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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Expand (07/18/13)

TITLE: Rocking From Earth To Heaven


Rocking From Earth to Heaven

Maria sat quietly in her old rocking chair, thinking of all the good times she used to have in that chair. The creaky old rocker had seen untold thousands of pictures and could tell the stories behind them. If only it could talk. In a fashion each creak was a new story that Maria would remember.

Her mind did much wandering lately. Different pictures and thoughts came to her as she rocked and sang her favorite songs. That was just about all Maria could do now. She was 81, suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Arthritis. Her legs wouldn’t work any more and her hands were all gnarled and bent out of shape. She didn’t have the hands that would hold her babies any more. Her son, Kenny, would gently carry Maria out to the porch each warm and sunny morning for a few hours, just to sit and reflect on the many joys of her life.

There was that fine sounding creak the rocker made when it was new. Larry, the love of Maria’s life, gave the wonderful rocker to Maria at the birth of their beautiful daughter Elsa. She rocked Elsa to sleep so many times. Often , when Elsa had colic, Maria would hold the baby so lovingly singing her a simple little lullaby. Maria’s voice had a such a soft calming quality, that it always put Elsa right to sleep.

Many happy creaks of the old rocker, brought such joy to Maria’s mind. Birthday parties, school parties, Christmas dinners, Church, ‘on the ground’ covered dish dinners, all were remembered as Maria rocked and watched.

Three different children were rocked to sleep or comforted in that old rocker. The children knew when it was their special time for all of Maria’s attention. She would go to her wonderful rocker, pat her lap with her right hand, calling the pet name of the one she was ready for. She would tell stories, sing songs, and reminisce about her childhood and teach them about God’s love for the people He created. Maria and the old rocker were the children’s first school room. What they learned there, has been forever embedded in their hearts.

Their first son, William was taken by the war. Maria’s heart was broken when the war department delivered the tragic telegram telling of his supreme sacrifice. She rocked and rocked for two tear stained days. How painful and heart hurting were those rockings.

When Larry was taken to heaven, again the old rocker creaked out the sad story of a lost love. Slow and steady were the creaks, the handles wet with tears. But then, the old rocker told a story of reunion someday in a land far away. What a wonderful pleasant creak the old rocker made!

Each day as Maria rocked in her treasured chair, her thoughts went to the hills around her home. How beautiful they were! She remembered the times she and Larry would run as fast as they could, hiding from one another and then falling and laughing so hard they couldn’t breathe. She was free then, her legs worked , she danced , she sang, she took care of her family and picked the flowers.

Now Maria is a prisoner in her home, confined to her bed and her faithful old rocker. Never more to hold her children, never more to hold her Larry, never more to have the parties on the grounds, is it finished?

Wait, stop and think! That old rocker was a training ground for the eternal life to which we look. God has made a way for us to be with Him forever and ever. Maybe we will run into Heaven or maybe we will rock our way into that eternal home. Which ever way, it will be worth it all when we see Jesus!

If you hear some creaks as you enter into your eternal rest, figure it is Maria rocking, rocking and rocking forever. Her life will have expanded just as yours will upon reaching Heaven .

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Sara Harricharan 07/25/13
A bittersweet sort of feel to this story. I loved the details of Maria's life and her rocking chair. It made me smile. Nicely done!
Carolyn Ancell07/25/13
Poingnant, beautiful, and oh so evocative of a time of life that is coming closer and closer. May we evolve so gracefully.
Linda Goergen07/27/13
Lovely story of Maria, reminiscing and contemplating life’s changes, cuddled in the unchanged comfort of her rocking chair. And also a comforting visual, that death is not death, but an eternal expansion of life. Well written! Enjoyed the read!