was that she was needed in the war desperately. She had crafted skills and tools to perform a job, which other people could not do. She was a quiet heroin who kept her country and children safe. While she plopped her duffle bag into the back seat she felt her stomach squeeze together. “Thanks for waiting.” She said and slid into the front seat. “I was just kissing the girls good bye.”
“I know they had a hard time getting used to you being gone for so long.” Her friend glanced at her lovingly. The car quietly swerved from the curb and drove to the base. Pre dawn dew wafted a captivating fragrance of southern earth and Dogwood all the way. Some how, she had not noticed it until then.
“I’m going back to bed.” Her friend hugged her goodbye. “Skype me when you get there.”
“I’ll try.” She heaved the duffel bag higher. “I hear the internet there sucks.”
Her friend saluted a sleepy top sergeant while she drove away.
Hi! Now let’s go.” Another friend pointed to the C-S plane roaring its jets. “I hope this bird has pretty stewardesses.”
“Yeah right.” She smiled then mounted the steps into the plane.
She watched the handful of fellow soldiers bouncing and rocking to the movement of the take off. Some nodded their heads in sleep. Others listened to music. She hunkered down for the long flight and took great comfort in humming the song; unaware that there were other airmen around her.
Finally she arrived to the sand blown base of Balad Iraq. Working twelve-hour days seemed an eternity.
Once she returned, the girls squealed at the sight of their mother stepping off of the plane. She had kept her promise. She returned to them. They were indeed blessed. Unfortunately, many other mothers departed from the hugs of their children never to return again. Other mothers returned with the other half of them splattered in the desert. Please, never forget to pray for the silent heroines. It is difficult to know all of their names; even so, they got our backs.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 06/13/13
Thanks for a touching reminder that America is blessed to have women and men serving us in far away places and some of them don't come home. Good job.
Beth LaBuff 06/17/13
The song melody was going through my head as I read your words. Thank you for this. We must never forget them.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/20/13
This is a really powerful story. You did an excellent job of pulling me in right away.

You have a few little errors that a good proofreader could help you catch. Also try not to repeat the same word too many times in a piece this short. If you go back and count, I think you'll be surprised how many times you used the word song or sing.

You did a great job of building the suspense. It reminded me when I was little and had to go into the hospital and how hard it was to say goodbye, for the kids as well as for me. You did a nice job of showing that feeling. You also covered the topic in a fresh way. Even without your last paragraph, I had already paused and said a prayer for those serving their country as well as for their families who are also sacrificing on my behalf. Nice job.