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.
“Maygol,” Sonya would repeat in her toddler way.
“And that one is a sunflower.”
“Sunfowa.” “That’s right,” Grandma would praise.
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 and nervous. She wasn’t sure what to do or say. Her Grandma suddenly seemed like a stranger to her.
6. The family went to the hospital entry lobby to wait for Grandma to wake up. It had a
cafeteria, 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.