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Madison let the lake water wash over her bare feet as she walked along the beach. The water was a little cold but she welcomed the little bit of zing she got from the cold. The sun was just setting, and the water was glimmering and showing off all kinds of colors. She stopped and turned towards it. There was nothing more she loved than the sunset over lake Michigan in late September. It always help her ease out of summers she didn't want to let go.
Madison leaned over and picked up a rectangular flat rock. She griped the rock with two finger s and a thumb. One of her fingers rested on the edge of the rock ready to spin the rock while her thumb and other finger held it in place. She flung it side-armed into the water. She watched as it began to skip. Once, twice, three and four times, until it finally plopped into the ocean. She smiled, then frowned, because memories of her father then crept in on her.
She remembered being seven years old, she would build sandcastles as the days minutes ticked away. Her mother would be playing with her year old brother, while her father skipped rocks. She remembered looking up every once in a while and watch her father skip rocks onto the lake. The rocks seemed to skip on forever into the sunset. She then picked up a rock and tried to imitate her father. She slung the rock as hard as she could and the rock plunked right into the water without making one skip.
She turned back to her father as he continued to skip.
“Daddy?” She asked. He looked over and smiled.
“Can you show me how to skip a rock?” He smiled and nodded. He grabbed a rock and walked over to her. Bending down he placed the rock into her hand. He adjusted is so that she held it with one finger on the edge, one finger on the bottom and the thumb on the top.
“Now, when you throw spin the rock and try to get it to land flat on the surface, that way it skips. Okay?” She smiled and nodded. She then set her feet and flung the rock as hard as she could. It then landed in the water with a plunk and sank to the bottom of the lake, without a skip. She frowned but her father laughed.
“Madison, you have to be gentle and guide it, you can't force it.” He said.
“Why not?” She cried. He looked at her with the biggest smile. He hugged her and took her hand.
“Come one we'll try tomorrow.”
“But daddy!” She cried.
“Shhhhh.” His voice was soft. “Don't worry you'll get it someday. I know you will.”
The memory seemed to fade after that point. The memory had been fading for years, but she knew she would always hold onto it, because it was one of the last memories she would have of her father before he died.
She picked up another rock. A threw it into the water, careful to be gentle. The rock skipped once , twice, three, four , five, six times. She sighed.
“I miss you dad” She whispered. She picked up another rock.
Daddy. The world made her freeze. The rock fell to the sand. Something tugged at her pants. She looked down and saw her little brother Micheal, now 8, staring up at her. He was saying “Maddy.” She calmed herself, and tried hard not to roll her eyes.
“Maddy, can you show me to skip rocks? Pleasssse, with sugar on top?” With sugar on top, there's no refusing that offer.
“Okay.” She said half heartily. The boy's face lighted up instantly. She grabbed the rock and bent down next to him. She placed the rock into his hand and adjusted his fingers. “Now when you throw it-” Micheal wasted no time and beamed the rock into the lake with all his might. The rock made nothing but a large splash and slide into the lake.
“Micheal!” Her voice rose. “If I'm going to teach you something at least pay attention!” The boys eyes went down and his smile dissipated. He looked as if he were about to cry. She was about to turn around and start walking the other way down the beach, letting her mom take care of him, when her fathers words ran through her head. Madison you have to be gentle and guide it, you can't force it. She turned back around to see him still standing there.
She picked up a rock and placed it into his hands. She looked into his eyes.
“When you throw it, be gentle, don't force, okay?” He nodded. She backed away. He look at her and she nodded. He then threw the rock side-armed at the water. The rock skipped once, than once more and dropped into the water. His face lighted up.
“I did it.” He exclaimed. She smiled and took his hand.
“You sure did, now let go home.” She said.
“I can't try again?”
“You have your whole life ahead of you Miky and the lakes nod going anywhere.” He noded and they walked off the beach hand in hand. Right before her foot step off the sand, she whisper. “Thanks dad.”