Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: It’s Christmas Day (in the present or living memory) (11/27/08)
TITLE: A Twilight Boat Ride
By Stephanie Bullard
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But now, itâ€™s Christmas day. And I am eleven years old. And everything is wrong. My whole family is not with us in this magical place where we spend every Christmas: only me and my brother are here. My mom, my dad, my baby sister, and my thoughts are all back in a hospital room in Ohio where Kristin, my big sister, my hero, biggest Billy Goat and frog-catcher extreme, is having surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. I donâ€™t want to be in Pennsylvania. I donâ€™t want to be at Grandmaâ€™s. I donâ€™t want to have fun and whenever I start having it, I feel guilty. But no one asked me. I am eleven and my parents want my Christmas to be as normal and happy as possible; they donâ€™t want me to worry or hang out in a hospital. So they send me and my brother with Grandma. My brother is five, clueless and happy and thatâ€™s good. And my Grandma tries to make things as fun as possible. But itâ€™s not the same. My sister isnâ€™t with me. Sheâ€™s in a hospital. I canâ€™t have fun.
The weather is mild and we go out for a boat ride, just my Grandma and me. The colors of the evening sky and the trees are reflected in the pond. Everything seems to be that pinky-orange color that twilight often paints things. Even now, I am a writer; feelings and emotions that are bottled up need to come out; at this age, they often come out in the form of a poem. The poem I write that night has nothing to do with my sadness; nothing to do with Christmas, or my sister, hospitals or being eleven. It is simply about my boat ride with my Grandma. And even in that sad Christmas, a wonderful thing happens; for I do not know if any other poem I have ever written has ever made anyone so happy as that poem makes my Grandma. Itâ€™s Christmas day. And I am eleven years old. And it is bitter-sweet.
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