Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FRAGILE (02/23/17)
- TITLE: A Beautiful Thing
By Marina Rojas
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“Curiosity killed the cat,” my grandmother’s voice boomed across the vacant hallway. I jumped straight up, just like a cat who had been caught at something they weren’t supposed to be doing.
I hung my head in shame and turned to walk away.
“So? What were you doing? Just had to take a look at her, ‘eh?” Mamaw’s voice held no animosity as she just stated fact. “Well, go ahead then, take a gander. She doesn’t bite.” SHe leaned in close to my ear and whispered, “She’s fragile, you know. She’s so fragile. Don’t be wearing her out, now.”
I hesitated but finally got up the guts to take a few steps into the room. It smelled like roses somehow. Everything seemed so dark and dreary. The curtains were closed and just a small lamp illuminated the room. I stepped closer to the bed, unsure of what I would see when I finally got to look at her face.
As I silently moved to the side of the mattress I realized that she was staring at me as I was making my way towards her. I marveled that her big green eyes were a match to mine, and her face was quite pleasant although she was not smiling.
“Hello then. Here I am. What are you wanting?” Her words were clear but spoken in a soft undertone. She didn’t seem upset, or angry or sad even. I was surprised and I didn’t respond.
“What’s the matter, Child? Have you never seen anyone who was dying before? Don’t be afraid. I’m not going to take you with me.”
The words startled me back to reality.
“I’m so sorry,” I answered, “I just….I had heard you were here and I wanted to see what it was like. I wanted to understand…” She held up her hand and stopped me.
I looked at her and tried to recognize familiarities from bygone encounters. She was my youngest aunt. My mother’s best friend. They had sat together sipping coffee and laughing for days on end. And when they laughed together, all of us around them joined in. When things were sad we had all cried together too. I had never told her I loved her, but I loved the way she made my mother laugh. I loved the way she held my mother when my mother cried. And I loved that she loved us.
But here she was, at the end of her life, bundled up in blankets and crocheted shawls and she was only spoken of in whispers downstairs.
“My darling, they will tell you I’m fragile. Well, I’m not fragile. I am ready. Determined. Willing and able to go home. I’m going home to Jesus. I’ll fly away, Oh Glory! I’ll fly away!” Her voice resonated with the laughter I remembered from years past. She caught my hand on the edge of the bed and pulled it towards her, patting me lightly.
“I promise you, my sweet girl, that if you follow Jesus, He will take all of the fragile parts of your life and make them strong as steel. He will turn your failures into lessons of love, and them, He will bring you home one day. It’s magnificent!” She almost sat up in the bed with the excitement from so beautifully evangelizing the gospel.
I stayed in the room with her for a while, just letting her hold my hand and listening to her talk about Jesus. She was dying from cancer, they had told me. There was no hope.
It was about two weeks later that this fragile tiny woman left that room and walked to the kitchen to make breakfast. Jesus had decided she had more time to serve on this planet, she said. The cancer was gone she said. Everyone was amazed when the doctors confirmed it was true. A complete healing, no trace of the vile disease anywhere.
Cut from God’s fragile steel, it was a beautiful thing to have seen.
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