Winter Tradition

Alright, so this is the story that is coming from the Story Prompt Challenge #1 that I posted in December. The challenge was to come up with a story idea by the end of the year. For those of you who haven’t done it, you can still give it a shot, it’s never too late. If needed you can refer to the Art of Procrastination blog post I wrote. This isn’t so much to give you a project as it is to exercise your creative juices a little. So I’m posting the story that I came up with from the prompt below. It’s the rough draft so there are already things that I think should be changed, but I’m slapping it up anyway to show that you don’t have to start perfectly. Sometimes the good ideas come while you’re writing and that’s just how it works. Maybe you can practice your editing skills on it. Feel free to comment with your critiques and ideas.

Winter Tradition

The winter tradition I never thought I’d have is a hospital visit. Of course there are traditions that happen every year, traditions that are new with just a plan to be continued, and other traditions that happen any year it works out. Well this tradition isn’t one that was ever planned but it worked out to be a tradition because it kept happening.

When I first noticed it I thought it was an interesting coincidence, but then I became a bit paranoid. I was born in the winter, so of course I had a normal birth in a hospital. That was the first occurrence, and I can’t really say much about the next five or so years because I was really only aware of which way my mom cut my peanut butter sandwich. But I do remember visiting whom I was told was my great-grandpa in the hospital. All I remember is that it was cold and snowing and the dying man had a gentle touch when he patted my head.

As a child I must’ve had way too much energy to be contained indoors because since it was frequently too cold to play outside in the winter, I acquired injuries playing inside. In fourth grade I ran into a boy who was bigger than me and I ended up landing on my head on the hard gym floor. So I needed a hospital visit to make sure I didn’t have any major brain damage. Another concussion resulted from rough housing indoors with my brother, when it was too cold for us to play outside. As it would happen I broke my arm slipping on ice after regular clinic hours, so I went to the hospital for a cast and sling.

A little after that I noticed the eerie pattern I was experiencing. Then for some strange reason the school decided to take us on a fieldtrip to the hospital. I don’t remember what we were supposed to be learning about the hospital, but I do remember the lineup of students wearing puffy coats and cold and flu masks being escorted through the white hallways. I think that’s when my paranoia started. It was like every patient was a circus exhibit and us students were being paraded around to see the various situations that could land you in the hospital.

Years later I was putting up Christmas lights and fell off the roof. I should’ve died, but I was lucky. When I was in the hospital that time I realized how cold and lonely the color white can be. But as Christmas came nearer, and I was still in the hospital room, I also realized how bright and warm white could be. Family, friends and nurses would bring Christmas decorations, a little tree, red plates with cookies, and I noticed that none of it clashed with the white walls and floors.

I was so grateful for that Christmas I had there that ever since, whenever I see fresh snow, I think of the hospital. I go each year and build snowmen outside of patient windows and visit a few of them to let them know that even with the cold and gloom that their futures are still bright.

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