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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rest (01/17/13)

TITLE: Rest Assured
By Vicki J. Cypcar
01/24/13


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By the time everyone left both kids were sound asleep on the couch and Robert was collecting dirty dishes. Jane entered the kitchen and asked, “Whoever came up with the idea that heartache could be remedied with meatloaf? “ Slipped off her black pumps as she gazed around her parent’s kitchen. Robert gave her a hug, “You go on to bed and get some rest, and I’ll take care of this mess.” He proceeded to cram the collection of casseroles into the ‘too small’ refrigerator. Mysterious foil covered meals crowding food remnants of a normal life, before death came knocking.

Jane entered the bedroom and wrapped her mother’s favorite cardigan around her tired shoulders. Across her parent’s bedspread she placed the newspaper down and turned to the obituary section – for the second time in a week. When she saw her mother’s face staring back at her from the printed page, she abruptly stood up to put her shoes in the closet, where clothes hung lifeless in the deafening and dark silence.

Her father had found peace in his surrender to cancer. Jane remembered her mother standing alone at his grave, as the falling snow ushered in twilight. That was the first time Jane ever saw her mother -- broken.

That same evening Margaret hugged Jane tightly before saying good-night. Jane realized now it was good-bye, because her sweet mother never woke up.

She returned to the bed and carefully clipped the obituary which read:

***

Margaret Anne McKenna

Funeral services for Margaret McKenna will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday the 25th at Bethel Chapel Church.

The family will receive friends and family from 6:00– 8:00 on Friday the 24th.

Mrs. McKenna passed peacefully into eternal rest at her home in Bethel, MO on Saturday, January 19th.

She was born on August 20th, 1922, in Springfield to the late Erma and Bartholomew Anderson.

She graduated from Springfield College for the Blind in 1944 with a Bachelor’s in Education. She met her and married her husband Owen McKenna September of 1947.

She was a teacher at Margaret McKenna School for the Blind for 43 years. She enjoyed writing, baking, and singing soprano in the Bethel Chapel Church choir.

Her family includes a daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Robert Mitchell, of Springfield. She has two grandchildren, Mary and Jacob Mitchell.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Owen Ralph McKenna.

In Lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the Margaret McKenna Scholarship Fund.

***

Jane folded it and placed it with her father’s obituary in her bible. Those words too, still fresh.

***
Owen Ralph McKenna

Funeral services for Owen Ralph McKenna at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday January 19th at Bethel Chapel Church.

The family will receive friends and family from 6:00–8:00 p.m. on Friday the 18th.

After a long illness Owen passed peacefully into eternal rest at his home.

He was born on April 14th, 1920, to Grace and Harvey McKenna.

He graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree. He met his wife Margaret at a dance marathon and the coupled married in 1947.

He founded and built the Margaret McKenna School for the Blind as a loving tribute to his blind wife. He served as school president. In his spare time enjoyed woodworking and singing tenor in the Bethel Chapel Church choir.

His family includes a wife Margaret, a daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Robert Mitchell, of Springfield, and two grandchildren, Mary and Jacob Mitchell.

He is preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, John McKenna.

In lieu of flowers a memorial contribution may be made to the Margaret McKenna Scholarship Fund.

***

Exhausted Jane stretched out on the bed and closed her eyes. Suddenly she could smell her mother’s Rose scented perfume. She opened her eyes to see her angelic mother sitting beside her on the bed. Margaret tenderly brushed the hair back off of Jane’s forehead. “My sweet girl, I simply could not go on until I saw your face, you are more beautiful than I ever imagined. She kissed Jane on the forehead the way she had done so many times before, and then began to fade away.

Jane’s eyes filled with tears, “Mama, please don’t go.”

“Your father and I will always be with you Jane – rest assured.”

In an instant she was gone, but the scent of roses lingered on.


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Member Comments
Member Date
CD (Camille) Swanson 01/25/13
Oh my...this was so sad, yet so comforting at the same time. The parents were with each other again, separted for one day before being together in paradise. The daughter is the one left behind, but there has to be a satisfaction knowing they are both together.

Beautifully written this tender poignant tear jerker.

God bless~
Phee Paradise 01/26/13
I loved the first part of the story where you told me so much about the MC by showing the situation. The ending had a surprising and tender twist to it. But the obituaries felt like an interruption and although they summarized the parents' lives, it seemed technical. I think you could have brought them to life with more of the style of writing you used in the rest of the story - which was a fresh look at grief.
Jan Ackerson 01/29/13
Bittersweet and moving. The narratives are well-written, with a few punctuation issues, but I felt that the obituaries brought the narrative to too abrupt of a halt. I'd have preferred more memories of the parents, or more development of the characters of the husband and wife. Your writing skills and attention to detail are very good.