Just Let Me Sing

( Intermediate Level )

Kathryn was a shy ten-year-old little girl. She didn’t have many friends. Her classmates made fun of her speech impediment. She wouldn’t raise her hand in class to answer questions and she sat alone at lunch just watching her classmates play at recess.

When Kathryn began to talk at the age of two her mother thought her stammer was cute and really didn’t see any reason to be concerned. The doctors told her not to worry. “Many children go through this stage when learning to talk.” Once she got a little older they would reexamine the situation.

It wasn’t until she started school that she noticed her daughter’s stammer became more pronounced. By this time Kathryn’s personality changed. She used to be an inquisitive learner. She would ask tons of questions. Now she has retreated into her own little world.

It wasn’t until Kathryn reached the fifth grade when she met her new teacher, did her life change. Immediately, Miss Greenwald noticed Kathryn’s stammer. She, too, had a member in her family with this infliction and had knowledge in how she could help her.

Miss Greenwald took the opportunity to talk with Kathryn’s mother at the meet the teacher night held at the beginning of each school year. She asked her permission to work with Kathryn three times a week, after school, to help her with her stammer.

Of course, Kathryn’s mother agreed. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for one hour after school Kathryn would meet with Miss Greenwald. Both Kathryn’s mom and Miss Greenwald had high hopes for Kathryn. If anything, they’re hoping to bring her out of the shell she created for herself.

Kathryn didn’t understand why she had to stay after school three times a week. She had told her mom she felt she was being punished. Her mom reassured her that she was not in trouble. “Miss Greenwald simply wants to see if she can help you, honey.

Reluctantly, Kathryn stays after class on Monday. This would be the first time she would meet with her teacher. She would rather be home in her bedroom with her toys.

Kathryn sat quietly at her desk waiting for Miss Greenwald. She was hoping her teacher forgot. Just as she thought this, Miss Greenwald walked in carrying a pile of papers and a book.

She set her belongings on the desk in front of where Kathryn was sitting and turned the desk around so she could face her. Miss Greenwald gave Kathryn a huge smile and sat down.

Why the sad face? You will love what I have planned for us“, as she organized the pile of papers into different smaller piles. “First of all, let me say you are not alone when it comes to your stammer.”

” Seventy million people in the world have the same as you. That is one person in every one hundred has a stammer. And Missy, this does not include other speech problems such as a lisp or a handful of other impediments. You are not alone in this.”

My nephew, Greg, has a stammer also. He is much older than you and has found ways to control it. This impediment will not go, away you just have to find ways to control it. I don’t want you to hide that pretty voice of yours.”

Kathryn sat there listening to her teacher. Now, she found herself wanting to know more. She isn’t different. She is not a freak as her classmates would call her.

As each after-school session continued, Kathryn’s mom noticed a change in her daughter. She was no longer hiding in her bedroom. She enjoyed spending time with and talking to her mom now.

Mom, Miss Greenwald says this problem will not go away so I need to find ways to control it. I can use some of the techniques she taught me. Slowing down when I talk and thinking about each word I say.”

“I am to focus on her in the classroom and not look at the others. It may take me a little longer to answer but I am not going anywhere anytime soon so those listening need to sit and listen.” She giggled at this last statement.

It is important for you not to help me with words. Let me do it on my own. Miss Greenwald, also, said every Friday we would go to the music room and sing. She said she read where people who have the same problem, as me, sing and their stammering goes away.”

Oh Mommy, wouldn’t that be great if I could sing and no one would know I have a stammer?” Kathryn’s mom stood there listening to every word she said. She was amazed at how far her daughter had come and how much confidence she had now.

Yes, Kathryn it would be amazing to hear you sing. I look forward to this. I hope Miss Greenwald will allow me to come and listen one day.”

The first few singing sessions in the music room were a bit scary for Kathryn. This is the first time she heard her voice through a microphone. She thought it sounded awful.

Next Friday, Kathryn, I want you to do something different. I want you to close your eyes when you sing. I want you to feel the words. All along I asked you to think of each word as you say them but now I want you to feel the words when you sing.”

Kathryn didn’t quite understand what her teacher wanted. Feel the words? She would close her eyes, as her teacher asked, next Friday. Until then she would practice the song Miss Greenwald picked for her.

The song she picked was a song that she felt would mean something very special to Kathryn. It was about a girl finding her voice and not caring what others thought.

Without Kathryn’s knowledge, Miss Greenwald made a call to her mom, “I am calling to see if you would like to come to the music room at school on Friday to hear your daughter sing?”

Without hesitation, she said, “Yes, Kathryn told me what you two were up to. I am so excited! Thank you for everything you have done for my Kathryn. I am so happy to see my little girl enjoying life again!

“One more thing, please do not say anything to your daughter about coming. I am afraid she will be too shy or afraid to sing. She has made wonderful progress and I wanted to share this with you,” Miss Greenwald said with concern. ” See you on Friday at about four. I will have her practice a few times first.”

Kathryn practiced and kept practicing the song. Since she was to sing with her eyes closed she couldn’t read the lyrics. This meant she had to memorize each word.

Monday’s and Wednesday’s after-school classes went without a hitch. Kathryn always tried her best for her teacher. Miss Greenwald told her on Friday they would practice the song to music only. Her voice would be the only voice they would hear.

Kathryn knew the words of the song by heart now. On Friday she would hear her voice put to the music. It was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. “You will be fine. Remember I have been here every step with you and I think you are amazing. I am so proud of you.”

The music room doors were closed and the lights dimmed. Kathryn stood on the small stage reading through the music one more time. “Are you ready?”, her teacher asked. Kathryn sighed and said, “Yes.

The music started. “Listen to the music then start when you are ready.” Kathryn stood there. “Close your eyes. You can do this.” Kathryn closed her eyes and began. With each chord, her voice became stronger as her confidence grew.

“That was amazing Kathryn. Get a drink of water and let’s talk about a few changes and we will do it once more.” They discussed the changes and Kathryn sang one more time. She was amazed. She didn’t have any difficulty with any of the words. Each word flowed without any hesitation.

“Okay, I need to step outside for a moment and make a call. When I get back I will have you sing one last time. I think, now, you understand what I meant by feeling the words.” She smiled and stepped out of the music room.

A few minutes passed and Miss Greenwald returned. “Are you ready?” She turned the lights down once again and Kathryn adjusted the microphone.

When Miss Greenwald left she had made sure Kathryn’s mom had arrived. She instructed her to stay outside the door until she heard the music start. Kathryn would have her eyes closed plus the lights would be down low. She could slip in and sit in the back row.

The music started and Kathryn began to sing. Her voice was beautiful. Her hands moved with each word. Her mom had slipped into a seat and listened. She sat there watching how her daughter stood behind the microphone enjoying what she was doing.

When the song finished Kathryn opened her eyes. She had a huge smile on her face. She saw Miss Greenwald standing directly in front of her. “Kathryn what an amazing job you did with that song. You felt each word.”

As Kathryn smiled back at her teacher her eyes were drawn to a slight movement towards the back of the room. Then she saw her mom. Her mom stood and clapped. The sound of her hands-clapping echoed in the music room.

A huge smile appeared on Kathryn’s face. “See Mommy, just let me sing!

Written by: Angel

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speech impediment – noun: a defect in a person’s speech

recess – noun: a break

stammer (also known as a stutter) – noun: pauses and a tendency to repeat the initial letters of words

inquisitive – adjective: curious

retreated – verb: withdraw

infliction – noun: unpleasant situation, circumstance or problem

bring her out of the shell – idiom: to cause someone to be more outgoing

punished – verb: treat (someone) in an unfairly harsh way

reassured – verb: remove doubts or fears

lisp – verb: speech impairment where sounds of letters sound differently such as s or z sounds like a th sound

techniques – noun: skill or ability

confidence – noun: feeling of trust or belief


memorize – verb: learn by heart

hitch – noun: interruption or problem

terrifying – adjective: extreme fear

slight – adjective: small degree, inconsiderable

Question ( s ):

Do you know anyone with a speech impediment?

If so, what techniques do they use to control their impediment?


( Advance Level )

There are some women, in this world, who feel they need a man in their life to be complete. There are women, in the world, who are blinded to the obvious. All in the name of love. This was Michelle.

Michelle’s friends, Bridgette and Mary, would ask her to go shopping or out to lunch, on occasions, but she was unable to go. She always had to ask her boyfriend, Zach, and he would tell her “No,” each time she asked.

Her friends never understood why she had to ask his permission anyways. After all, she was an adult and equally contributed to the household.

Her friends told her he was controlling her but she didn’t see it that way. She felt he was just overprotective. He would say to her, “Baby, I do not want anything ever to happen to you. I could not live with myself if anything happened to you.”

Zach and Michelle moved in together about eight months ago, after dating for 4 months. Since that time, Michelle’s friends noticed a huge change in her behavior. She used to be outgoing and happy but now she is quiet and subdued.

Since she was unable to go to see her friends, they would come to see her. They had restrictions on when they could come to visit. It had to be before Zach came home from work. She would make the excuse, to her friends, that he is usually very tired after work and likes to relax. Actually, he didn’t like people coming over, especially her friends.

Michelle is strong and smart until it comes to Zach. The evidence is right before her but she refuses to see it. He has a narcissistic personality. He needed to be in control.

Whenever they would argue he would twist things around making her feel like she did something wrong or that she didn’t have the ability to think. He would make her feel stupid.

In the end, he would make things up to her. Giving excuses why he yelled and belittled her. “It was for your own protection or I have your best interest in heart.

Michelle slowly distanced herself from her friends. She wanted to keep the peace and not argue with Zach anymore. Her friends, by this point, did not offer their advice.

They wanted to keep a line of communication with her so they quit talking about him altogether. She had made it clear to them she wasn’t interested in what they had to say. She loved Zach. This is all they needed to understand.

They decided they would be there, for her, if they were needed. This situation was something she had to discover for herself until then they would visit occasionally and enjoy their time together.

Months had passed and Michelle would see her friends once or twice a month. Sneaking around when Zach was at work.

On Friday, the friends met up at their favorite restaurant. Michelle sported a bruise on her cheek. She had tried to cover the bruise up with makeup but the attempt failed miserably.

Unable to contain her anger, her friend Bridgette spoke up, “I suppose you deserved that bruise and most likely the tongue lashing that followed?”

Michelle couldn’t contain her tears. She broke down in an uncontrollable sob. “I cannot do this anymore. I live in fear every day. In fear, I may say something wrong and make Zach mad.

“I cannot do anything without reporting to him what I am doing such as grocery shopping. Then he gives me a time limit. Some days he allows me to go alone, otherwise, he drives me and sits in the car waiting for me.

I should have listened to both of you. How could I have been so blind? Love doesn’t hurt. Love doesn’t leave marks on the one you love.” She put her head in her hands and continued to cry.

Bridgette was the outspoken one of the trio. She immediately took charge and said, “I will take you to your apartment and I want you to grab what belongings you can grab in fifteen minutes. Michelle, you will be moving in with me.“.

Michelle’s spirit was broken. She agreed with Bridgette’s idea without hesitation. There wasn’t a lot of time so the girls just ordered drinks.

They needed to get Michelle to her apartment so they could get in and get out before Zach arrived home. Neither wanted a confrontation with him. The friends witnessed his rage before.

Everything went off without a hitch. They were able to get a lot of Michelle’s clothes and personal belongings well before Zach was due to arrive home.

For Michelle, the day was a complete blur. She was on autopilot and merely existing. For the past year, her life revolved around Zach and starting a life together as a couple. Now, all of this is gone. Gone with one argument that resulted in a physical altercation.

Bridgette insisted Michelle get some sleep. She could tell her friend was exhausted. “For now just get some rest. There is plenty of time to settle in here. You are safe and you can organize your things later.

Michelle lay on the bed and started drifting off to sleep, thinking to herself, “How could I have let this happen? I lost my identity, who I was, for love.”

Michelle slept through the night. She woke to the smell of coffee brewing. She went to the washroom and washed her face. She looked up into the mirror at herself. “Okay you, today is a new day. It is a new beginning.”

She headed to the kitchen to see Bridgette smiling. She had prepared breakfast. To her surprise, she was starving. The two sat having a quiet morning meal together.

Bridgette wanted to give Michelle time to adjust and talk about things on her own terms. She didn’t want to push her. She knew, in her own time, she would.

Breakfast finished and Bridgette cleaned the table off. Michelle picked up the cell phone she left on the counter the night before. She looked at her messages.

Zach had left dozens of text messages. As she read through them her hands shook. The messages started off with anger and ended in a more pleading way.

Where are you?”…

Why aren’t you home where you belong?” ….

You know you are to be here when I get home“….

Who are you with?”…

Oh baby, I am starting to get worried, are you ok?”….

“Now you are worrying me. Do you like worrying me?”

Please come home to me.

“I love you.”….

Michelle held the cell phone in her hand. Scrolling through the messages over and over again. She looked up to see Bridgette looking at her with concern on her face.

Michelle looked back at her phone and typed a simple reply to Zach. “Love doesn’t hurt” and hit the send button. She placed her phone face down on the counter and looked at Bridgette.

For the last year, I worked on my relationship with Zach and lost myself and almost lost my friendship with you and Mary. Thank you for not giving up on me. It will take me a bit to get strong again but I will. Today is a new day. Today is a new beginning.

Written by: Angel

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blinded – verb: unable to see

contributed – verb: help or provide something

subdued – adjective: quiet or depressed

restrictions – noun: limiting

narcissistic – adjective: extreme self-involvement to the degree that it makes a person ignore the needs of those around them, disregards other’s feelings

twist things around – idiom: alter, distort, or misrepresent

belittled – verb: make someone feel unimportant

keep the peace verbal phrase: avoiding arguments

advice – noun: guidance * not to be confused with advise

line of communication – idiom: communications between people or groups

sported – verb: wear or display

deserved – adjective: earned because of something done or qualities

tongue lashing – noun: scolding

outspoken – adjective: direct with one’s opinions

hesitation – noun: pausing

confrontation – noun: argumentative meeting

blur – verb: unclear

autopilot – noun: doing things or tasks without thinking

altercation – noun: argument or disagreement

identity – noun: being who or what a person or thing is

scrolling – verb: the action of moving displayed text or graphics up, down, or across

concern – verb: worry

Question ( s ):

Would you of left, this situation, if you were Michelle?

Do you feel Zach was controlling?

Have you known anyone in this situation?

Dr. M.

( Advanced Level )

Every day Dr. M. tells her patients not to give up. “Continue to fight the fight. Life is worth living. I am not giving up on you so why should you?” She never thought she would have to listen to her own words.

Dr. Megan McQueen heads her oncology department at the local public hospital. On a monthly basis, she sees patients battling some form of cancer. Not every case has a happy result but she fights the battle with them.

As for most doctors, their lives from the minute they wake up to the moment they put their head back on the pillow at night, revolve around patient care. Hopefully, making the right decisions with the best interest of their patients in mind.

Megan never had time for herself nor dating, so she never married. She always thought these were things in her future. The future never came. Instead, she immersed herself deeper into her work.

This was Dr. Megan’s life for the past eleven years. She had many skipped dinners. She had many sleepless nights. All for the love of her career.

She noticed a lump in her left breast about six months ago while taking a shower. She felt some tenderness but she shrugged it off to an injury at work. She felt she must have bumped into something.

As a general rule, breast cancer lumps are hard and painless. Usually, not symmetrical in shape. She didn’t give it a second thought.

Months went by. Her mind is always occupied by her patients. Constant struggles daily. Monitoring each patient’s treatments and their progress. Adjust medications if needed. Winning battles and losing some.

She always dreamt of being a doctor when she was young. When she became a doctor she hadn’t realized that you practically had to give up the idea of a normal life to care for patients. She didn’t mind, though. She loved what she did.

One day at work she noticed her left arm was a little painful when moving, especially when raising the arm higher than her waist. It was more of a discomfort than pain but it caught her attention.

She had a lunch break coming up soon and she would go see one of her coworkers about her arm. She thought it may be an issue with her neck or her shoulder. She never gave a second thought about the lump she had discovered months prior, in her left breast.

She met her coworker, Ben, in his office and told him about her arm bothering her. She told him she would need full use of this arm if she was to treat her patients.

Ben listened to her complaint and he asked about her medical history. The lump was not mentioned. She obviously forgot about it.

Since doctors cannot treat themselves or their family members, Ben was her choice. The two worked together for the past seven years and they got along well. He, too, was married to his work. Never had time to date or get married.

After a few minutes, he suggested to her to get a simple series of x-rays as a baseline. If nothing showed on the x-rays he would order additional procedures. Further investigation would be warranted at that time.

She took the slip of paper with orders for an x-ray of the chest, left shoulder, and neck area to the x-ray department to have the x-ray done on her lunch break. She never really ate lunch, half of the time, while she was at work.

The procedures were completed and she returned to Ben’s office where he sat eating a sandwich for lunch. He offered her half but she declined. She knew the results of her x-rays would go to him directly and since she was the staff they would be read rather quickly.

They sat having small talk while Ben finished his lunch. They talked about what they would love to do if they had time off from work. Each trying to outdo the other with what they felt was the ideal day off, a day of pampering.

The phone rang and Ben answered. “Yes, I see. I will be down in a moment.” Ben hung up the phone and told Megan, ” I have to talk to someone about a patient of mine. I will be back in a few minutes. Just sit here and relax for a change.”

As he was leaving the room Megan put her feet up on his desk and leaned back. Ben walked out. He thought to himself, “I hope what the radiologist sees on Megan’s x-ray is a mistake. Possibly a flaw or shadowing on the x-rays.

Megan always felt at ease when she was around Ben. His suggestion to relax was stretched a bit when she put her feet up on his desk. Actually, she found it very relaxing and closed her eyes.

Ben met with the radiologist and reviewed the findings. There was definitely something there on her x-rays. Something that seems to involve her lymph node in her left armpit and something showing on a rib bone.

Ben left the radiologist’s office and headed back to his own. He didn’t want to alarm Megan but she needed to realize that further testing was needed and she could not delay anything. It could make the difference between life and death. Not only was she a valued co-worker but a dear friend.

He arrived back at his office to find Megan in the same position he left her in. He smiled and looked at her with admiration. She truly cared about each of her patients and would work nonstop to help them.

He decided to approach the findings to her in a matter-of-fact way. He couldn’t let the fact she was a co-worker or even a friend interfere with what he was about to tell her. He cleared his voice. She opened her eyes.

“Okay. I just reviewed your x-rays with the radiologist. That was the phone call I received. Megan, something is showing on them. It could be nothing or it can be something. “

He explained what he saw. “Tell me, when was your last mammogram? Have you noticed anything or found anything different with your left breast?”

She sat up in the chair. “Yes, about six months ago, while showering, I found a lump. It was a little tender to the touch but I didn’t think twice about it. You know, I can be clumsy at work so I figured I may just have hit it on something while taking care of a patient.”

Ben thought about the time frame that had passed and what he saw. ” Today, not later, I am ordering a bilateral breast ultrasound and bloodwork. Get these done. We may have to have a biopsy later on but for now, this is what I want you to do now. I will cover your patients until these are done.”

Megan couldn’t believe what she heard. These were usually words she would tell her patients. Now, she found herself in their position, as a patient.

Megan had taken the rest of the afternoon off from work to have the testing done. This is what Ben had wanted. She knew her patient’s care would be covered and in good hands.

Time seemed to stand still as Megan waited for all the results to come in. Here, after eleven years dedicating herself to her practice and her patients, she found herself feeling hopeless.

Is this how her patients felt? Waiting for news. Waiting for results. Waiting to hear that it could be cancer.

Megan retreated to her office waiting for any news from Ben. She knew it could take a bit for the results to come into his hands. Until then she sat in her office and reflected on her life.

Should she have tried making more time for herself? Should she have taken better care of herself? She loved what she did. Doctors never think about themselves becoming a patient.

The results came in and Megan was called into Ben’s office. Her heart was pounding as she reached his office and sat down. The same chair she had sat on earlier to relax.

“All indicators point to breast cancer, Megan. There isn’t any nice way to say this. I didn’t want to have to say these words to you. Tomorrow morning at 0600 you are scheduled for a ct guided biopsy to confirm this diagnosis.”

“If it is cancer we will fight this together. You will not be alone in this. I think it will be better for you to submit for extended time off from your work. Concentrate on yourself for a change. It will help in your recovery.”

Megan sat there absorbing Ben’s words. For years she had said these exact words to her patients. Now she was the one who had to listen.

The biopsy confirmed Ben’s thoughts. He took it upon himself to make all arrangements for treatment. He knew Megan might delay treatment until she had time to talk with all of her patients. Enough time had passed already.

Megan chose something not expected by any of her colleagues. She didn’t want to be treated differently. She asked to have her treatments alongside others. She felt she could inspire those having their own chemotherapy treatments.

Megan listened to Ben’s every instruction. She ate better. She made sure she would get plenty of sleep and most of all stayed positive.

Chemotherapy was going as well as expected. Megan didn’t have any side effects until seven weeks in. She noticed she was losing her hair little by little so instead of waiting for it all to fall out, strand by strand, she decided to shave it all off.

Her nausea was kept at bay with medication. She did have to force herself to eat when she hadn’t felt like it. She promised Ben she would fight the fight.

Surprisingly Dr. M had made many new friends during her treatments. Each new friend had their own stories. Each had a reason to live.

Being in therapy together has become a great support system, not only for Megan but for the others. When one was having a bad day the others were there to encourage and lift their mood.

Megan had something a little more special. She had Ben. He was there with her at her treatments when his schedule would allow. Some days she was embarrassed when she wasn’t at her best. He would tell her, “I think you’re beautiful no matter what you think. I am the doctor and I know everything!” This would always make her smile.

The sixth-month treatment marker was coming close. Ben would reevaluate her situation before this. She, too, was anxious to know if all of this she went through would be worth it. She knew inside she was still a woman but her outside didn’t look so feminine.

She wanted to look in the mirror, once again, and see her blonde hair and not see a bald head. She wanted to walk and not have people look at her with sympathy.

The day before her last treatment Ben had scheduled her for a bilateral mammogram and bloodwork. The results would let both, Megan and himself, know if more treatments were needed.

The day finally arrived. Her last treatment if all the results came back with excellent results. Megan was amazed that she had the strength to endure six months of treatment. With Ben and the other patients encouraging her it was easier than she thought.

Megan was busy talking to another to notice Ben had stepped into the treatment room. He walked up to her with papers in hand. She felt someone close and looked up. He had a huge smile on his face.

We did it. I have your results in my hand. No signs of cancer.” Megan broke down and cried. She was relieved. “This doesn’t mean you are out of the woods, Missy. You will have regular checkups and mammograms every six months for a few years.”

Megan looked at her newly acquired friends. The friends who sat by her during her treatments and while having their own at the same time. She saw their happiness for her. “I will still be here for you. Every one of you,” as she glanced around the room. “You helped me get through the toughest time in my life and I will help you do the same.

Written by: Angel

*October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month*

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oncology – noun: study of cancer

immersed – verb: involvement in a particular activity

tenderness – noun: sensitive to pain

symmetrical – adjective: similar sides or equally proportioned

adjusting – verb: alter or move (something) in order to achieve the desired result

discomfort – noun: slight pain, uncomfortable

warranted – verb: justify

procedures – noun: medical evaluation using investigative measures

declined – verb: refuse

small talk – noun: conversation about unimportant matters

outdo – verb: more successful 

pampering – verb: spoil or indulge

flaw – noun: a mark, fault, or other imperfection

lymph node – noun: small structure that is part of the body’s immune system

alarm – verb: to feel frightened

admiration – noun: respect and approval

matter-of-fact – adjective: unemotional and practical

interfere – verb: prevent an activity from continuing or being carried out

radiologist – noun: medical doctor that specialize in diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases using medical imaging procedures such as X-rays etc.

clumsy – adjective: awkward in movement or in handling things

ultrasound – noun: sound or other vibrations having an ultrasonic frequency, particularly as used in medical imaging

retreated – verb: withdraw to a quiet or secluded place

indicators – noun: fact that indicates the state or level of something

biopsy – noun: an examination of tissue removed from a body 

absorbing – adjective: intensely interesting

colleagues – noun: a person who works in a profession or business with you

chemotherapy – noun: the treatment of disease by the use of chemical substances especially cancer

at bay – idiom: to control

reevaluate – verb: evaluate again or differently

feminine – adjective: qualities or an appearance associated with women

sympathy – noun: feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune

endure – verb: suffer

acquired – verb: obtain 

Question ( s ):

Have you known anyone who was diagnosed with cancer?

Do you usually have annual visits at your doctor’s to have a complete check up?

Grandma Lucy

( Intermediate level )

After 47 years of marriage, Lucy found herself, looking out at the pier, alone. Her husband, Bill, had just passed away the month before.

He had struggled with his health for many years. Finally, his body was too tired to fight any longer.

She remembered his last words to her, as he lay in the hospital bed with his life leaving his body, “Be happy, my love, for I will be, forever, with you.” He always had a poetic way with his words.

After his passing, Lucy found herself not wanting to eat nor get dressed. Her life companion was gone. Her home felt empty. She felt empty.

They had two wonderful sons together. One was a physician in New York and the other was a software engineer in Texas. Each begged her to come live with them, after Bill had passed, but she refused.

She did not want to leave the house that Bill had built for them. She knew she would not be happy in a city. Cities were too busy and too noisy.

She loved hearing the birds sing in the morning. The breeze rustle through the trees and the frogs croaking. The quiet and simple life was what she wanted.

She had wonderful neighbors who would check on her often. Sometimes, having a casserole, saying they had extras. She knew they were making sure she was eating.

Most of the children in the community called her Grandma Lucy. They, too, would knock on her door and have wild flowers in hand, as a gift, for her.

She would head into town, once a month, to grocery shop while her husband fished. She would spend a short time at the park, before she shopped, watching the children play. Sometimes having a few sweets in her pocket to give to the children.

Lucy knew she had to be strong if she was to keep the house and stay alone. She needed to get back to normalcy. Somehow, she needed to find the courage. Each night Lucy would say to herself , “Tomorrow will be the day.”

The day had finally come. The day where she felt she had the strength to face life alone. Lucy woke up with the sun shining through the window. She looked out at the trees and noticed the leaves were beginning to change their colors.

Summer was coming to an end. Winter would be coming soon and things had to be done before the cold weather set in.

She got up and headed to the kitchen. Put the coffee on to brew and headed to the shower. By the time she was done with her shower the coffee was done.

She poured a cup of coffee and walked slowly outside. She found herself walking towards the pier. She had so many memories there.

She remembered watching her husband fish. He was always proud of every fish he caught. No matter how big or how small, he would tell a story of his struggle to land the fish.

She paused, for a moment, and looked out at the sunrise. What a magnificent view. She inhaled and sighed.

She remembered how Bill loved to wake her up and drag her outside to watch the sunrise. He would say, “Today will be a wonderful day!”

As she watched the sun rise higher, kissing the sky, she felt the warmth of the sun touch her cheek. She put her hand to her cheek and she whispered, “Oh Bill. I knew you will always be here with me. Thank you for loving me. I will be ok. I love you.”

She turned and headed back down the pier to her home. Feeling a calmness now, she was ready to start the next chapter in her life. She knew, now, she had found the courage.

She dressed, put on a sweater and put a few sweets in her pocket and headed to town to buy a few groceries.

Written by: Angel

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pier: a platform leading out from the shore into a body of water

passed away: polite expression for die

physician: doctor

casserole: oven baked, all in one meal, usually containing meat, vegetables and potatoes.

community: group of people living in the same place

normalcy: being normal

courage: the ability to do something that scares or upsets you

brew: make coffee with hot water.

whisper: speak very softly

calmness: feeling calm, no worries or problems

Question( s ):

How do you feel about Lucy’s choice to stay and not move in with her son(s)?

Would you be able to find courage?