Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)
- TITLE: Gone but not Forgotten
By Cynthia G. Peoples
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March 5th, 1929 – March 1st, 2013
Gone but not Forgotten
Destiny kneeled down in the damp grass. Tears slid down both cheeks, and she placed a single rose on the grave. “Hi, grandma,” she whispered, “I’m so sorry I didn’t visit more often! I wanted to, but it just wasn’t possible.”
Sobbing loudly now, Destiny dropped her head in her hands and leaned over the grave. She cried until there were no tears left, then stood, and walked over and sat down on a concrete bench. She leaned back, closed her eyes, and remembered.
Five year old Destiny was cuddled up in grandma’s lap, sitting in an old rocking chair. The scent of lavender filled Destiny’s nostrils, and she listened quietly as grandma read to her. It was the story of Jonah and the whale. They rocked gently back and forth until the story was over. “Read another one, grandma,” “Please!”
“One more,” said grandma, “Then we have to get busy. I’ve got to cook some supper.”
“Go fetch one from the bookshelf, while I go check on the beans.”
Destiny nodded and took off running to the other room to get another book. She stood in front of the old wooden book shelf. There were four shelves, and each one was covered with fragile lace. Most of the books sat upright between two bookends, but the books on the bottom shelf were scattered about haphazardly.
Destiny sat down cross-legged, on the floor. She began picking up the books one by one, and stood them up but they kept falling down again. “Grandma,” she hollered, “Why don’t these books have bookends too?”
Grandma came walking into the room. “I packed them up” she said. “Someday those books will belong to you.”
“Oh boy,” shouted Destiny, “You mean I can have all of these?”
“Yes, my child,” said grandma. “Those are all the bible story books we’ve been reading since you were very, very, little. Hopefully, you will read them to your children and grandchildren someday, and remember me, even after I’m gone.”
“Where are you going?”
“Well, someday, little one, I’m going home to heaven to be with Jesus.”
“Can I go too?”
“You sure can, sweetheart, and I’m counting on it. Just always remember that there is just one way to go to heaven and that is to trust Jesus to get you there.”
“Okay,” said Destiny, “I’ll remember.”
Destiny got up from the concrete bench and walked back over to the gravesite. “Bye, grandma,” she said softly, “I’ll never forget you.” She turned and walked back through the cemetery gates, got in her car and drove to the airport.
When she got home, she checked her mail and there was a card notifying her of a package being held for her at the post office. She couldn’t imagine what it might be, she wasn’t expecting anything. But she went ahead and drove on over to the post office, anyway.
“Box 17, please,” Destiny told the postmaster.
“Okay, be right back,” he replied.
“Here it is,” he said and placed the box on the counter. “It’s heavy; do you want me to carry it out for you?”
“Yes, please.” She said. “I’d appreciate that.”
Destiny opened the door for him and led him to her car. “You can just sit it here on the backseat,” she said, “I think it will be easier for me to unload it from here.” She opened the car door and he sat the big box in the seat and closed the car door.
When Destiny got home, she struggled to get the box out of the car, but finally managed. She opened it up, and inside were the books grandma had promised her, a long time ago. At the very bottom were two wooden cross bookends. Engraved on each one were the words, “Gone but not Forgotten”
Destiny gasped and remembered Grandma’s words; “The only way to get to heaven is to trust in Jesus to get you there.” ........
“I will trust him, grandma!” Destiny cried, “I promise, and I will see you in heaven someday!”
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