Tag Archives: DPchallenge

Writing Challenge: Starting Over

In this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to write a short piece of creative writing (fiction/poetry/prose poetry/freeform mindjazz/whatever floats your boat) on the theme of Starting Over.
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Earlier today, I was listening to this song in my car, and a story began to formulate within my brain. Then, I came home and saw that the theme was Starting Over, and it all came together…

They think I’m crazy, Kara. Hmph! I’m crazy like a fox. Just because I’m old and I sometimes forget things does not mean that I’ve gone mad! I know plenty of young people  who don’t remember things, and nobody calls them crazy. They just say, “Oh, they have a lot on their mind.” Well, I’m ninety-six years old – I’d say I have a whole lot more on my mind than they do – ninety-six years of memories and thoughts!

They brought me here to this nursing home ten years ago ’cause your momma, my precious Kelley couldn’t take care of me anymore. She had cancer. She was the only child I had left. I don’t mind telling you, it left a great big empty void in my heart when she went home to the Lord. My sons, Miles and Jeffrey had been gone more than ten years and my husband, Charles, passed on more than thirty years ago. 

So here I am, left in a nursing home, and I don’t mind telling  you, I’m tired… real tired. Most of the staff are very kind and caring, but there are some who aren’t. There’s some, like Carly and Tina, that scare me, and I want ask somebody to help me, but I’m scared. If I tell somebody and they find out it was me that told — no! I don’t even want to think about that. 

But I can talk to  the Lord, right? He won’t get me in trouble with those girls. See, if I don’t “cooperate,” the nurses here give me this medicine that makes my mind fuzzy, and that’s why I can’t think straight sometimes. I don’t want to put nobody out. I just need help sometimes, and some of the girls, like Pearl and Barbie, get real angry if I bother them, so I try to keep quiet, unless one of the nice ones is on.

You want to know about one of the nice ones? Well, my favorite is Emily. She works on the day shift. When she comes into my room of a morning, she always has a smile. A real smile, ya’ know? Not one of those fake I couldn’t care less smiles. She always says, “Good morning, Sunshine!” to me, and she walks straight over to my windows and opens the curtains, ’cause she knows I like to look outside and see what’s going on. 

Then she comes over to check and see if my bed is dry, and I’m ashamed to say it’s usually wet. Old age is hard on the bladder, but Emily doesn’t make me feel dirty or embarrassed about it like some of the others do. Some of ’em holler out in the hallway, “Miss Ella’s wet the bed again. Can someone bring me some more pull-ups?” It’s so humiliating. And some of ’em get mad at me for having an accident, and they make me sit in it — even if it’s a b.m. until the next shift. 

I get a lot of rashes and ulcers, and I’m sure that’s why. I don’t like having to depend on others to take care of my personal needs like that, ya’ know? And what’s really bad is when one of them will take me to the toilet and forget me. I sat on the toilet for two hours one day and it left a blistered ring around my backside. The nurse said my skin broke down. She asked me which aide left me there, but I was scared to tell her it was Marge, ’cause she’s a friend of hers, and I didn’t want ’em to get mad and hurt me worse, so I just pretended I didn’t know.

I thank the good Lord that I’ve still got my wits about me and I can talk and think, (except when they give me that medicine to make me behave), which is more than some of the other folks that live here can do. I still have a lot to be thankful to the Almighty for. You know, I try to share His love with the old people in here, ’cause some of them don’t have much hope left in ’em.

There’s poor Mrs. Stanley. Her family brought her here six years ago, and they haven’t been back to see her once! She cries and she cries everyday for them, but they never come. It breaks my heart for her. I usually try to save her one of my cookies when we have them, ’cause it cheers her up and lets her know somebody loves her.

I try to share His love with everybody I see, even the mean hateful ones, ’cause Jesus said to love your enemies, and I tell you what — some of them are my enemies. There’s the hateful ones, which are bad enough, but then there’s those that like to laugh at us old people. They’re the worse. They treat us like we got no dignity. They have no respect for their elders, and when I try to tell ’em so, they just laugh at me and make fun of me, like I”m stupid.

But that’s okay, because things are about to change here. See, I’ve been writing this letter, and it’s almost finished. Forgive the shaky, crooked letters. I used to have beautiful penmanship, but arthritis makes it harder to write, as I’ve got older.

Still, I’ve talked to the Lord about this, and He told me to write this letter and address it to my granddaughter, and once I’ve finished this letter, I’ll be gettin’ me a fresh start. Yep. He said He’s gonna take me home when I get finished with this letter, ’cause I told Him before I go home, I wanted to help the other old folks here, who can’t stand up for themselves. Then, once my granddaughter gets this letter, she’s gonna take it to the authorities, and they’re gonna investigate this place so that all the other old folks here will get a fresh start too, at someplace that will love them and take better care of them.

My fresh start will be when I cross over the Jordan and see my Savior and my Father. I’m almost finished with this here letter, Kara, and once I place it in the sealed envelope, the Lord said I can come home and start over. I can’t wait. Ninety-six years is a long time. My body is tired and weak. 

Kara, honey, don’t cry for your old Nana, ’cause I’ll soon be home and I’ll be free from all my sorrows and all my pain. I’m gonna start new and fresh — gonna trade in this old worn-out body for a strong new one. And my precious Lord Jesus is gonna wipe every tear from my face, as He gathers me up in His arms and carries me to the Holy of Holies. 

Honey, the time’s comming soon, I can’t hold this pen for much longer, and I must seal it in the envelope if I want to be sure you get it. Please take this to the authorities, baby. Help my old friends get a new start too.

Love,
Nana

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Writing Challenge: New Year’s Resolutions (Doompocalypse Redux)

Writing Challenge: New Year’s Resolutions (Doompocalypse Redux)

The tin-foil hat, Mayan apocalypse conspiracy people were wrong about the world ending in 2012. Hooray. Time for them to go back to watching grassy knoll footage in slow motion. BUT! 

They were only half wrong. There’s a gigantic meteor hurtling toward earth at an alarming rate, and a 97.3% probability that we’re all going the way of the dodos and dinosaurs within three months. So, this year you aren’t going to make resolutions about losing a notch on your belt. You aren’t going to concern yourself about polishing off Remembrance of Things Past once and for all. You don’t even care a jot about emptying your email inbox. In three months, doompocalpyse is going to be upon us. So what are you going to do?

You’re going to do what any good blogger does. You’re going to blog some resolutions that matter:

Tell us about the three things you’d most like to change about your life, and make a bold, I-don’t-care-who-knows-it-because-there’s-a-meteor-a-comin’ assertion to the world that you are going to get these changes made. And that you’ll have at least started making them happen by March. When, erm, you’re probably going to wind up as dust.

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We’re being told that the world as we know it is coming to an end in just three months, when a meteor of cosmic proportions (pardon the pun) will crash into the earth, blowing us all to kingdom come. People, please allow me to be the voice of reason in these last days. I know things look bad, and that it’s almost certain that many will die, but listen to me! While many will lose their lives in this catastrophe, there will still be those who survive, and since we don’t know who will and who will not survive this massive explosion, it is vital that everyone prepare for that great and terrible day.

Extinction Event
Extinction Event

Listen to me, friends… Because the blogosphere is on overload now, I am only allowed to share three things with you before this terrible catastrophic event occurs. Now God, in His infinite mercy has given us a timeline for this horrific event, so that we can prepare. It is now more vital than ever that each man, woman and child be prepared to die. Listen, we all know that it everyone is destined to die once, but you must also know that after death, comes judgment.

Oh, I know that many of you are rolling your eyes at me as you read these words, but please! I beg you to read this with an open mind. For years, many of you have called Christians narrow-minded and closed-minded, and I won’t deny it. Often times, we are, but that doesn’t mean that we’re wrong.

Since I first heard of this ginormous meteor that is headed to our planet at an alarming rate of speed, I’ve known what I have to do. You see, each one of us have been created for a purpose, and I was created to be a watchman on the wall. For those of you who don’t know, let me give you a brief description of what a watchman on the wall is.

http://samuelschoi.blogspot.com/
http://samuelschoi.blogspot.com/

In ancient times, there was a wall around Jerusalem, and watchmen were placed around the perimeter of that wall to serve as lookouts. These watchmen were responsible for warning the people when they saw any signs of danger, often sounding a trumpet (in those days the trumpet was known as a shofar or ram’s horn). These were watchmen who watched out for the physical safety of their city.

But there were also prophets, appointed by the Lord God of Israel, who were responsible for warning the people of spiritual danger as well as physical danger. They too, would sound the alarm when people endangered themselves by rebelling against the Almighty God. My friends, there are still prophets today, including me, who try to warn the people of impending danger, so that the people may turn away from their rebellion and run into the safety of God’s protection.

My friends, we are living in times just like Noah lived in, when men and women refused to obey God, and their thoughts were continually, consistently evil. Look around! There are evil men like Earl Bradley, who molested who knows how many children… and Jerry Sandusky, who molested numerous boys… And what about Adam Lanza who brutally shot and killed twenty children and six adults in Connecticut just a few short weeks ago? I could go on and on, but my point is that man has not gotten better. Man has not evolved into a kinder being. Mankind is terribly flawed and full of sin and evil, and in desperate need of a savior.

My friend, the three things I want to share with you are this:

“The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)

There is not one person who has not sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and every one of us is capable of evil. Therefore, every single one of us needs a Savior to protect us and deliver us from the evil that lurks within us. We need to recognize this and admit it.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

“There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:16-21 NLT)

God sent His only Son, Jesus to be our Savior. You see, every sin must be paid for, whether it’s a “white lie” or murder, and to a holy and just God, who has a perfect standard, the cost of sin is death. Everyone who sins, (and that includes all of us) must pay for sin with our life, but because God loves us (I’m not sure why, but He does), He sent His only Son, Jesus, to live as a man without sin, and to pay for the sins of every man, woman and child who had ever lived and who ever would live (that includes me and you). And God’s only requirement for us to be saved is that we believe this, and love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s it!

But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west and from north and south. I will bring My sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. All who claim Me as their God will come, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them.” (Isaiah 43:1-7 NLT)

For those of us who die, loving Christ, we will enter into the presence of God, and there will be no more pain or sorrow, and every tear will be wiped away. For those who die apart from Christ, and I pray that it is none of you, my beloved friends, you will go to a place of never-ending torment, because you chose to pay for your own sins, rather than accepting the gift of eternal life that God offered.

For those who survive this meteor hit, please allow the word of God, as spoken through Isaiah the prophet, to comfort you. Fear not, because if you walk with Christ, He promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Indeed, Christ died so that you might live. No matter how difficult the days ahead may be for you, remember that the Lord your God will be with you, and if you will trust in Him, He will keep you in perfect peace.

My time is up now, so I leave you with this final blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. May He lift the light of His countenance upon you and let the light of His face shine down on you!

Many blessings to you all!

Love,

Cheryl

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers