In a house far, far away, there lived a tranquil family of six. They were a quaint family, with all kinds of personalities. The father had a leadership personality; deep, strong voice, a figure of forty years. When he was angry, his words were so terrifying, one could only stop and stare.
The mom had a degree in science and medicine. She might have come to the father’s shoulder, but she was tall when she stood alone.
The eldest girl, Isabel, was ten, and was tall like her dad. Her hair was jet black, and her face glowed with cleanliness. Her eyes were deep and thoughtful. Her cheeks were slightly pink, like they were painted on.
Second in line was Julian. He was seven with the characteristics of a naughty child; he had a glowering face, brown eyes, thin, fleet arms to snatch anything and lock it up in his arms or room.
The baby sisters, Mary and Naya, had similar features.
They both had short, dark hair, clear eyes and the loudest piercing voices in the seven seas!
You can’t possibly think the Grimm family had no shortcomings.
Julian was always losing that key, breaking that gun, making his curtain rod go kaplonk! Isabel was at least more organized. Her gizmos were stored away in bags or boxes. Even the jewelry chest was sorted: necklaces in one drawer, bracelets in the other. But she did lose her key and library card every so often. Or Julian would play catch in the living room, particularly near the chandelier and knock out a bulb or two.
“Isabel Grimm!’’ shouted their mother. “It’s ten minutes past dinner time and you’re still reading!”
“Coming Ma,’’ she groaned. As she came through the kitchen door, her eyes popped with surprise! Her favourite dish, roasted chicken with onions, garlic, and best of all, lemons! She ate her wonderful dinner and then headed off to bed.
The next morning greeted Isabel with warm, golden streaks of sunlight. She dragged herself out of bed and to the mirror, only to feel dizzy and grip the top of her dresser all the more. She slipped on her stretchy hair band and then pulled her silky hair into a ponytail.
After breakfast she checked what day it was. Saturday. Phew. A nice day to watch a movie to watch for the next few hours. Maybe Pride and Prejudice.
Nope. No movie today. Maybe I’ll just work in the garden and do some gardening, Isabel thought.
Isabel didn’t know what to work on first: roses, trees, vegetables, or trilliums? I’ll do trees…
She marched up to the apple tree, took a good, long stare, and thwack! She began cutting every twig in her reach, except for that big, round, hardy branch up in the tree.
“I’ll climb up with the shears,” she sighed. Right foot, left foot, up she went, until disaster struck! She lost her grip, and the shears came crashing down on her face, ripping out a huge wound, which drowned her face in blood.
She knew no more.
The next thing she knew was that she was on a life support system. Although she had a great fall, she was still able to look around. On her right side were three machines measuring her heartbeat, blood pressure, and whether or not she was fully conscious. On her left, there was a table with a jelly sandwich, a juice box and water. She tried to get up. She fell back, annoyed. She tried again and again until the nurse finally came.
“Don’t try to get up,” she said. With that, the nurse stabbed her arm with a syringe. Just then, her dad came.
“What’s up?” he asked, smiling. “I’m taking some blood,” the nurse replied.
After a long four weeks of recovery, Isabel was riding home in her dad’s blue Camaro. “Home, sweet home!’’ she exclaimed joyfully. But soon she would be lamenting, “Frustrating life!’’
Isabel turned the pages of her notebook roughly, which was quite different from the usual careful turns she made of her special notebook. She made a habit to write at least one paragraph a day. But today was different. She just felt too dejected to write even a sentence! So all she wrote was: Today was bad. I woke up cranky, went to school cranky, and slept cranky!
There were two things that bothered her: first, the huge scar on her right cheek, and second, the constant nightmares of the accident day. It annoyed her so much she got a high fever. At least it stopped her nightmares though. By the time she got better, half the scar was gone. But the nightmares just came back.
“…I am not afraid to stand alone…’’ Gosh, she thought. That’s my favourite song! She was in the living room, so she ran into the kitchen, where the song was playing. But Isabel was still feeling traumatized.
Isabel’s mind raced with thoughts:
Why do I have to go through all this? True, everyone has to go through some hardship, but I didn’t think it would be so intense!
“God will not bestow on a human being a hardship more than they can bear.’’
But how do I bear this? Well, all bad and good times come to an end. But how long until this bad time ends? And can I bring this bad time to an end by myself?
Her mind was made up. She was going to try different strategies on herself, then decide which one was best and use that throughout her life.
First, she complained to her parents about these traumatizing nightmares. They only told her nothing could be done about it.
Next, she found someone she didn’t like, and blamed it on them. Everyone despised her for that.
Finally, she decided to take complete control over herself. As she consulted frequently with her mom, she also told her of her failures. This time however, her strategy actually worked! It was much easier to do this, than to blame it on an innocent person.
When her mother asked her about it, she proudly said, “The best thing I learned was that just because the rain stopped for a bit, doesn’t mean the entire flower has to droop!”