Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: A Race to the Sky
By Karlene Jacobsen
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This Saturday “Daddy/daughter date” began when Annie was a baby every week of the summer beginning with the first warm weekend of spring until the final days of autumn. When Annie was too big to sit in her daddy’s lap, he hoisted her into the seat, instructing her softly, “Now, hold the chains tight, right about there,” he said placing her hands on the chains. “Don’t let go, ok?”
Annie nodded fiercely, excitement and fear swirling around in her heart and mind. “Ok Daddy,” she said knowing she could trust him completely.
He moved around to stand behind her, bent low and spoke gently in her ear, “Now, I want you to kick your legs out as you go forward and then kick back as you come back toward me; ok?” He gave a push to get her started.
At first, she was confused with the direction of her legs, but eventually got the rhythm going as Daddy stood behind, pushing gently, and making sure she did not go too high. Before long, Annie was swinging on her own, racing Daddy to the top. “I’ll touch the sky first!” She challenged.
He simply laughed as his long slender legs easily cut through the air in smooth rhythm; u-u-u-u-up ‘n down…, u-u-u-u-up ‘n down…, u-u-u-u-up ‘n down…, they raced. The chains groaned in complaint as Annie and her daddy chased each other up and down, reaching for the sky.
The days of Annie’s childhood slid by; in a blink of an eye she was no longer the laughing little girl wearing strawberry- blond curls and freckles spattered across her nose. She grew into a tall, gentle woman whose compassion outweighed her physical beauty and her dad proudly walked her down the aisle to the young gentleman waiting for her.
Annie went to the park alone, one last time before returning home. The funeral had been beautiful; Daddy would be missed by many. Annie walked reverently to the lonely swing set. Lovingly, she fingered the links of the familiar chains; remembering those days with her dad. The closeness she felt could not be compared to any other. She sat in the seat, pushed off and began; u-u-u-u-up ‘n down…, u-u-u-u-up ‘n down…, u-u-u-u-up ‘n down…, the old swing groaned in protest as she pointed her toes toward heaven. “You win Daddy,” she choked back tears. “I’ll keep going ‘til I join you there in the sky.”
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