Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)
- TITLE: Out of the Mouth of a Babe
By Pam Carlson-Hetland
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"I picked flowers for you, Auntie Fran." Abby offered a chubby fist of wilting daisies.
"Thank you, dear. Why?"
"'Cause they make me happy. They'll make you happy, too."
"I wish happiness was that easy, Abby."
Abby turned wide-set eyes to her Great Aunt. With soft curls framing a heart-shaped face, her appearance was like a cherub painted by a master.
"Are you sad? When I'm sad, my Mommy gives me kisses. Will that help?"
Frances sat down heavily in her chair, opening her arms, "Of course it will, Darlin'." Abby threw her arms around Fran's neck and planted a wet kiss on her cheek.
"You're here to keep me company today?" Frances asked. The little girl nodded.
"Mommy had to take Davey to the doctor. I walked over here all by myself." Abby was pleased with her new responsibility to traverse the distance between their homes.
"Your Aunt Mary made lemonade and cookies. Can you bring those here?" Frances asked. Abby ran to the kitchen to retrieve the awaiting items. Nibbling on ginger cookies and sipping lemonade, they chatted amiably. Frances enjoyed this diversion from the pervading gloomy thoughts about recent changes.
"Can I see your room?" Abby asked suddenly.
"I suppose so, but be careful with my things."
"I will." Abby smiled brightly as she skipped down the hall.
"It's so pretty!" She called from the other room. "Come. See!"
With great effort, Frances labored to her feet and followed the direction of her young companion's voice. The afternoon light flooded the large space. Abby circled the room examining everything on the dresser and night stand, each photograph on the wall. Frances plopped down on the corner of the bed and told the story behind each keepsake.
"It's like a treasure house in here!" Abby exclaimed.
"Yes, but it's not mine, it's my daughter's house. I had to sell my house when I couldn't live alone anymore." Fran said sadly. Abby was quiet for a few minutes, toying with a pillow.
"When Davey broke his leg and couldn't go upstairs anymore, I had to change rooms with him. I didn't want to. I was kinda scared to be alone. But Daddy painted my new room pink–that's my favorite color–and Mommy made me new curtains. And I got all my favorite things up there, just like you got in your room. Mommy says we take care of people we love when they don't feel good even if we hafta change rooms. Looks like Aunt Mary got you new curtains, too."
Fran contemplated what Abby had just said. She looked around. The room had been painted Fran's favorite color. New curtains and bedspread matched perfectly. Carefully chosen objects were strategically placed as mementoes of a full, happy life. Mary and her husband had moved their bedroom upstairs to accommodate Fran's needs. Had her sorrows and fears overshadowed the love displayed?
"Can I go outside?" Abby asked.
Fran found a warm spot to sit on the patio. Abby scampered off, returning often with discoveries: a 4-leaf clover, a fuzzy caterpillar, or flower to add to the vase of revived daisies.
"What makes you so happy, Child?" Fran asked.
"There's lots to be happy about. There's flowers an' cookies an' puppies. There's...."
"But there are sad things, too." she countered.
"I know. But when sad things happen, I just think about things that make me happy. Then sad things don't bother me so much. I'm gonna go swing."
Abby ran to the swing, hoisted herself up, and pumped the swing high. Wind frolicked in her curls and she giggled. The higher she swung, the more she laughed. With pure joy, Abby loudly sang, "Jesus loves me, this I know...."
The Spirit stirred within Frances. "Sing with her," it urged. Fran's voice joined Abby's. Their generational duet of praise lifted both the young and the old heart.
"Lord, thank you for loving me." Frances prayed. "Life may not be like I want it to be. But out of the mouth of a babe, you have reminded me that You are caring for me. That makes me happy."
Proverbs 17:22 AMP "A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."
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