AN EPIC WAR
My family likes to train for our future law professions by playing Apples to Apples. The way the Gunson family plays it, we yell and kick our arguments onto the table and completely flummox whoever is judging. It’s a program as good as any law school’s. No good lawyer is unfamiliar with law firm rivalries, and my family is more than familiar to intense bouts of argumentative exchanges. My mother and I are no strangers to rivalries, and this family-friendly game only proves our familiarity with them. As Gunson legend dictates, whenever I or my mother are judging, we refuse to let the other win that card. But everyone has that story about the one that got away. My rivalry with my mother was no different. One particular Sunday sticks out in my mind. It was a clear day, and the sun was setting, casting a golden glow on the dining room table. I was in a particularly intense stare off with my mother. I remember it was rather difficult, as I had the setting sun also glaring intensely in my eyes. Never the less, I pressed on, hoping to intimidate my mother.
The green card’s adjective was “senseless,” and it was my turn to judge. My mother made her customary statement.
“Hannah, my card is incredible.”
“Of course it is, mother.”
“But you’ll never pick it.”
“Never, mother. Never.”
My mother tapped her card on her nose before handing it to me. I took it with contempt.
“I won’t pick it.”
“It’s really good.”
“I’ve heard this argument before.”
“Well I’ll make it again.”
I had received the remaining cards from the other players. I placed them out in front of me, reading each one out loud. I placed my mother’s card separate from the others. At this, she reached across the table and grasped my hand. I looked up.
“Please. Just look at it.”
As any super villain would, I agreed to my victim’s last request. I looked at the card, and the moment my eyes rested upon its noun, I fell apart.
I believe I lost more than a game that day. I lost my pride. This ancient rivalry between my mother melted away as the peals of laughter ascended into Heaven. No one knew how long the walls would stay down, but for the rest of the night, my mother and I enjoyed each other’s company in perfect harmony.
The noun in question was “Helen Keller.”