Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: JOY (12/07/17)
- TITLE: Missing Joy
By Sylvia Young
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â€œOh, my sweet girl,â€ I whispered, my throat clogged with emotion. â€œI miss you so much.â€
Months had gone by, and yet I couldn't clean out her room. My husband had begged me to give away her things or at least pack them up, but I'd burst into tears and he'd yield to my grief.
When I lay down on her bed, I could pretend for a moment that she might come bounding in through the door any minute and laugh at me sleeping in her tiny bed.
â€œSilly Mommy,â€ she'd tease. â€œThis is my bed.â€
I could almost hear her sweet voice.
The pillow was soaked with my tears again. â€œWhy Jesus?â€ I gasped, buried in my sorrow. â€œWhy?â€
â€œWhy is my mommy crying?â€ the little girl asked, her eyes wide with wonder.
â€œShe misses you,â€ came the soft reply.
â€œBut she knows where I am, doesn't she? And we'll see each other again really soon.â€
â€œIt doesn't feel soon to her. It feels like forever.â€
â€œBut it's not,â€ the girl insisted. â€œIt'll be any minute now.â€
He took her onto her lap, held her close and spoke with kind patience.â€œThat's the way time is here, but not on Earth.â€ He paused for a moment, taking her hand in His. â€œDo you remember when you went to camp?â€
She nodded. â€œI cried myself to sleep every night.â€
Pursing her lips a little, she thought before answering, "Because I missed my mommy.â€
â€œBut you knew you would see her again.â€ His voice was soothing, calm.
â€œWell, it was hard to remember that. It felt like it would take a really long time.â€ Her little face scrunched up tight as understanding came. â€œI see what You mean. I wish I could tell her not to be sad. I wish she knew that it'll be alright.â€
He smiled at her and pushed her hair off her forehead, bestowing a tender kiss on her brow. â€œHow about if I tell her for you?â€
â€œThat would be great!â€ she replied with a big smile, jumping down off His lap and skipping away. â€œThanks!â€
â€œMommy? Are you okay?â€ A dear voice reached my ears and pierced the fog of my sorrow.
â€œI'm fine sweetheart,â€ I answered, but my voice was strangled.
â€œWhy were you crying?â€
I couldn't lie to my small son. â€œI miss Joy.â€
â€œMe too,â€ he replied. â€œWhere is she?â€
I'd told him a hundred times already, but he wanted to hear it again. I sighed a little, pulled him into my arms and gave the pat answer. â€œShe's in heaven, darling, with Jesus.â€
â€œThen why are you sad? Isn't that a good thing?â€
I could barely see him through my tears.
â€œIt's good for her, I guess, but not for me.â€
â€œBut...we'll see her again, won't we? And then we'll all be happy.â€
I leaned over to inhale his scent. He smelled so much like Joy.
â€œCan I look at one of her books?â€ he asked, his voice tentative. I never let him in this room, so worried that he would mess something up.
â€œPlease Mommy? I'll be real careful. I promise.â€
Looking into his hopeful face, I wiped my eyes and nodded. â€œLet's read one together.â€
On Joy's bed, David pressed close to my side, and I drew comfort from him. Tears still leaked from my eyes as I read him one of my daughter's favorite books.
â€œIt was a happy story, Mommy,â€ David told me when we reached the end. â€œThe mommy found her puppy.â€
â€œYes, dear, I know.â€
â€œSo, you don't need to cry.â€
Then he did something that Joy used to do when she was his age. He got on his knees, took my face between his hands and rubbed his tiny nose against mine. There was no way he could have known that she'd done that. He had just been a baby then.
â€œIt'll be okay, Mommy,â€ he whispered. â€œEverything will be okay.â€
A warming presence enveloped my whole being like an ocean's wave, and then, finally, my heart found peace.
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