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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)

TITLE: Fish and Ladybugs and Frogs, Oh My!
By Allison Egley


“But Mommy, you said God can do anything.”

“Well, yes honey, but…”

“But what, Mommy?”

“…Just keep praying, Kylee.”

Kelly wished she had her daughter’s faith. The whole family was in the process of making a memorial garden for Kylee’s twin brother, Keaton. Keaton had fought long and hard against the cancer that ravaged his body, but sadly, Keaton’s miracle was not on earth, but in his homecoming to meet his Savior. Keaton had always loved fishing. The memorial was a pond with a rock garden surrounding it and statues depicting Keaton’s favorite animals. The centerpiece would be a frog sitting on a lily pad with a ladybug on its belly, but due to unforeseen expenses, they didn’t have enough money to purchase it.

Kelly told Kylee to pray about it, more to appease Kylee, than because Kelly really believed it would help. God didn’t have time to worry about a frog statue, did He?

The next day, Kelly told Kylee they would simply have to settle for a smaller statue for the middle of the pond.

“No!” Kylee shouted. “God will give us the big one. I know He will,” and ran out of the room crying.

Kelly followed Kylee to her bedroom and rubbed Kylee’s back. “How about this? We’ll wait until the end of the week. If God doesn’t give us the big statue we want, we’ll go to the store to find something else. Maybe the store will have something new that we like even better, and that’s why God hasn’t given us the one we want yet.”

Kylee sniffled. “Ok,” she said, appeased for the moment.

Friday morning, Kylee leaped out of bed and ran to the front door; certain there had been a special delivery in the middle of the night. She opened the door and looked outside. Crestfallen there was no special package; she walked back into the house, dejected.

Trying to remain upbeat, Kelly said, “We’ll go to the store right after lunch to pick up a new statue. We’ll even stop for ice cream on the way home.”

“Ok,” Kylee replied disappointedly.

As they walked into the store, they saw many smaller statues that fell within their budget. Kylee’s eyes grew big as she spotted a small frog statuette. It wasn’t as big or cute as the frog they really wanted, but it would do.

Next, Kelly and Kylee drove to the pet store and bought some goldfish for the pond. Then they bought a fishing pole and a stand.

Once home, Kylee raced to her room, and got to work on her sign to complete the Keaton’s memorial garden. As Kylee worked, Kelly walked out to the garden.

“Kylee, come out here. I think there’s something you’ll want to see.”

“Just a minute, Mommy. I want to finish my sign.”

A few minutes later, Kylee ran down the stairs, waving her hand made sign.

“It’s perfect,” Kelly said, with tears forming in her eyes. Let’s add our new statues and the fish to our pond.

“Ok.” Kylee ran outside, as it began to rain, then stopped dead in her tracks. “Mommy! It’s the statue we wanted! Where did it come from?”

“I have no idea, Kylee.” Kelly turned to Brandon, who had just returned home from work. “Do you know where it came from?”


Kylee put the smaller frog statue right next to the big frog. Then she put the ladybug on the edge of the stone lily pad. “Look Mommy, and Daddy,” Kylee giggled. “It’s God and Keaton,” pointing to the big frog and little frog. Then she propped her handmade sign up against the fishing pole now dangling in the water. “Gone fishing with Dad,” it read, with a stick figure Jesus and Keaton holding hands.

They stepped back, when Kylee noticed something Kelly had not yet seen. “Look. The frog is holding another rock. I think it says something.”

“You’re right,” Kelly said.

Kelly read the words aloud, with tears streaming down her cheeks. “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the Rock… and covers me there with His hand.” [1]

As the three of them looked up to the sky the rain let up, the sun poked through the sky, and a beautiful rainbow stretched over the garden. Kelly looked up with her eyes towards heaven, “Yes, Lord. You will cover us with Your hand.”

Author’s Notes:
[1] hymn lyrics taken from “He Hideth My Soul” by Fanny J. Crosby

[2] This story is in honor and memory of all of my "CaringBridge" friends who are fighting terminal illnesses or who have been healed by our Heavenly Father, whether on earth or in Heaven.

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Member Comments
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Marilyn Schnepp 09/15/06
Such a beautiful heartfelt story. Very well done. I enjoyed this immensely.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/16/06
A touching tribute. Well done!
Jan Ross09/16/06
How precious! Such a heartwarming story and a beautiful tribute! Thanks for sharing! :)
Donna Haug09/17/06
"Gone fishing with Dad" ... excellent!
Lynda Lee Schab 09/19/06
Very nice and heart warming story! The only nitpick I would have is that I got a tad distracted by the Kelly / Kiley names. If you could eliminate a few, by saying Kelly followed her daughter or something, it might read easier. Probably because they're so close-sounding, they jumped out a bit more. Just my .02. Otherwise, a beautiful story that left me with a smile. :-)
Val Clark09/19/06
Obviously a topic that is close to your heart. You portrayed the characters clearly and this piece also had a strong sense of place.
Robin Heckman09/19/06
Okay, I cried. Great story, I could see myself appeasing my daughter when she's full of faith and I'm full of "reality"! A great reminder that we should have the faith of a child! I agree with the other critique, the only thing I would say is that Kelly and Kylee got a little confusing but it also made the family more believable I know a lot of families that choose names for their children that are close to the parent's (my husband is Gary and we have a son, Garrett)! I loved reading your story!
Donna Powers 09/19/06
Oh, my goodness. First goosebumps, and then tears. What a heartwarming story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I really needed to read this one!
Jan Ackerson 09/19/06
Very sweet story, and adorable title. The outcome was a bit on the predictable side...I wonderful if there's some way you could have twisted it a bit? Very well-written and fully-realized characters.
Joanne Sher 09/19/06
Very realistic characters - and I love the sign - just perfect! I also found it a bit predictable, but it was still SO delightful!