Lucy and the Stone

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I remember it like it was only yesterday, it was such a sunny day. I was sitting in the park like I had been for years. It was such a beautiful park. The grass brushed softly on my rough surface, the sun shone warmly on me in the morning and the tree I lived near kept me shaded in the afternoon. I always enjoyed hearing the children running and playing but I was always left undisturbed, until Lucy. I remember sitting listening to a blue jay singing his song when a small hand began to dig around me. I felt the dirt being removed from beneath me by tiny fingers. Until suddenly I was lifted out of my resting place and was being dusted off. I heard a little girl’s voice say to me, “What a pretty rock you are Buford!” ‘Buford’, is that what she said? I wondered. I had never had a name before. A friend of mine who was much larger and more comely than I and who lived close to me was picked up three years ago and given a name. I had longed for such a day for myself but never thought it would happen for I was not a pretty rock but Lucy said I was. She carried me all over the park to places I had never been, the park was much bigger than I had imagined. After a couple hours had passed I heard an older woman call Lucy’s name. She went running towards that voice with me in tow. I thought for sure she would leave ugly old me but she didn’t. I heard the woman say “Lucy what is that in your hand?” “Buford, he’s my pet!” Lucy exclaimed. ‘Her pet’ I wondered. I had heard animals referred to as ‘pets’ but a rock? I sat in Lucy’s lap as we rode home it seemed to be a short drive but I had never been for a car ride until then so at that time I was no expert on distances. When we got home Lucy ran inside with me in her little hands, I thought she would probably place me somewhere and leave me there to sit for years to come. How wrong I was. Lucy and I sat at a table and I heard her set some things down beside me. “Mommy can you get the glue gun?” Lucy yelled. What’s a ‘glue gun’, I wondered. I heard her mother walk in the room and say, “What do you need me to glue for you?” “Buford needs eyes” Lucy replied matter-of-factly. Eyes, I am going to have eyes! How I had always longed to see the wondrous world I had lived in for so many years. I felt a hot gummy liquid being placed on my surface and small discs being pressed onto that hot goo. I could see! Lucy was such a beautiful girl she had a pink sun dress, blonde pig tails and brown eyes. Her mother had brown eyes and dark curly hair, she looked so kind. After I had been fashioned with eyes Lucy made me a house. It was a small shoe box with little crooked hand cut windows, orange felt curtains and a Ploy Doll’s bed, table and chair. How did I get to be so lucky, was this the life my friend lived too? Lucy gave me a whole new life I never thought I would have.

The years went by Lucy and never grew tired of me like she did with other toys. We played for hours sometimes, in the house, outside and at friends’ houses. I remember the summer Lucy turned eight; mom and dad got a swimming pool put up. She took me with her to the water and placed me on one of Barbie's rafts. I enjoyed sitting in the sun while watching her and dad playing water games. We also went to the zoo that same summer; what an amazing place that is. I saw lots of creatures I had never seen before and my brilliant Lucy knew all about each and everyone and told me all she knew about them. Lucy was always so bright but humble, she always made good grades but never boasted. Well except to me of course. I have always been her confidant, she tells me all her fears and dreams and secrets without worry. I thought our happiness would never end and that we would always be laughing and playing more than sad or angry. We had a few years of playing in the yard taking trips and always visiting the park but then everything changed.

One day Lucy became very weak and was not herself, something was wrong. Her parents took her away for many, many days. I worried I would never see her again. Then one day Lucy’s father came into the room late one day, he was talking on one of those cellular phones the grownups all had. I heard him say as he looked frantically “Where is he honey, I don’t know where to look for him” “In a box, what kind of…wait I see him” Lucy’s father picked me up out of my bed in my house Lucy made me and took me to his truck. I sat in the cup holder for what felt like a lifetime. “Where is my Lucy?” I kept wondering to myself, I was so worried. We finally came to our destination. It was a very big and tall building, it seemed so ominous. After turning dozens of corners and going in and out of small rooms with sliding doors we came to a door with hearts and ribbons on it. In the room were dozens of cards and flowers. And there she was, my Lucy. Her hair was all gone and her face so pale. Her father handed me to her, “Here darling, here’s Buford” he said. Lucy’s little brown eyes opened and she reached out for me and held me on her neck under her chin. “Buford, I missed you” she whispered.

As the days went on Lucy told me she had something horrible called ‘cancer’ I found out from listening to her mother and father that this ‘cancer’ could take my Lucy away, forever. As the days passed Lucy remained very pale and weak; I wondered if she would ever smile again. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and as the flowers adorning my Lucy’s room began to wilt and lose their life, so did my Lucy. I began to think that she would not be going home. Until one day we were packing up to go home. I did not think Lucy looked like she was any better but maybe she was going to get better. The car ride seemed so long as I watched her pale face blankly stare out the window. Then the grave thought came to my mind, perhaps we were going home for Lucy to spend her last days in her home. That’s when I knew it was true Lucy would not be getting better. There would be no more trips to the park, no more family game nights, no more Christmas’ or birthdays or laughter, no more Lucy. I shook the dark thoughts from my mind. Every day that passed I could not seem to keep that horrible scenario from playing out over and over again in my mind. I kept telling myself, yes she would get to go home, but the thought of her going home to die would always taint my hopes. It was getting harder and harder to imagine a day coming where Lucy would be well again but I had to keep up hope.

As the days passed I began to hear the doctor speak of Lucy needing a transplant. If Lucy got this transplant she would have a chance of getting well enough to go home. I still don’t quite understand what a transplant is but all I knew then was that whatever it was Lucy needed it and fast. Night after night mom and dad talked to a man they called Jesus, I never saw him but they still talked to him asking him for a miracle. I had heard mom and dad read stories about him to Lucy at night but I thought he was just a story. I did not know where this man was but if he could hear mother and father even if he was not in the room I wondered if maybe he could hear me. I directed my thoughts to whoever Jesus is and asked him to give my Lucy a miracle. As the days passed I kept asking Jesus for that miracle until one day the Doctor came in. For once let this be good news I hoped. He said that Lucy would get her transplant and after her surgery if she could regain her strength she might be able to go home. I still had not seen this Jesus but if he could get Lucy her transplant without even being in the room to hear us ask him, I thought, surly he could help her get strong again.

The time came for the surgery and everyone was masking dark fears. I thought the surgery was what we wanted but now I knew something was being hidden from Lucy and me. They took my Lucy away for the surgery and the family all waited in her room. I then found out what everyone had been hiding. Lucy needed the transplant for surgery but there was a chance she would not make it through this surgery. This was more than I could bear to hear I wanted so much more for my Lucy than a life like this. Dad began to pack up some of Lucy’s soft blankets to bring new ones but when he gathered her blankets he gathered me in them. I got carried all the way home, far away from my Lucy in her greatest time of need. I could not believe this had happened I just hoped he would notice me when he went started the wash but I was wrong. He did not even put the blankets in for a wash. The phone began to ring and he dropped everything and left. I sat in that pile of blankets for what felt like an age. I was in the dark both physically and mentally. I thought I would go mad wondering what was happening to Lucy.

I don’t know how long it was till they came home but one day the door finally opened. I heard them, mom then dad and then my ears strained, listening, yearning to hear her. “Mommy, where’s Buford?” Lucy said. It was her; I heard her loud and clear just like the day she first found me! Light began to peak through the blankets as dad began to lift them one by one. “Here he is darling” he said. There she was, her hair was short and her face a little pale but tinges of pink had begun to return to her cheeks, her eyes sparkled again and she was smiling. That smile was what I thought I would never see again. As the days went by I listened more intently during story time to learn more of the man called Jesus who had saved my Lucy. When the days came that mom read about him to Lucy at night and told her what he did for her I would listen with much interest, I wanted to know more and more. During the day Lucy began to also tell me about Jesus. My clever Lucy, she always seemed to know what I was thinking.

Once again days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months and months turned into years. I watched my Lucy grow to be a tall beautiful lady. I saw many smiles and many tears and Lucy still told me all her secrets, her hopes and fears; I have often heard her call me her diary. Lucy and I then moved away to a big place far from home called college. There I found myself sitting on a desk where Lucy studied many things I did not understand. Even after all those years there was still not a day that went by that I did not thank Jesus for bringing her that far. I always asked him to never let her go back to that place where the doctors were but he did not answer that prayer.

The day finally came where Lucy would leave college; she had finished studying and would begin life as a grownup like mom and dad. We went home and Lucy began to search for work and a place of her own. Then one day I saw her come home full of excitement, jump and shouting. I knew she must have gotten the job she was wanting, not that I understood at the time what she wanted to do was. We packed up and moved out for good, there were many tears but they were good tears. We moved into our new home and got all settled in then we went to Lucy's new job. She told me she was going to be a nurse and now I understood what that meant. Lucy was going to spend her days in the place I hoped she would never go back to. Only this time Lucy was there to help those who were sick like she was. Jesus had a plan for her that even I could not imagine.

Lucy is married now and she is a doctor caring for children with dreadful cancer. My brilliant Lucy is out there saving lives and helping families. I couldn't be more proud of her. I have a new home now, after years of sitting on her office desk and going home to the bedside table at night I am now someone else's pet. I now live in a little house Lucy's daughter Faith made for me. I will watch over her and pray for her just like my Lucy. I know where ever life takes my Lucy and our family I will always go with them and I will always ask Jesus to watch over them.

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