Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)
TITLE: Worth It?
By Jessica Schmit
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Your education, career and travel plans flew out the window when I came into your life. But I never heard you complain. Dad told me that during your pregnancy you never uttered a single word of regret. He said you took great care of yourself during those nine months. You wanted to give me the best. You did.
I remember the first day of kindergarten. I was scared of Mrs. Kerbunkt, scared of the colorful walls and scared of the kids. You sat beside me at school for an entire week. You ended up getting stuck in that little orange plastic chair. But the embarrassment of not having steel buns didn’t keep you from returning the next day. Hand in hand we walked into that classroom. You patiently waited for me to feel comfortable. But mom, you were my comfort. You were my security.
You were on the side lines, screaming to me when I scored my first soccer goal. Every other mom just stared at you. Speechless. Which was fine, considering you were doing enough screaming for the entire team. To this day Mrs. Warner attributes her hearing loss to that soccer match.
You handed me my first rose when I stepped down from the stage after my performance as “Katie, the Cucumber” in the elementary school play.
You listened to me when I told you about my first crush. You didn’t lecture me on responsible behavior, because you knew I would make the right choices. You knew because you listened. You knew because you knew me-all of me.
You helped me learn split infinitives, gravity and atoms, algebra and the history of World War II. You were the first to volunteer your “spare” time to help me with my homework, even if you didn’t have a clue about what I was learning. You relearned how to do fractions and relative pronouns.
You spent time getting to know me. You knew all of me, not just my shell. You knew my hurts, my insecurities, my struggles, my joys and what made me tick. You helped me discover my passion for swimming and were there when I won my first swim meet. You were there when I received my graduation diploma and there when I received my scholarship news.
Phone calls, e-mail and letters sustained out relationship when I went across the country to complete university. I’ll never forget the day I phoned you about my first job at the television station. I think you were more excited than I was. You ended up getting three stitches after you hit your chin smack against the corner cabinet while you were in a hurry to find dad and tell him the good news.
You helped me choose my wedding dress and were there as I threw my boutique. You held me so tight that day. Like you were afraid of loosing me.
I wish you were truly afraid of losing me mom. But you weren’t. That’s why you did it.
My life wasn’t worth giving yours up. “A life for a life.” But I wasn’t a life to you.
I am now but a faded memory, pushed down. Forgotten about. I’m in no pictures in the family albums. There’s no graduation diploma, no soccer medals. I’m a “could have been.”
But it’s fine right? After all, I was only a fetus, not a life.
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