Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: birthday (05/23/05)
- TITLE: Lucy's Birthday Tears
By Lynda Lee Schab
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The room spun around her in the dark. As she carefully made her way forward, she stretched her hands out, reaching for the wall. When she found it, she smiled and pressed hard. Her mother removed the blindfold and she measured the distance with her eyes. Yes! The ruler confirmed that her donkey tail was one centimeter closer to the butt than Sandra Peyton's. What better feeling than to win Pin the Tail on the Donkey at your own birthday party? But wait! Her mother was telling Sandra that she won the prize. It wasn't fair! So she did what she could to protest. On her fifth birthday, Lucy cried.
She was so excited. Candi Moore had agreed to come to her party! It had taken six months for Candi to include her in her group of friends. Now she was finally in with the popular crowd. And she owed it all to Candi. Her mother kept telling her not to worry about what other people thought of her; God's opinion was the only one that mattered. But her mother must have forgotten what it was like to be her age. Then Candi decided she didn't want to come to her party. The reason was so stupid, like she had to wash her hair or something. And because Candi didn't come, the other girls didn't either. So she had cake with her family, sulking the whole time. Afterward, she locked herself in her room and let out her feelings. On her twelfth birthday, Lucy cried.
He had been acting secretive lately. She thought maybe he had been planning a surprise party for her. When he called and said he was picking her up at five o'clock sharp, she made sure she was ready, dressed to the hilt, prepared for a night out on the town. He arrived in sweats and a t-shirt and raised his eyebrows when he saw her in a dress and heels. Despite his rugged appearance, she gave him the benefit of the doubt, still clinging to the idea that he had something special in mind. He drove her to his apartment where two of his best friends and their girlfriends were eating pizza, also in sweats, waiting for the basketball game to begin. Not quite what she had hoped to be doing on her special day. She excused herself to the bathroom, bolted the door, and threw herself a pity party. On her twenty-first birthday, Lucy cried.
She stared at the woman and frowned. Could it really be her? Crows feet stood prominently at the outskirts of her eyes and on the edges of her thinning lips. Her roots sure were showing, an inch of gray sprouting up, uninvited. She'd gained more than a few pounds in all the wrong places and her buoys were definitely bobbing a little lower than they used to. She looked tired, washed out, and just plain old. The woman in the mirror was her mother. On her fiftieth birthday, Lucy cried.
Her four children, three children-in-law, eleven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren gathered around with hugs and kisses. She could barely make them out but she heard their laughter, felt their love. Each one of them was so wonderful, a precious gift from God. They sang happy birthday, a beautiful melody of voices she helped to create. Never before had she been more thankful to be alive. On her hundredth birthday, Lucy cried.
Her heart had stopped. This was the end of life as she knew it. She was ready to leave this world and be with her Jesus. The tear trickled down her cheek and landed softly on the pillow. But the very moment she was born into heaven, God wiped the tears from her eyes. On this birthday, there would be no crying for Lucy.
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