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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

By Teresa Hollums



The fireplace crackled eerily. A middle-aged woman with a sad frown on her face sat on a loveseat knitting quietly. There was no other sound in the room other than the soft snoring of the beagle beside her on the loveseat. A deceiving peace seemed to fill the room at first glance. A closer look at the woman showed her talking quietly to herself as she deftly cast each stitch of her colorful scarf. At times she would glance briefly at a photo frame that was now empty.

“Oh, even now you cause me worry and unhappiness oh, Dad, I know the care center has called and called asking me to come. But I can’t. You know why. I can’t face talking to you again. All you ever did was lie to me.”

“Forgive…Forgive, my child,” whispered the still, small voice.

“But, dear Lord, surely you understand. You of all my dearest companions know the hurt he has caused me—the pain that will never totally go away. He taught me avarice and greed and selfishness. I have faced so much sorrow and pain and he never listened, never came, and never comforted me. Why am I now supposed to comfort him?”

“Still forgive...still forgive.”

But the hurt still went too deep. There were just too many years of an uncaring father. Just not thinking about her dying dad’s requests seemed to help. But her thoughts kept drifting back with an aching familiarity.

Each stitch seemed to increase her resolve and her revenge of not caring. Undiscovered yet to her was that she was nurturing hatred. It seemed to help—only seemed to help. She instinctively petted the dog for comfort at these troubled thoughts.

R-R-Ring, R-R-Ring came the jarring sound. Ann jumped, but was grateful for the interruption of her too sad thoughts.

“Hello,” came a familiar voice.

The pause came when Ann considered quietly putting the phone down once again. She knew it was the same person who had come to care for her dad with a very special concern at the nursing home.

Ann interrupted, “Ron, I really don’t want you calling me anymore. I’ve made up my mind not to see him ever again. Please, please don’t call me.”

There was a brief, but poignant pause. “I promise this is my very last time to ever ask you to come see your dad…. Because….Ann, he just passed away—asking once more for you. By law, you must come and take care of the funeral arrangements.”

The only response from Ann was a small intake of breath.

“Ann, I will be glad to help you. He just wanted me to tell you t that he truly loved you and was sorry for all that happened. He really wanted to just get to know you.

“Be that as it may, I find no comfort in anything he ever said and I still don’t now, but I will take care of the body. See you soon.” Ann slowly hung up.

Suddenly, there was a sudden scramble and Ann saw a flashing brown and white small body racing away from her chair with--oh, no-- her precious yarn scarf that she was trying to knit.

“Come back here, you mutt!! That’s my scarf and you can’t have it.”

Ann finally caught up with her puppy that still had the very end piece of yarn in his mouth. She saw that Halo had actually unwound every bit of her scarf. Ann angrily spouted to the air above her, “See you still hurt me, ‘dad’. If you hadn’t died, than the phone wouldn’t have rung. And…and I could have tied that last knot to stop it all being unraveled.

“My precious child, you could have tied the last knot of love with your Dad, too. Just forgive—still forgive.”

Ann looked at the mess of the yarn to put together again. Realization and regret joined hands for Ann. She fell on her knees, hugging her puppy. “Oh, my Lord, help me to forgive. “

And God smiled and hugged her, holding her close.

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Member Comments
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Sara Harricharan 01/11/08
I love the repeating phrase of forgive-just forgive. The part with the puppy was great, I liked how it tied in with the 'unfinished' rift between her father and her. The last line was great. ^_^
Joy Faire Stewart01/11/08
This is so sad and you have captured the MC's feelings. A great reminder of forgiveness.
Dee Yoder 01/11/08
Lovely story of forgiveness. It's hard to think of forgiving those who hurt us, but the freedom is so worth the effort.
LauraLee Shaw01/12/08
Beautiful and convicting.
This sentence is a great picture:
Realization and regret joined hands for Ann.
Joanne Sher 01/12/08
Poignant - and I love the surprising analogy at the end. Much truth here.
darlene hight01/13/08
I like the illustration of tying the knot of love. Well done!