Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Day and Night (07/10/14)
- TITLE: Antiques and Attitudes
By Tisha Martin
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I scowled at my brother shuffling around the soggy, box-filled garage. “Ezra, get the rest of the stuff under the vintage tent. It’s gonna get ruined!”
Ezra waggled his head, mocking my words. I fumed, grabbed his shoulder, and pushed him toward the sliding door.
Pulling dripping 1950s Saks Fifth Avenue pumps from the plastic shoe box, I set them across the top and hoped the fans would dry them quickly.
I clinched my teeth. The value of my vintage items was ruined. The rain was the dark enemy, bringing destruction to our biggest Saturday afternoon garage sale that involved five neighboring towns along Route 66.
My brothers, Amos and Silas, came in and began nosing around. “Hey, can I have this?” Amos held up an electric Gillette razor that probably needed a new motor.
“Put that back. Get back out there and bring more stuff.”
Mom stared at me from across the garage as they left. “Calm down. They’re working just as hard.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Mom,” Silas said, poking his head through the open sliding door. “Dad said Paul has a fever.”
We kids followed Mom into the living room.
Little Paul, leaning against Dad’s broad chest, whimpered and wheezed. Everyone gathered to sympathize.
“Paul!” Mom scooped him into her arms just as his eyes rolled back into his head, his body limp, unconscious. “Somebody call 911! He’s not breathing!” She rushed him into the kitchen, laid him on the floor, and began resuscitation.
Dialing 911, I heard Dad. “Paul, breathe!” He leaned over the counter where Mom crouched over Paul.
My heart wrenched at the painful sights: Dad’s rare tears. Mom’s fervent CPR. Six siblings, ages eleven to twenty-one, sobbing.
The mounting cries became so loud I had to go into the bathroom and shut the door to hear the dispatcher. “We need an ambulance. My brother’s not breathing.”
“Is someone performing CPR?”
“Mom is, but it’s not working.”
“An ambulance is on the way.”
He kept asking questions, for which I could offer no answers. I handed the phone to Dad, stumbled into the living room, and vaguely heard him say Mom and my sister were on their way to the ER.
My heart heavy, I sank face down on my knees and tried to pray. I thought my little brother would die.
Scattered throughout the room, my siblings’ wails rang in my ears.
I don’t know how long the cries continued until I heard the patter of bare feet across the floor. I caught the blur of eleven-year-old Savannah’s feet. The front door slammed.
I lay on the floor, struggling between the realization that I needed to comfort her and the paralyzing grief that overpowered me, making it difficult to move.
But I had to.
Rain speckled my glasses as I ran out of the house, across the driveway. “Savannah!” Catching up with her, I said, “God’s gonna take care of Paul.”
She just wrapped her arms around her middle while I hugged her.
“Let’s get back to the house. It’s cold out here.” My flip-flops slapped against my feet.
When I started to pray out loud, I could get no further than “Dear Lord, please be with Paul.”
God stopped me.
How could I pray for my little brother when such a dark attitude toward my family did not meet God’s standard? I thought back to the many hours I’d holed up in that garage-turned-eBay room, selling stuff online. I’d ignored prompts from the Holy Spirit to spend time with my family and enjoy what they enjoyed. Shuddering, I squeezed Savannah closer, and asked God to forgive me.
Gathered around my family, we begged God to grant wisdom to the ER personnel to know how to care for Paul. I sensed a growing oneness that I hadn’t felt in a long time.
Around eight o’clock that evening, Dad sat down in his easy chair. “Mom just called.”
We crowded around him like a nest of baby birds, hungry for his news.
“She said Paul’s breathing is stabilized. He had some kind of seizure, I guess. They’re getting ready to transfer him to the Springfield hospital to watch him overnight.”
A ragged sigh of relief escaped my mouth.
My family was still here, all nine of them. I thought about the treasured vintage collection scattered around the soggy garage.
I sighed again, this time convinced that, while the antiques were ruined, my dark attitude was on the way to being gloriously repaired.
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