Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)
TITLE: What a Pain in the Neck
By Francy Judge
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Sunday night, I couldn’t help complaining to my husband, “Work is going to be a pain in my neck tomorrow. It’s going to mess up my whole day and Jordan’s school day. Not to mention Grandma’s day since she has to baby-sit and won’t be able to paint.”
Of course Gene had to point out the obvious. “You’ll make some extra money. And maybe you’ll get to bed at a half-way decent hour. Mom doesn’t mind sitting anyway; she’s always willing to help you out.”
“Yah, yah. I know.”
I went to sleep at twelve thirty—early for me—and prayed I could handle the next twenty-four hours.
At five o’clock, the alarm rang, and I whipped my arm around to slam the snooze. I don’t know how I managed to pull my neck and shoulder muscles, but I did. This was not a good time for irony. The pain in my neck throbbed, and I had to go to work.
Every time I tried to turn my head, I groaned in pain—the mature woman that I am. Somehow I made lunches, got the boys up and out without raising my voice too, too much, and drove to work.
Surprise, surprise…the daytime receptionist was sitting at the desk, while I wore a large question mark over my head.
“Did you think I meant this Monday?”
“No, I have jury duty next Monday.”
“Okay, I got that wrong. See you tomorrow night.”
I was relieved to have the day off again, but still had to live with the pain in my neck that would probably take a week to heal.
Jordan greeted me with a big hug pulling my neck and sending a wonderful shooting volt down to my shoulder. “I’m so happy you’re home, Mommy!”
For the rest of the day, I tried rubbing my neck, lying down in different positions, even resting my shoulder on a back massager which did nothing more than numb my ears and rattle my brain.
Gene helped set the table while I served dinner. “I think you’ve mentioned that neck pain about fifty times since I got home.”
“Yah, well, it hurts. You’re a baby when you’re sick too.” I tried to keep the groans to myself the rest of the night.
At ten o’clock, I read to Jordan and tucked her in bed. Then I snuggled next to her, hoping to rest my neck so I could stay up and write. I prayed…then she prayed…
“God, please help my mommy’s neck feel better. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
That instant she said amen, I felt the pain leave my neck, as if obeying a command to walk away. I believe in the power of prayer, but still had to question what happened. Did the pain really go away or am I just imagining what I want? I gently lifted my head an inch off the pillow. No pain. I turned slightly to the left. No pain.
“Jordan, God answered your prayer. My neck’s all better.”
“I knew He would.”
I should have such faith…and stop complaining. And from now on, I’ll be careful what expressions fly out of my mouth. No more “pain in the necks” for me.
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