Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: End (02/13/06)
TITLE: The End's Beginning
By L.M. Lee
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“Please, mommy, read it one more time,” I begged. “Please, just one more time! I promise I’ll wake up on time for school.”
“Now, sweetie, we agreed we’d read the book and then you’d go to sleep,” mom reminded me.
“But mom, please!” I whined batting my eyes pleading for a retraction.
Instead I got a gentle kiss on my forehead, the covers pulled tight and the light switched off.
“You just don’t love me,” I pouted sticking out my bottom lip as I turned over and stared at the bedroom wall until I fell sound asleep.
That was my first memory of things actually ending. From that point on, endings became a regular part of my life.
I remember in high school working on a class play. We spent hours rehearsing, building sets, making costumes and developing what I thought would be lasting friendships. But it ended. Opening night slid into two other weekend performances and then it was over. I was depressed for weeks.
Soon I realized all of life was one series of endings after another. That thought left me so cynical that every new project I found myself involved in, I only partially committed to. I didn’t want to experience the emotional drain of another ending.
Some endings are good. The end of a long childbirth or a particularly difficult work situation can be rewarding. Those endings I found to be exhilarating. I actually longed for those endings. Like the song says, “someone’s ending is only another’s beginning.”
Then there are mixed emotions about endings. I remember when I coached little league sports. One season had been especially grueling. Several of the girls had parental issues. The weather had interfered on many occasions causing us to reschedule. Time after time something was always blocking our progress, yet despite all of the hassles, our team remained in first place.
When the playoffs came I was exhausted due to my work schedule and the energy of playing ball one or two times a night. Then the world series of little league came. We were playing for the title. The game was postponed three times due to rain. It took us four attempts to play the game. Finally, the ninth ending was finished and we had won! Hallelujah! This is over!
But inside all I tasted was bittersweet. Despite the hardships, obstacles and drama of coaching girls’ softball, it had all been worth it. We had won the championship! Yet it ended. No other season was like that one.
As I am older, I think a little more often on the ending of my life. Since I am a believer, there is a portion of me that longs for the heavens and the total presence of God. I will be free from this earthly toil. However this is all I have ever known. I have children. That link to future generations pulls at my heart. Like the softball season…as much as I want it to be over, I don’t want it to end.
Heaven will not end. It is the one place that we are told will last - forever. It is the only place of no endings. No regrets, no disappointments, no bittersweet moments, only joy is what we are told. That is so hard to wrap my mind around, because everything I’ve ever known has ended.
So do you think in heaven the story book will just go on and on and mommy will never close the book, kiss my cheek, turn off the light and leave…I don’t know but I’m sure willing to find out!
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