Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: RAIN (04/18/19)
TITLE: The Perfect Garden
By Vicky Jeter
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As Celia’s grandmother struggled with each breath, she remembered the stories shared of better times.
She came to live with her grandmother upon the death of her parents in a horrible wagon accident. Her baby brother and her parents died instantly but she was thrown clear.
Having never met her grandmother before, fear gripped her 5-year-old heart. She clutched her little cloth doll and started a new life.
“Grandma, I’m here”, she said upon looking at her feeble state.
When grandma was young she was married briefly. He was demanding and hated it when she was happy.
The story that brought her the most pain was that of a garden she planted, with roses that came from her beloved sister shortly after her death.
Shelley and grandma lived different lives. Shelley had married a Godly man and her life was picture perfect. But when Shelley was expecting her first child, she got the fever and died along with the baby.
The funeral was so sad and grandmother would often cry when she talked of it.
As the story goes, the roses came directly from Shelley’s beautiful garden. Her husband, Matthew had just showed up one day with 10 rose plants. But grandma’s husband became very angry.
Grandmother would smile when she told me that Matthew helped her right then and there plant them all.
Every day she tended the roses. But one day, after rising, she found a horrible site. Someone had torn out each bush and cut them up into tiny pieces.
Celia could not imagine this happening to her sweet loving, tenderhearted grandmother and to think that it was her very own husband that did this to her.
Celia knew what she would do for her grandmothers’ last days.
With the help of her neighbors, she was able to buy and plant four beautiful rose bushes. But because of the sweltering heat, they were not going to make it.
In just a matter of 24 hours the leaves hung tightly to the branches and it looked as if these beautiful bushes were weeping as if they, too, had been told the story so long ago.
Celia would bring water from the well but it wouldn’t help them.
The shock of the transplanting and the sweltering heat was devastating.
As Celia sat on a rock by the garden, she got off and fell down on her knees. With all the faith and trust she could gather, she prayed, “Father you have created the worlds and everything in it. Today I ask you to bring life back to these rose bushes and show my grandmother that she doesn’t have to weep any longer. Show her once and for all that Your love is greater than anything anyone can do to us in our life time.”
As Celia looked up she saw a dark ominous thundercloud hovering over their little farm and all at once it let loose.
Celia ran for cover.
She ran into the old farmhouse and closed the window where her grandmother lay. Through the window she saw the rain pounding the ground and when she turned to look at grandma she saw her breathing become normal.
The night had come and Celia believed that whatever happened would be ok. She wanted her grandmother to know how much she loved her by giving her one last gift.
Her grandmother went into a coma that night. The doctor just shook his head. She would most likely never regain consciousness.
Celia sat by her grandmother, telling her the stories that grandmother told her all those years, long ago. Sometimes Celia would think she saw a smile on grandma’s face.
A month passed quickly and the rose bushes had blossomed from the daily morning rain God brought. They were now covered in blooms. But grandmother’s eyes remained shut.
Then one Sunday morning Celia heard a faint voice and it was grandma. She said she was dreaming and saw a rose garden.
Celia smiled as she opened the curtain by grandma’s bed and said, “You weren’t dreaming grandma!”
Her Grandmother, with tears running down her face, shouted, “Celia, thank you, oh thank you, they are beautiful!”
Grandmother lived another year and Celia knew that God wanted her to enjoy her life for just a little longer.
That day would leave a story that Celia would tell her children and grandchildren for years to come.
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