Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)
TITLE: The Assumption
By william price
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A few women stood near the frail body of their friend. They took turns speaking.
“Look at the smile on her face. She’s hoping he is going to come.”
“But, when? I mean, it’s his mother. You’d think he would have been here by now.”
“Maybe he doesn’t know?”
“Trust me, he knows.”
“Yes, I guess he would know. But, why isn’t he here? She was always there for him.”
“That’s true; the good times and the bad.”
“Even the real bad.”
“Yes, I shudder just remembering all that she has been through.”
The women’s conversation was interrupted by a little laugh from the bed behind them. When they turned they could see their friend whispering.
“Poor, girl, she’s delusional.”
“Should we pull the window closed? The light is right in her eyes.”
“No, she always loved the sun in her face; especially in the morning.”
“I really wish he would get here. It’s not like he can’t make arrangements.”
“Be careful what you say.”
“She might hear you. You know, she never let anyone say anything about her son.”
“You are so right, but look at her. She seems in another world. It’s like she’s only holding on until he gets here.”
“Look, she’s crying. Quick, get something to wipe her eyes.”
“Hmmm, the sunlight seems to be drying her face?”
“It is a pretty warm day.”
“Yes, yes it is. See now, she is smiling again.”
For the rest of the day, the dying woman’s friends talked and wondered why her son was not there.
“Have you seen the tomb they have prepared for Mary?”
“Yes, I have. It is beautiful.”
“I cannot believe her son has not been here.”
“Yes, I am very surprised and a little disappointed.”
“Look, her breathing has almost stopped.”
“Wait a minute.”
“Isn’t it almost nightfall?”
“What do you mean?”
“… My …”
“The morning sun is still shining through the eastward window.”
“He’s been by her side all day.”
The women fell to their knees and had to cover their eyes because the light coming through the window was getting so bright. Slowly, as Mary breathed her last, the sunlight began to retreat from the room until it became dark.
The women called out to friends of the son who had been waiting to gather Mary’s body when she passed. They entered quickly with lit candles.
Mary’s friends could not believe what they did not see.
“… She is …”
One of the men asked, “Where did she go?”
“Jesus took her. He was with her all day. Didn’t you notice the sun shinning all day from the east?”
“No, no we didn’t. It has been cloudy since daybreak. “You mean, the Son of God was in your presence and you did not notice?”
“… We just …”
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