Thursday, 7 May 2015


“Grandma, are you awake?”
Grandma opened her eyes and smiled at me. “I was just dozing. Is that my cocoa?”
Allen nodded and handed her the mug. “Are you all right?”
Swallowing the cocoa in her mouth, Grandma licked her lips. “Sort of. I’m remembering the sinking of a ship.”
Allen shuddered and set his cocoa mug on his knee. He thought of the great ship Titanic, which Grandma had been on when she was seven years old. The memories had never left her mind, and sometimes she would tell Allen about that awful night.
“Were you scared?” Allen asked, lugging his grandma’s dog Alfie into his lap.
Grandma nodded. “Yes, I was absolutely terrified. I already had a fear of ships, but since both of my parents were traveling, I had to come with them. I did so much travelling when I was little. Every other year I seemed to be in a car, going somewhere. I didn’t mind cars; it was ships I couldn’t stand.”
“How did you get your fear of ships?” Allen asked. If Grandma had been scared of ships, it must have been horrible to have been on the Titanic.
“I got it when the Titanic sank,” Grandma said, taking another sip of cocoa.
“Wait, I thought you were talking about the Titanic,” Allen frowned. “What was this other ship?”
Grandma put her mug on the table and pulled Allen and Alfie against her legs. “It was called the Lusitania, and it was headed towards England, which was where my parents and I were going. Despite the war, we were moving to my aunt’s house in Northamptonshire.”
Allen rubbed his nose against his arm, trying to think of any ships he knew named Lusitania. What was so bad about this ship to make Grandma remember it so sadly?
“Before the Lusitania left America, the German government put out a warning in a newspaper called the New York World. In short, it warned the passengers that were planning on traveling on the Lusitania that their ship could get destroyed by the Germans.”
“So why did the ship go anyway?” Allen asked.
Grandma shrugged. “I don’t know. My parents ignored the warning after a little thought. Papa was a bit worried, but then he agreed with mum that the Germans were just blustering and wouldn’t really dare to try and attack the Lusitania. Americans were travelling on the ship, and the United States wasn’t at war with Germany.”
Allen put a piece of gum in his mouth and pulled his socks up his legs. “So the ship sailed, right? Did the Germans actually attack?”
“Yes, they did. On May seventh, which is today, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a U-boat of the Germans. The ship sank in eighteen minutes, Allen. Hardly any of the lifeboats were loaded, and some of them capsized. My parents and I were three of the seven hundred and sixty-one people who lived. The ship had had one thousand, one hundred and ninety-eight people on it.”
Allen finished his cocoa. “Is that why we got into World War One?”
“It’s one of the reasons. You know, I survived two major sinkings in history, and they’ve each had an impact on more than the survivors and their families. Seventy-three years ago the Titanic’s sinking made sure future ships would enough lifeboats for all the people on board, and seventy years ago the Lusitania was a help in getting us into the Great War.”
“That wasn’t good, Grandma!”

Grandma leaned her head against the back of her chair. “I didn’t say the changes were good, Allen. Many people like to say that history doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and it doesn’t. Everything that happens in life has at least a little impact on something. Not necessarily a worldwide impact, but an impact. The sinking of the Lusitania had a bad impact, but it still happened. And God’s in control, Allen. The Lusitania sank, the Great War happened, and people died, but God was still in charge. Lots of things happen in history and in current events that aren’t good, and hurt many people, but God still has a plan, even if we can’t see it, and, even if we can’t see how it can be possible, He’s still in control."
The End

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