Deborah slept soundly in her room despite the alarm clock going off beside her. Her mother shut off the alarm but was not able to wake her daughter.
“Waking that child is like trying to wake the dead. Someone else is going to have to do it. I have to go to work,” her mom said.
“I’ll wake her,” Brian said with a mischievous grin. He walked out of the bathroom and down the hall towards his sister’s room.
“Brian, if I told you once, I told you a hundred times. You’re not going to splash cold water in her face!”
“That will certainly wake her up,” he said.
“I don’t have time for this!” His mom said in a huff.
The creaking steps silenced their discussion as Mama Rose navigated her way up the stairs. She held onto the banister with her right hand and carried a large yellow rose in her left hand.
“Don’t worry about Deborah. I’ll wake her up,” she said.
While Brian and his mom headed downstairs to breakfast, Mama Rose entered Deborah’s room. She was still sleeping soundly oblivious to the commotion outside her bedroom.
Mama Rose waved the rose over her granddaughter’s nose a few times. Usually, the aroma from the freshly-cut flower would do the trick, but if Deborah was in a deep sleep, someone had to touch her order to wake her up.
A few times, her dad tried waking her up by running the lawn mower outside her window, but he ended up with large bald patch in the grass. Her mom used to bang on the kitchen ceiling below with a broom handle, but was left with little black circles all across the ceiling.
Deborah slept so soundly that her family usually resorted to shaking her gently to wake her up. Brian had plenty of suggestions on how to wake up his big sister, but Mama Rose used a much softer approach.
Mama Rose leaned down and glided the rose across Deborah’s forehead, but there was no reaction. Next, she took the rose and tapped it on her granddaughter’s chin but Deborah did not budge. Then, Mama Rose plucked off a large petal and waved it against the tip of Deborah’s nose for a few minutes.
Deborah wrinkled her nose and smiled as she finally opened her eyes.
“Good morning, Sleepyhead,” her grandmother said.
“You’ll need to start going to bed earlier. You slept like a log last night.”
“Did Brian try spraying me with the water hose again?” She asked.
“No, but your mama caught him filling up the water gun.”
“I’ll go to bed earlier. I just finished helping three students prepare for their make-up exams last night. If they don’t pass today, they’ll have to go to summer school,” she said.
“I understand baby, but when you start college, we won’t be there to wake you up every morning,” she said, handing Deborah the rose.
“You better get up before your brother comes in here.”
Deborah placed the rose on the nightstand and glanced at the alarm clock. It was seven-thirty. She had less than thirty minutes to get outside in time to catch the school bus.
After a quick shower, she threw on a clean set of clothes, grabbed the rose, and ran down to the bus stop with her book bag slung across her shoulders. Deborah was almost late for her last day of class.
Through the summer, Deborah went to bed every night by ten o’clock and by the time she headed to for her freshman year at Chesnin College, she on a firm schedule.
On the day before her orientation class, Deborah received a large package via overnight mail. She opened the box and pulled out a bouquet of yellow roses. She leaned down to smell the roses and ended up tickling herself with the soft petals. She opened the card and laughed out loud. It read:
“To my favorite Sleepyhead: Don’t be late for class. Love, Mama Rose.”
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