Read “Special Gifts” and answer the questions that follow.
1. Sonya’s grandmother was her best friend. Her parents were very busy. They loved Sonya and wanted to be with her, but they each worked two jobs just to bring in enough money for the family to manage
. Sonya’s grandmother had lived with the family since the day Sonya was born. She doted on Sonya, supplying her with affection
and treats, stories and fun. One of their favorite
activities when Sonya was just a toddler
was to walk around the neighborhood
, naming all the flowers.
2. “That one’s a marigold,” Grandma would say.
“And that one is a sunflower.”
3. As Sonya grew older, they stopped naming flowers, but they still spent a lot of time together. Grandma was the one who took Sonya to school and picked her up in the afternoon. She even volunteered in her classroom. Sonya remembered a day when she was in third grade
. Grandma had taken her to the science museum
. They had watched a balloon that seemed to be stuck in mid-air above a little vent
. Sonya couldn’t understand
why the balloon didn’t go up or down. Grandma explained that the vent
let out hot air; heat
rises, so the air carried the balloon upward. But gravity
pulls things down, so the balloon was tugged downward. The two forces were in equilibrium
, so the balloon stayed in one place.
4. Now that Sonya was in fifth grade
, things had changed. Grandma was getting older, and slowing down. Sonya’s parents also had more time at home, so Grandma didn’t need
to do as much for Sonya. And Sonya was changing, too. She spent more time at friends’ houses, and less time with her family.
5. One day Sonya heard the shocking news. Her mother told her that Grandma was in the hospital. She had fallen
and broken her hip. Sonya immediately
went with her parents to the hospital. They peeked in Grandma’s room but she was asleep. Grandma looked frail
and very old. Sonya felt scared
. She wasn’t sure what to do or say. Her Grandma suddenly
seemed like a stranger
6. The family went to the hospital entry lobby
to wait for Grandma to wake
up. It had a
, some comfortable
seats a television, and a gift shop. As soon as Sonya saw the gift shop, she knew what she wanted. She bought some flowers and a bunch of balloons from the shop and raced back up the stairs. Grandma was sitting up.
7. “Grandma!” Sonya said. “I’m so glad you’re awake. Here, I brought these for you. I chose them because - ” “I know, dear,” her Grandma said.