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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)

TITLE: Locks of Love
By Sandra Fischer
03/12/06


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Janice Larsen placed her cup of tea on the table by her rocking chair and took a deep breath. Her hands caressed the small wooden chest on her lap, fingers tracing the heart-shaped keyhole. A whispered prayer for God’s strength passed her lips. She was ready.

“I won’t cry this time,” she spoke to the silence of the room.

Yet, as she turned the key in the lock, she could feel her eyes burning and the tempo of her heart rising. It was the same ritual she had performed on every Mother’s Day for 23 years.

“By now, I should be free. . .”

But, each year brought new speculations and tears were always part of them.

She lifted the lid and found the precious cargo from her past just as she had left it the year before. She took the small plastic-coated bracelet out first, yellowed by the years. The ink on the paper inside had faded, but she could still read the name “Stovall”,
her maiden name, handwritten next to a pink bear sticker. Underneath was written the date and birth weight of the baby girl who had worn the bracelet.

“Hannah.” The name spilled from her lips. “I would have named you Hannah.”

She laid the bracelet on the table, and took a sip of tea.

“No rush. I don’t have to make dinner for anyone else or hurry to put things away before Ned gets home from church calls. He never liked my talking about the baby, nor spending any time ruminating over the past.”

“Give it to God,” he had said. “He can heal you of the deepest hurts; just trust Him and let it go. It’s over – each time you think of that baby, you are stirring up the horror of it all.”

She had loved him and she truly missed him. He had come into her life when she had felt so worthless and ruined. He had treated her with the love Christ had shown the church, cherishing her as untainted and pure. It seemed selfish to think, in a way, but Mother’s Days were much easier for her to devote to thoughts of her child since Ned’s death.

She put her cup down and took out another item, an envelope with a square of tissue paper neatly folded inside. Tenderly, she lay open the tissue and carefully picked up two small locks of hair, held together by a pink satin ribbon. No dam of resolve was great enough to hold back the tears now, which streamed down her cheeks as she touched the dark silk.

“So soft, so precious. . . part of you and part of me. Did I do right the right thing? Where are you now?”

She sobbed out question after question as she did every year and, as always, the answers were locked away in God’s treasure box, kept from her until He was ready to reveal them. Finally, she yielded to His sovereignty and began to thank Him.

“Thank you for protecting my baby and me from disease. Thank you for providing a loving family to adopt my daughter. Thank you, that, although the rapist who impregnated me was never caught, you know who he is and will deal with him righteously and justly. Thank you that I did not take the advice of others to abort the baby. Thank you for providing a godly husband who married me in spite of knowing this about my past. Thank you for my daughter wherever she may be at this moment. Thank you that you are with me always, even when I am alone.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

The young woman gazed at her reflection in the mirror. She ran her fingers through her long, shiny hair.

“Just like black corn silk,” her father always said. “That’s how it was when we first saw you – never saw such beautiful locks.”

“I wonder what color your hair is. Is it like mine? I wonder if you ever think of me as I do of you every Mother’s Day. Oh, I am grateful for the mom and dad who chose to adopt me, but I am so thankful, too, for you. . . without your giving birth to me I would not be here at all. Thank you, mother, wherever you are, for loving me enough to give me life.”


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This article has been read 1204 times
Member Comments
Member Date
James Clem 03/13/06
Nicely done... the pain will never go away. Her name IS Hannah!
david grant03/15/06
Life! Thank God our parents chose life for us!

Virginia Gorg03/16/06
This was very well done. I'm sure the loss of giving up a child always remains. Would have been cute if the girl's name was Anna :)
Jessica Schmit03/16/06
I had chills and tears! Great accomplishment. This was a beautiful story. One that needs to continue. (Please?!) Great job!
Mary Alice Bowles03/16/06
I loved the story!
Very well written, Good Job!
Helen Paynter03/17/06
Yes, this was beautifully done
Jan Ackerson 04/26/06
I don't know how I missed this the first time around. I've been looking for stories to use for the Front Page showcase and this one leapt out at me. Look for it on FW home page for the week of May 29. Thanks for this beautifully written and moving story.
Sherry Wendling05/29/06
Absolutely lovely! Your prose flows as gracefully and graciously as your heart. I hope you're inspired to write another about how God brings mother and daughter together!
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/29/06
Beautiful!
melinda dean05/30/06
I really enjoyed this article. I'd like to know if the birth mother and the daughter find each other somehow. It was very touching.
D Stroup06/01/06
Your article moved me. The mother's sorrow was evident. You were very good with details. I could picture the scene easily. Good work.
Sara O Rodriguez06/01/06
You left me wanting more! I'm always one for a happy ending, especially in such a sad story. Thank you, it's beautiful
Roni Luther06/04/06
This was a great piece of writing! I wanted to read more! Loved it ! I was adopted at 3 yrs. old at a time when it was VERY hard for single women to be have a child. I was born in a home for unwed mothers. Hope to see a book from you on this writng you've done!!!!!