Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: End (02/13/06)
- TITLE: Lesson Learned
By Brenda Craig
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As I allow my thoughts to travel back through time to glean wisdom for my current situations I am reminded of one of my favorite places, Grandma’s house.
She lived in this old white farm house with a long front porch, full of rocking chairs that beckoned one outside to engage in friendly banter, as the warm breezes of summer whispered of days to come. The old barn and pond held the promise of adventures waiting to happen. This scene filled my heart with delight each and every day after school, as I stepped off the bus.
Hope invades the doubtful places of my heart as I remember the limitless, secure love that gangly ten year old felt as she put her hand on the screen door, leaving behind the frustrations of the day. Running past the bright green vinyl couch, through the dining room door straight to the old white pantry cabinet to see what leftovers it might hold, I could smell the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen, promising of things to come. I could hear her voice humming what I now know to be old hymns, praying softly under her breath, never stopping to wonder if those prayers where for me.
As I sat watching Star Trek nestled in the cozy haven of Grandma’s house, I was sure this, like heaven would never change.
This belief was shattered one day after school, as I stepped off the bus, ran through the screen door only to find my Aunt Jewel huddled on the old vinyl couch crying. Through tearful eyes, Aunt Jewel explained how the ambulance carted my grandmother away.
Gripped by fear, I ran through the house calling her name, only to find the house absent of sweet aromas and soft hymns, leading to only one conclusion, things were about to change.
Moments later my father arrived. With eyes full of worry he gathered us together in the car, beginning the longest journey I ever remember. Pondering the possibilities, I must admit I never entertained the worst case scenario.
Arriving at the hospital, oblivious to the scenery around me, I wanted nothing more than to see my grandma. I wanted to see for myself that she was ok, to know my world would not change, only to be told you’re too young. Heartbroken, I sat in the dark cold waiting room evening after evening waiting impatiently as any ten year old would.
At lunch one day my father told us Grandma would get to go home the next day. Excitement and relief washed over me as a sense of security returned once more to my life.
As we were preparing to escort Grandma home, the doctor made an appearance in the waiting room. His face was etched with deep lines of concern as he spoke with my father and the atmosphere in the room changed instantly. My father’s shoulders dropped under the weight of the shocking news. My father turned away from us, walked toward the chapel, entered, letting the door close behind him.
My heart sank. It was over. Life as I knew it had ended.
Abruptly my life went from afternoon snacks, old hymns and soft prayers to a house full of people waiting to see my grandmother at rest in the place where the old bright green couch always sat. They all espoused words of testimony to the life of a woman who never spoke an unkind word to or about anyone, unaware of my tear stained grief. Loneliness gripped my heart as I pondered life without her.
It took many years for me to glean truths from the lessons of her life. Anchorless, I drifted aimlessly about, before allowing the gifts she gave to create an open pathway to the Lord, the anchor of her soul. Her gifts of unconditional love and faith filled prayers prepared my heart to be responsive to the One she softly called on.
Her life did not end on that fateful day. It continues on in me. Her love, each time remembered, teaches anew this motivating lesson of hope; to end is to begin.
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