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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Tammy's Treasure Box
By Donna Powers


Summer, 1965

Dear Mom,

Thanks a lot for ruining my summer. Instead of hanging out at the mall, Iím stuck here helping Grandma. I know Grandpaís sick, and she needs help. But Grandpa sleeps all day, so we always have to stay quiet

Itís not fair! The last thing a teenager wants is to work all day, and the silence doesnít make it any easier. I wonít ever complain again about how noisy the other kids get. The loudest thing here is the clock in the kitchen. Helping Grandma is OK, but all I do for enjoyment is read books. She doesnít even have a TV!.

There arenít any other kids in the neighborhood. I wouldnít have much time to play, but it would be nice to talk to someone my own age. The town is pretty boring, too. The only interesting place is the Sweet Shoppe. They sell bakery stuff and ice cream, but I donít have any money.

Grandma looks tired. I help with chores and cooking, but sheís always taking care of Grandpa. Sometimes, I see her crying or hear her praying for him.

This has got to be the most boring summer in history.

Love you anyway,

Dear Mom,

I guess this summer wonít be so bad, but itís still pretty boring.

Yesterday, I polished silverware. The smell of polish was awful, but it was fun to see the silver gleam. When Grandma saw it, she smiled and told me I was a comfort to her.

She showed me a secret treasure box, and said I could look in it any time. She told me that, once in awhile, Iíll find treasures in the box, for me. Grandma says it used to be your treasure box, when you were a little girl. Last night there was a quarter in it! I ran all the way to The Sweet Shoppe and bought rainbow sherbet.

Iíll write again next week.


Dear Mom,

Yesterday, I read the Bible to Grandpa. He got quiet and I stopped, but he grabbed my hand until I continued. Grandma says he wants to hear about God, because soon heíll meet Him. I asked if Grandpaís frightened to meet God. Grandma said, ďHeís not afraid, because heís known Him all his life.Ē How can that be? Godís in heaven; how could Grandpa ever meet Him? Grandma explained how God can live inside peopleís hearts. That sounds pretty cool.

Yesterday I polished the windows in the sun porch. When I was finished, the sunshine made the porch really warm, and seemed to paint the wicker chairs with gold. It was really nice. When I was done, I did a dance with one of the sunbeams.

That night, inside my treasure box, beside the quarter, was the words to a song called ďJesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam.Ē I blinked when I saw the title. Had Grandma seen me dancing? Why did she give me that song? I got my sherbet, but that song has me thinking about how a person can be a sunbeam. Do you know, Mom?


Dear Mom,

Iíll see you Friday, for Grandpaís funeral, but I wanted to write to you, first. Yesterday, as I was reading the Bible to Grandpa, he suddenly stopped breathing. I got scared and called Grandma. She cried for a minute, and said, ďrest in peace, sweetheart.Ē She told me Grandpa is in heaven, and heís at peace, because heís with the Lord.

I remembered how peaceful Grandpa had been, and how he always loved to hear about God. I thought about how Grandma could be happy and sad at the same time; because Grandpaís in heaven. I asked her to tell me about God. After she did, I said I wanted Jesus in my heart Ė so, Grandma helped me pray. I believe that Jesus is in my heart right now!

Last night, when I opened the treasure box, I found Grandpaís Bible. Grandma says it will help me learn more about Jesus. I canít wait to read it. I donít even care that there wasnít a quarter in the box; I think having Jesus inside my heart will be better than rainbow sherbet.

When you come on Friday, can we talk about God? Iíve never heard you talk about Him. If you donít know Him, maybe we can read the Bible, and get to know Him together.

Canít wait to see you!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Chrissi Dunn04/10/08
This worked so well as a diary entry. I enjoyed watching her relationship develop with both grandparents.
Sara Harricharan 04/10/08
This is so precious! I loved the character of Tammy, and I really liked the letter format. It was great, I felt sad at the end that her Grandpa died, but there was hope with her new life beginning in Christ. Great stuff! ^_^
Chely Roach04/10/08
The Bible in the box was a wonderful touch to a great piece...very nice.
Beth LaBuff 04/11/08
Your story is very touching, well-developed, and is told creatively. Each progression tells more of the story and draws the reader in deeper. You bring back a lot of memories with the quarter for candy and the song you mention. I really enjoyed reading this.
Patty Wysong04/11/08
This is super. I love the format and the progression of it. It brought tears to my eyes at the end--so bittersweet for Granma. Great job!! :-)
Glynis Becker04/13/08
Now I need a tissue :) This is beautiful and tender and I really like the use of the letter as a storytelling device. Wonderful piece!
Holly Westefeld04/16/08
A treasure of a story. I liked the transformation from bored teen to exuberant baby Christian. Now if I just blink and swalow a few times, both eyes and throat will return to normal.
Joshua Janoski04/16/08
My grandmother used to sing that song "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam." You reminded me of that when you mentioned it in your story.

The letter format worked nicely to tell your story. I really appreciate that the little girl wanted to know more about Jesus by the end of the story.

You have great writing talent, and it is demonstrated in this story. Thank you for sharing.