Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)
TITLE: Celestial Cyberspace, Ltd.
By Lillian Rhoades
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Under the cover of darkness Marci’s thoughts lay half naked, partially stripped of all efforts to make sense of the last several months.
The sliver of moonlight that filtered through the blinds mocked her silent plea for guidance. If she must begin this journey of adjustment alone, light at the end of the tunnel would not work. She needed it now.
A month had passed since Brian’s wedding and four months since her oldest son, Tom, decided to dissolve his marriage after twenty-five years of diminishing bliss.
With Brian and his bride happily settled in their new home a thousand miles away, and her grandchildren’s apparent acceptance of their Dad’s divorce, Marci’s anxieties bubbled to the boiling point, spilled over into sleepless nights, and left her searching for answers about her uncertain future.
Never had she felt more alone, or more threatened by the passage of time. Where was her gold for the golden years?
As night gathered up its shadows and slowly slipped away, Marci turned on her ever present heating pad and grabbed for her bible that lay by her side. Her two <i>sleeping aides</i> did more than any sleeping pill could ever do. Before long, she had won the race with morning’s light and fell fast asleep just before dawn.
When she awoke, slivers of moonlight had turned into sun rays in full bloom. Remnants of the reason for last night’s bout with restlessness lingered, and for moments longer she lay in bed fixed in thought; but not for long.
Contemplation did not fit into today’s schedule, and with a thankful heart for the discipline of routine that gave her a sense of purpose, Marci began her day.
Just past noon, she settled into the big, black office chair that Tom had bought the year before and turned on her computer.
Tom’s voice traveled through time and made itself comfortable in her consciousness.
<i>You really need to get rid of that old chair, Mom. You may call it an antique, but I call it antiquated. One day it’s going to collapse and you’re going to break a hip.</i>
Marci smiled, remembering that day when he, her daughter-in-law, and all the grandchildren gathered at the farmhouse for her birthday and presented her with the chair as a birthday present. Several months later, just before Tom’s divorce, he’d sent her an email with pictures from the party to download to her picture file.
With a sudden, uncontrollable desire to relive those days, she turned on her computer, and then paused.
<i>You knew then, didn’t you Tom, that this would be the last time.</i> For a brief moment night shadows eclipsed the sunlight.
With a quick click, the file appeared. There they were. Her thoughts caressed each picture, and an occasional murmur slipped through her lips and softly penetrated the silence.
<i>Look at Becki and Sandy. I can’t believe how much C.J. has grown since these pictures were taken. There’s Hayden in his silly pose, trying to outdo his sisters; must be hard being the only boy; and youngest at that.</i>
Oh, how she longed for those times!
If she had only known what would…An inner voice abruptly interrupted her, and revelation replaced reflection.
<i>Be still, my child. It is enough that I know the future and give it to you one day at a time. Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. Have you forgotten that I upload just enough guidance for each day?</i>
“Thank you Lord, Marci managed to mumble, for veiling tomorrow so that I could have memories of yesterday’s joys.”
Just as she finished her nostalgic journey through the picture file, the inner voice demanded her attention once again.
<i>If you’re looking for gold in your golden years, Marci, there’s plenty among your memories. If you’re looking for light for the rest of the journey, you’ll have to trust me.</i>
After dinner, as she had done ever since moving to her new apartment, Marci prepared to download her favorite Scrabble game. One hour of Scrabble beat television by a mile.
The game ended with Marci the winner. However, that wasn’t what gave her eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
It was no small miracle that among all the words on the board, four words glared back as she stared at them in amazement: golden, years, trust, and future; and none belonged to her.
Had God chosen cyberspace to upload another message?
That night, strains of One Day at a Time lulled her to sleep.
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