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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: A Missionary Mom's Sacrifice & Joy
By Valora Otis


“Pick out two pieces of luggage, Sean. Let me see…the dimensions must be a total of 64 inches for the largest piece.” Allison bent to examine the luggage, the pain kept her from bending too quickly. It would be nice to finally put the surgery she’d just had behind her, but the nagging pain hit her every time she bent over. She didn’t have any feeling in the tram, taken from her belly, that replaced the tissue breast cancer had robbed from her. The nerve endings were numb. When she bent her insides ached. Then there was that blasted machine she carried, slung over her shoulder—a black bag hanging around her neck like an angry cloud. It made her grouchy just thinking about it and the tube coming from her chest.

She better be careful or she’d pull some more stitches out where they had tucked her tummy. At least the doctor had said that in a year all the reconstructive -surgery would be complete. She wanted to be whole again. Cancer had robbed time from her kids that she couldn’t replace. Allison gave herself a mental shake. She ran her hand across the forest green ballistic nylon of the luggage. It was smooth under her fingertips.

“Here it is Sean. I think this one is perfect!” Her son pulled out the luggage in one fluid motion. “I think this one will last several years after your mission. What do you think?” The slow slurping noise of the mechanical wound V.A.C. slung over her shoulder was the only noise both of them heard for a second.

“It’s really expensive mom.”

“Well, you need it to last. Remember, you’re going to be in the jungle. It has backpack straps, so you can carry the largest piece when the roads are too muddy to pull it.

“Check out the wheels! Sweet!” Sean ran his hands over the exaggerate d tread.

Blue eyes met after Sean viewed the expensive piece of luggage.

“Mom, we can’t afford this. We have a budget to stick to remember? Did you see the price tag?” His brows were knit together with concern.

“I just cashed my last royalty check. It’ll cover the cost, silly. Go ahead, open it up and check it out. This is my gift to you.” She paused, hey, do you mind if I sit a bit?” She was pale again. She could tell by the way Sean was looking at her.

“Sure mom, there’s a chair right over there by the men’s suits.” She crossed the distance with his loving assistance. Allison carefully lowered herself to the soft seat.

“I’ll be fine." She patted his hand. "Just need to sit for a second. Why don’t you pull that luggage on over here, kiddo?”

As Allison’s son walked the distance across the isle––she thought of the crisp white shirts and ties all waiting to be nestled in a brand new suitcase. She imagined in the shoes that would protect her son’s feet for miles off the beaten path in Peru. Allison would miss his sleepy bed head each morning before he left for work.

Letting go was the right thing to do. She was giving him over to the Lords capable hands, He would watch over her son like He always had. This tall devoted son would bless other lives as he aided them in their daily struggles. What a blessing it was going to be when he baptized a family that had never heard of Jesus. That was the payoff for something as hard as this. The light of Christ would shine in another human beings eyes because of her small sacrifice.

“Mom, are you okay?” Sean swept a hand through his hair in that worried fashion he’d inherited from his dad.

“Son, I don’t think I’ve ever been so okay. Let’s get back to shopping. I hear that you have to wear flea collars around your ankles in the Amazon Jungle. Is that true?

Sean smirked. “Its all true, mom. Guess we can check luggage off that list.” He gently helped her stand. She adjusted the black bag with the tube that went under her clothing–– to help heal the after effects of the cancer she’d conquered. Allison didn’t seem to mind the contraption so much now. He took her by the hand just like when he was a toddler. This time it was she that was a little unsteady, but oh, so full of joy.

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This article has been read 825 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany03/08/07
I love some of your descriptions! I can think of two that were especially good. A few punctuation needs here and there but otherwise well written - and I liked how you got into the mother's head so nicely.
Edy T Johnson 03/08/07
This sounds like life: it never rains but it pours. I'm surprised this woman is even out of the hospital (they just don't keep folks long enough these days!), let alone out shopping. AND having to send off a son on top of all she is going through just sounds overwhelming. But, we know it does happen that way. Good story and well written.
Loren T. Lowery03/08/07
Beautiful story of sacrifice and belief and faith. Your dialogue lead this reader right into the story. The emotions seemed raw, but real. Great job.
Ann FitzHenry03/08/07
I don't think I need to guess where you got the inspiration for this story! I liked the way you pulled the reader in with the first few sentences. Your dialogue is very natural and "true to life." And, as always, your description is great! :-)
Jacquelyn Horne03/12/07
Wonderful story. There's no sacrifice like the one of cutting ties to your children. It hurts, but it also heals. God is good.
Joanney Uthe03/12/07
What a wonderful tribute. I would have liked to see the son even more hesitant, because he knew the sacrifice she was making for him. Great story and great job showing the physical pain as well as the emotions.
Jan Ackerson 03/12/07
Great title, and well-written story.

Be careful of isle / aisle.

You did a good job of showing us her fatigue, her pain, and her love.
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/12/07
I know there is so much of your own truth in this story. Powerfully done. There were a few spots that were a little redundant, but that's a minor thing. Good job!
Sara Harricharan 03/13/07
Pretty good. I like the dialouge and interaction with the mother and Son. You did a great job of showing what a close relationship they had. You missed a quotation mark up where she asked to sit down I think, but I didn't really notice anything else. Very good, overall. Thanks for sharing! ^_^
Cassie Memmer03/14/07
Good story with nice interaction, emotions. I didn't understand the 'tram' part. Nice writing! God bless!
Joanne Sher 03/14/07
You did an excellent job of capturing your MCs struggles - physically, emotionally, etc. I cared deeply for her throughout.