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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: Not As the Leaves Fall, But As I Lead
By Wilma Schlegel


The trickling warmth felt so soothing. That’s what Ronnie needed, what she sought. The refreshing water poured over her hands. She splashed and smoothed some on her face; that felt good, too. The tears that had managed to escape down her cheeks had dried in stiff little trails that she wiped away now. She took an extra few moments to smooth her wind-mussed hair, to study her reflection and to think. All these years, all she’d given...

Back outside, she chose the trail closest to the lake. The R.V. park was large and rambled all around this lake that it was named for. This was the last weekend it’d be open until the spring and Ted had been excited to get out camping one last time for the season. Now they were breaking camp, but she was walking. A golf cart was moving toward her, the staff members inside smiling. The staff had been especially happy and helpful this weekend, probably a mix of knowing they soon had time off and knowing there was a storm coming in.

Ronnie’s personal storm had already hit.

As the golf cart passed, the older fellow inside smiled at her and said, “That wind’s kickin’ up already!”

She swallowed back a lump, nodded and smiled back. How good it felt to be smiled at. How it helped her wounded place inside.

Onward she walked, drawn to the lake. She wanted more soothing and knew she could find it beside those shimmering waters. Down to the edge with water lapping near her feet, Ronnie leaned heavily against a tree and thought back over the weekend.

The tiny, little hand of her granddaughter reaching for her, the child’s little legs running toward her. The sweet child’s little fingers grasping Ronnie’s and pulling her along. The way the little one sat contentedly on Ronnie’s lap voicing toddler syllables near her ears; the way she smiled, laughed and played with her Gran, Ronnie. Ronnie’s heart swelled and warmed.

And then, this morning, her granddaughter was running - toward her - and she toppled over her Mama’s feet.

“Giselle!” her mama cried. She threw an accusing look at Ronnie. “Why must she always run for you? Why won’t she do that for me? No, no, of course she doesn’t want me - I’m just the one who takes care of her, gets up with her, works so hard for her, always - but she just wants you.”

Her words stung. They made Ronnie feel like the enemy. Her heart broke further to not be able to reach for dear little Giselle, to help her up and comfort her, but Ronnie dared not be the one to pick her up.

And so she’d come here; alone and feeling sorry for herself.

The autumn colors were mirrored in the lake, bending and moving with the waters. The only sounds were rippling water and falling leaves. Complete beauty, complete peace.

Ronnie watched a small fleet of leaves float gracefully, if languidly, down onto the lake and she felt like her own life was floating uselessly toward its end, too.

Then she heard it.

‘The voice of the Lord is over the waters. The God of glory thunders.’

It wasn’t loud like thunder, but just as obvious and clear. “She’s your child,” it spoke to Ronnie. “Does she know you love her as much as you love her child? You adore her child, do you adore her? She loves you and she needs to know you still love her as much as always. Leave this place where you’ve met Me and go back to her. You are her mother and her friend, a blessing from Me. Show her you love her.”

Psalm 29:3a, NIV

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Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Pourbabaee 11/04/12
Your well written piece had a great message for all grandparents...we can be so enamored with the new love of grandchidren that we may have an unintentional slighting of our own children.Because this story was about personal feelings, wounds, and a direct word/reveation from the Lord, I think it might be more effective told in first person.Overall great work.