Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)
TITLE: A MOTHER'S HEART
By SYLVIA KING
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It was hard to believe momma was eighty-three years old. Recalling the "old days" was
one of her favorite things lately. Mother's Day definitely had me reminiscing over many cherished memories I had of our time together.
She had given me unconditional love, understanding, patience and many "things." But,
the summer before I started Junior High School she gave me something that even now the memory touches such a tender spot that tears come to my eyes..
Being twelve years old is an awkward state to be in; you're not a little girl but neither are you an adult. It was a summer I was to experience the sorrow of death. The only thing that dimmed the gloom was the impending birth of a new baby brother or sister.
My friends thought my life was going to be ruined by having a new baby in the family. I didn't agree. I thought it was the greatest thing possible that could be happening to me. I already had an eleven and nine year old brother and a little sister. But, for me there was still room for one more.
Everyone was very worried over mom. The death of her father and uncle in her seventh
month of pregnancy jeopardized her being able to carry the baby to full term. The more I
heard the adults talk the more anguished I became. Sometimes meaningful adults would treat me like I was too young to understand and sometimes they expected me to deal with the situation in an adult manor. I began to feel every insecurity a twelve year old can feel. Mother was trying to be calm enough to get to the delivery date and give birth to a healthy baby. It wasn't a time I wanted to risk sharing my feelings. They both had to be okay.
The morning of August 23rd Mom came in and woke me telling me it was time for the baby to come. My heart leaped in my chest and I sprang out of bed in a far more excited state than Mom. Grandma stayed with us while Aunt Alice took her on to the hospital. I called Daddy and told him to meet her there.
Instinct caused Dad to stop by the house on the way to the hospital. It was a good thing he did. The boys had climbed on the roof so they could jump off into a mattress mom had left airing. That wouldn't have been too bad but Gil got scared and couldn't jump off or climb back down the ladder. Dad was alarmed when he found Grandma climbing a ladder attempting to get him off the roof. He took the boys with him.
I grabbed the phone on the first ring. "You have a baby brother," Daddy said.. I was
overjoyed and afraid all at the same time. What if they thought I was too young too help with the baby? Would they let me hold him? Would they understand how important he was to me? It had been six year since Susie was born. Would they get out of the hospital okay? I had heard my uncle say the doctors had made a mistake with grandpa and that was why he died.
The day was a beautiful day for Mom and Timmy to come home. I wanted to go with Dad to pick them up but the boys got to go because they couldn't be trusted. Why did I have to be trustworthy?
I waited impatiently for their arrival. Finally the car came into sight and I dashed out the door. Slowly it came to stop in the driveway. Mom was holding the baby brother I could hardly wait to get my hands on. In spite of all the excitement a moment of understanding and a depth of love passed between my mother and I as she placed Timmy in my arms before she ever got out of the car. With one action she had erased a mountain of fears and insecurities. It didn't mean there wouldn't be other problems to face while growing up, but for that day my world couldn't have been more perfect.
Forty-five years have passed since that important summer day. But, today I shed tears of
gratefulness for a mother that had a heart that was sensitive enough to reach out and touch
mine and give me a memory that will never be forgotten.
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