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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Life at a Glance
By George Parler


Who are you looking at, old man? I see you through the fog. The gray hair, the wrinkles, not to mention the miles; yep, lots of miles. Youíve been traveling so long; do you even remember where you came from? Yeah, of course you do. Let me wipe this mirror so I can see you better, old boy. There you are; Iíd know that face anywhere. Your eyes arenít as empty as they used to be. Thank God for that.

Whereís that scared little boy we know? Ah, there you are. Donít be afraid; you know I wonít hurt you. Come out into the light where I can see you better. I havenít seen you in a long time, although I still feel you around sometimes. Yes, I know youíve been hanging around in the shadows. Iíve kept folks away from you; I know how shy you are. I remember you being so quiet that you couldnít lead a silent prayer. Donít worry though; I do the talking now. Iíve gotten pretty good at it, too. Most folks never know youíre there, but I do. How could I forget you; weíve been through so much together. Shhh Ö. Donít cry. Those bad days are over, for good. I promise. For someone to get to you they would have to go through our God and me first. So donít you worry; He knows our name.

Oh, look Ö thereís that young groom. You were nervous about that wedding day, huh? But arenít you glad you didnít let those cold feet rob you of the best thing to happen in your life, except for God, of course. Thereís not a day goes by that I donít thank the Lord that you stuck it out. Where would we be without her? I donít even want to think about that.

Well, look who just showed up! Hi, Mr. Dad. Holding your daughter for the first time changed everything, didnít it? A life out of love. My heart races just remembering looking down into that little face. Yes, I remember you trying to keep the nurses from seeing the tears in your eyes. You werenít as macho as you thought, were you? The entire world changed when you became a dad. Remember how you struggled turning loose of that wild, self-centered musician, but I am so glad you did.

Whoís that longhaired bearded fellow on the back pew? Look at him; heís bawling like a baby with a death grip on that pew. Yeah, you just thought you were going to leave the same way you came. Even though the alter call had closed, you learned how the power of a song in Christ can penetrate a heart of stone. Turned your world upside down; didnít He? But, oh, how much lighter and complete you felt that day. Even though you learned to walk by faith and not by sight or feelings, didnít it feel wonderful? I get goose bumps just remembering that day.

Is that wedding bells? Yeah, look at you in your suit walking your baby girl down the isle. Didnít seem like she shouldíve been old enough for that yet, but working away from home so much allowed her to grow up fast. And there you were with tears again. The Lord sure turned you into big crybaby, didnít He? Thereís nothing to be ashamed about, trust me. These eyes stay lubricated and for all the right reasons. But you did have regrets, didnít you? Missing so many of the important things with your family, telling yourself you were trying to make a better life for them. Did you? Would things have been better being home more and bringing home less? I guess weíll never know now.

Well guys Iím going to have to finish getting dressed. Going to visit the grandkids. They need to see their Paw-paw Ö the truth of the matter is their Paw-paw needs to see them. Of course they know that they have me wrapped around their finger, but I donít mind. Iím doing my best to teach them the things weíve learned together. What curves to avoid in life, which roads are the hardest and most importantly which one is the straight and narrow.

I canít wait to see what God has in store for the rest of my life on earth, so step up to the line boys, and Iíll race you to the end.

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This article has been read 1132 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/22/06
This is like a slideshow view of this man's life--I really like this unique approach.

One minor spelling glitch: "aisle" instead of "isle" (unless she's getting married on a tiny island).

This is clever, unique, and very creative.
Edy T Johnson 06/22/06
"Unique" doesn't seem an adequate word to describe this wonderful conversation between "me, myself, and I" that you have written. This is just so delightfully clever. A reader can't help but fall in love with this fellow, as his story unfolds.
Lynda Schultz 06/23/06
What a wonderful POV. Enjoyed this very much. One other little "glitch". Should be altar not "alter", although responding to the altar call does alter one's life! Good job.
Rita Garcia06/25/06
Creative, unique, wish I could find the perfect word. The honesty, the openess of this life through the looking glass!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/26/06
This is amazing. You smoothly covered the emotions of a lifetime in 750 words. Beautiful job.
Sherry Wendling06/26/06
George, this is exquisite! What a powerful, natural voice you've developed here; I was absorbing rather than merely 'reading,' it's so strong. (I hear guys really do talk to themselves like this--remember "The Truman Show?") Wonderful piece!
Ann Grover06/26/06
Brilliant and clever. Very well written.

(some missing commas in the last two paragraphs... "Well, guys,..." and "...the line, boys." Just a minor oversight; you have direct address nailed in the other places.)

I really enjoyed this... really got a sense of a life well lived.
terri tiffany06/26/06
Boo hoo! Very nice, very touching... you hit it right on the nail in your descriptions of the wedding and the church scene. Nice style!
Pat Guy 06/26/06
Wow George! I ab-so-lute-ly love this! It IS brilliant! Who cares about those tiny little glitches! I hope you do something about this one!
Kimberly Mitchell06/26/06
Tell me please...where did you learn how to write? This is really good. :)
Anita Neuman06/26/06
George, I LOVE this! What a creative, introspective approach! Your vulnerability makes this piece so real and endearing. I love the crybaby line. The whole thing was so touching and nostalgic. Great job!
Marty Wellington 06/26/06
Terrific, introspective way to look at one's life. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Jan Ross06/26/06
The title fits -- Life at a Glance -- and it sums up the story written so well. I loved it. Thank you! :)
T. F. Chezum06/26/06
This is very well done. I enjoyed the unigue POV. The title was perfect.
dub W06/27/06
Loved the approach, like a movie or slideshow tracing the man. Great writing. Hope it wins more than a mention.
Trina Courtenay06/27/06
George, I'm with dub, hope this places. As I read through the entries I end up letting more than a few know "they are my favorite" this week. But some weeks that's just how it is...and you are one of my favorites. I loved the line...couldn't lead a silent prayer...I've been there.

Garnet Miller 06/27/06
Great story. Life's snapshots can be interesting can't they? Good work.
Shari Armstrong 06/28/06
Wonderful - I loved going step by step - creatively done!