Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ENTERTAIN (04/27/17)
TITLE: I Will Walk on Water
By Amy Gaudette
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I wait. Twenty-six minutes and Cathy will be here. I feel my heart beating a little bit faster. My eyes are fixed on the clock. It's amazing what games one can imagine when one has only their eyes that are mobile, and only slightly mobile at that. I have mastered the timing of sixty seconds in an minute. I can count it out perfectly every time, and if I am waiting for someone or something, like lunch, I can count down, or up, accurately. Time. I have plenty of that.
Five minutes! Cathy is never late. Oh, here comes Mom. A quick kiss on the lips and my chair rides smoothly over our hard wood floor to sit me in front of the TV. I hate the TV. Unfortunately, I am unable to communicate that to anyone but Cathy. She is the best caregiver I have had yet. If she stopped coming . . . I don't want to think about it.
Cathy's here. I drool a little bit more than usual. A big kiss from my friend, off Mom goes to work, and here comes the napkin. Thanks, Cathy. She is already singing. I am never embarrassed with her around. She makes me feel good. She sings, dances through the kitchen, washes my dry face and hands with a special herbal recipe that alleviates the pain, and she even prays with me. I am never bored during the day. Cathy also knows my favorite thing to do and off we go.
My wheels stroll effortlessly out the screen door. Ah, the lilacs have opened. What a wonderful, powerful, almost intoxicating fragrance. Cathy smiles, and inside I am smiling too. We share this special moment. She moves to pick a blossom and places it in my pale, limp hand. I am alive with delight.
Our moment is interrupted by a car door slamming. I can tell by the sound of her quickly clicking heels it is Aunt Edith. A towering lady of 'good breeding' as she likes to describe herself. We get all the updated gossip from one side of the tracks to the other as she sips tea with Cathy. Not taking a moment to breathe, she downloads her information as quick as a computer.
I get my two pats on the cheek from a cold hand, then the sigh and . . . “What a shame. She had such promise before her accident. Now look, front porch light is on but no one is home. Why don't you at least sit her in front of the TV? Give her something to do.” Her high pitched voice does not penetrate my refuge. My refuge is in Him, and He has given me eyes to see His goodness in the land of the living.
All around me life leaps and dances, and shouts its existence, a hummingbird sipping then darting away only to return with its mate. A white-throated sparrow perched in the old apple tree, its sweet melody lingering with me for hours, dandelion seeds being swept by the wind, out of their nest to look for a soft, fertile piece of earth to call their own. One delight after another. I do not need a TV, or radio, or even endless babbling conversation.
My body may be still, but my mind is very much alive. Cathy reads to me later, and I am stranded on an island with the Robinsons. I battle the cold biting water and survive. I climb trees and provide food for my family on this deserted island.
Do not feel sorry for me. My time on this earth is but a moment, a blip on the time chart of humanity. This is my life, graciously given by the hand of God and I will live each moment to the fullest. Neither my spirit nor my mind is damaged. I sing, dance and maybe tomorrow, I will paint the ceiling of a great cathedral, or . . . I will jump out of my wheelchair, kick off my shoes and I will walk on water.
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