Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)
- TITLE: Our Stairway To Heaven
By Wendy B McLain
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“Great Gram I’m here, can I help you to your room?” I asked. She reached her thin frail arms out and waited for my embrace. I helped her up from the rocker and gently led the way —baby steps down the hall and into her room. “Would you like to sit in a chair by the window here in your room for awhile?” “No, Susie dear,” she sighed “I’m feeling a bit tired. I’ll lay down on my bed now.”
Great Gram reached over from where she laid feeling for her tattered bible that rested next to Great Grandpa’s picture on the nightstand. “Susie honey,” she feebly called, “I can’t find my bible do you know where it is?” “Here it is,” I replied. She held her shaking hands out to receive the treasure she so dearly prized as I gently placed it in her hands. She pulled it close to her chest and hugged it tight as tears began trickling down her aged cheeks.
A quizzical look came on her face, “have you seen Papa and Papa 2 roaming around? I saw them walking together earlier today. Do you know where they are?” she asked. I remember the day Great Gram told Great Grandpa, “the Lord’s always been my ‘Papa’ and then he gave me you ‘Papa 2’.
She doted over Great Grandpa. He died five years ago when he caught a bout of pneumonia. Great Gram lost her sight when she was 95 so Great Grandpa would tenderly open the pages of her well-worn bible and read to her at the end of each day. Yeah, she’s sure been smitten with her Papa and Papa 2.
“Great Gram, Papa 2’s in heaven with Papa!” I exuberantly replied. “Would you like me to read something from your bible to you tonight.” I assumed her tears were the result of recalling fond memories of Great Grandpa’s reading to her in the evening.
I remember one year he bought the most beautiful pair of bookends for Great Gram’s birthday. A golden staircase that spiraled upward toward heaven bordered with the most vibrant colored flowers and brilliant shining stones I’d ever seen. An inscription was etched into a pearl plate that read ‘Our Stairway to Heaven’.
When Great Grandpa died Great Gram brought one of those bookends to the funeral and laid it on his chest in the coffin. As tears flowed from her eyes, she softly whispered, “Until we meet again, you hold onto to the other end of 'Our Stairway To Heaven'.”
As I sat there reminiscing, I was looking right at the bookend that sat on Great Gram’s dresser. “Wait, there’s two there. How is that possible?” I thought.
I glanced over at Great Gram. Her bible was clenched to her chest and she had the most serene look on her face. “Great Gram?” I queried. There was no reply. She had climbed her side of the stairway and was home with 'Papa and Papa 2'.
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