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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)

TITLE: Sister Strong
By lynn gipson


The two sisters are quietly playing in the room they share, each lost in their own dark thoughts and fears. One is fair-haired, blued eyed, and far more intelligent than her ten years of age. The other has dark, brown hair, almost black eyes, and is smarter than the average seven-year old. They are opposites in looks, personality, and temperament, but together they are holding up the ends of the upheaval that has become their lives.

Their biographies are entering into new and uncertain chapters, being composed by the people who claim to love them more than anything else in the universe. Their parents are getting a divorce.

Elaina, age ten, has become the self appointed mother of the two. She rouses herself from her depression and tells Genesee it's time to get ready for bed.

"You can't tell me what to do! You're not Mama!" Genesee puts her hands on her hips and belligerently stomps one foot.

"I can too, Genesee. I'm your older sister, and I know what's best for you. I told you, Mama and Daddy are getting a divorce. Now that Daddy's not here, I have to look out for you. He told me so."

"Why isn't Daddy here? I don't want to get a divorce. I miss him. I want my daddy!" Genesee now starts to cry.

"Mama and Daddy couldn't get along. They are always fighting with each other. It's much better this way. Now we get to live at Nana's, and her house is much nicer than our old one. We can get through this together. You just have to stay strong, Genesee."

"I don't like staying strong. I miss our old house. I lived there all my life, and I don't care if Nana's house is nicer, I want to go home. I want to sleep in my old bedroom, and I want Daddy there in the morning when I wake up." Genesee whines.

Elaina fights back tears of her own. She misses the old house, too. Even though it's ancient and spooky. Daddy said the hundred-year-old home once belonged to his grandmother, and Elaina is certain it's haunted by the ghost of an old woman.

"We will still see Daddy and stay at the old house on his days off, and he comes by to see us after he gets off work when he can. Now, it's time for you to take a bath, and don't bother Mama, she has a headache."

Elaina goes into the bathroom and runs Genesee's bath water, making sure it's the correct temperature. She wants to cry so badly, but she has to stay strong for her sister. It wouldn't do for Genesee to see her cry.

When did I become my sister's keeper? Who's keeping me? Nana has to work, and Mama is so sad all the time, she seems to forget about us.

That night, after both girls are in bed, Elaina finally lets the tears come, and she begins to sob. She cries out for help from Jesus with the faith of a ten-year-old heart.

Suddenly, she feels a little arm around her waist and a soothing voice softly speaking to her.

"Don't cry, Sissy. Don't cry. Remember, you have to stay strong."

*This is inspired by a true event, as my son and his wife are getting a divorce. My oldest granddaughter has expressed her feelings to me and I have written this for her to read one day.

Elaina is ten years old, but her intelligence and vocabulary is that of a much older child.

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This article has been read 318 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/06/14
Your story has touched me deeply. I'm fortunate not to have ever felt that, my mom and dad were married and loved each other until he died. But, my sister went through this with her children, and I could see their faces as I was reading this well written, poignant and somber story.

The faith of a child is "powerful" in Christ, and her crying out to the Lord, is so tender. That a child of that age knows the Lord so intimately, is a gift in itself.

I pray that things will settle into a peaceful understanding for your grandchildren. They are so fortunate to have a Nana that loves them so much, and has not only opened her heart to them, but her home as well. God will bless you abundantly for your loving actions.

Thank you for sharing your story. And, that you will share this with your grandchild one day is affirming in itself, she'll be able to see how her faith brought her through her heartache.

You're in my prayers as always my friend.

God bless you all~
C D Swanson 02/06/14
Oh, and I want to add. I loved this entry and I pray it does well with the judges.

God bless~
Linda Goergen02/07/14
I am so sorry that this is based on a personal family experience. Divorce is often worse than a death. I am thankful your granddaughters are “bookends” that are leaning on each other and most importantly on Jesus. How wonderful that this touching and well written story will be saved for your granddaughter. May God bless and strengthen you all.
Ellen Carr 02/07/14
This is a touching and beautifully written story, especially moving as it is based on a true situation. Your granddaughters are blessed to have a grandmother who loves them and supports them at this time. May God bless you all.
Toni Hammer02/08/14
I was 6 when my parents got divorced and, though my sister is my twin, I took on the "sister's keeper" role. Our lives have turned out very differently and I attribute the differences to the fact that I place my hope in Jesus.

I felt Elaina's struggle as I read this piece. Perfectly poignant.
Colin Swann02/10/14
A touching story with good content. Well written and composed. Thanks!
Wendy B McLain 02/10/14
Heart gripping to be sure. Your family will be in my prayers Lynn. Praise God, your grandchildren know the Lord! It won't be an easy road and I pray as they get older they'll cling to Jesus.

God bless~
LaVonne Wood 02/11/14
If only we all had the faith of a 10 year old! Maybe you could even say, the enormous faith of a ten-year old, or something like that.

My prayer is that this divorce will not last and the two will be reconciled. It has happened before. Someone must have faith for this child to know Jesus like she does. Never give up, I'd say.

Very good entry. Blessings, LaVonne
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/13/14
Congratulations on ranking 31 overall! Happy Dance!