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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: Moving the Clock Back Fifty Years
By Billie Buckley


Moving the Clock Back Fifty Years

What controls your life? Hellfire and damnation preachers would say sin. Religious folks would say God. Tycoons would say power and money. Young mothers would say their children.

Now all of the above could be true, but what really controls our life is the common everyday clock. They are everywhere in our house. A few years ago I counted 13.

As I looked closely, each one of them had a different time. That didn’t bother me as long as the clock by my bed was correct. During the 32 years I taught school we carried on a long love affair. On many a cold and dark winter morning it would rudely call out to me at 5:00. I would reach for it, snuggling and patting it every ten minutes.

Granted there were times I wanted to jerk the cord out of the electric socket, throw it across the room and see it break into a thousand pieces. The clock could not be ignored. I had to deal with it.

As I write this, I have to deal with a clock in a different manner. It has to be turned back 50 years. It was probably that many years ago I locked the diary away. Today it is time to do something about it. I impatiently told myself, just put this key in the lock and open it. You can either snuggle with it or throw it across the room.

My memories are stuffed away here, safe from unrest or dissatisfaction. So, why does a 67-year of woman want to invade the privacy of a 15-year-old young girl?

Maybe it’s because we know, if we are to have a better understanding of ourselves today, we may need to find the path back to the past. My path was in the diary of a young girl.

Are you like me: Some mornings you look in the mirror and ask, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, where did I go?’ We see a stranger standing there in silence. A stranger, who doesn’t skip much anymore, but is careful to take small, cautious steps.

One who, because of her own neglect, has misplaced friends of her long ago youth. The young girls, who shared everything, are now strangers. Could the years be wiped away? Could the close friendships resume? Probably not.

The pages to my past opened by this diary are leading to the fearful fifty years high school reunion. You do know other folks have this reunion…never us. Yet, it is my time to stand up and be present at the George S. Gardner High School’s Reunion…Class of 1956 in Laurel, MS on April 28- 29, 2006. If my math is correct it is the Big 50.

I’m excited, I’m ready, and I am wondering:

Will we have nametags? Please, let there be nametags.

Will the friends I knew be carefully hidden away and forgotten?

Will there be anything to connect us after all these years?

Will they still like me? Okay, they were not all my best friends.

Will I be caught up in what they think of me or…

Will I, as a Christian, identify myself with my Lord’s interest in them?

I do have a prayer for this special time in my life: “Father, help me to reflect your love. Help me not to mess up your story. Amen…so be it.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter04/27/06
Interesting story. I felt there were two seprate parts, and the first 4 paragraphs didn't quite belong with the remainder. I enjoyed both halves, though
terri tiffany04/28/06
Some very good thougts here..wonder if it is true? As a diary writer, I could relate to the looking back and wondering who I am so many years later. Some work needed on the ending but otherwise some good writing!:)
Jan Ackerson 04/29/06
I'd really like to see an expansion of the "diary" part of this story--have the narrator opening the pages, reliving the memories, etc. The "devotional" first half was weaker, but also very thoughtful. I liked this vary much.