One Thousand Paper Cranes

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One Thousand Paper Cranes

Walking toward his mother's bedroom, Mark slowed his pace. His heart ached and felt heavy. His mother's illness hung over him like a shroud, turning his life black. She had cancer in her lungs and he didn't know why and who to blame. She didn't smoke, so why did it have to happen to her. He questioned. He stopped at the door, gathering his thoughts. What would he say to his mother?. He took a deep breath, gathered his strength, and opened the door quietly.

"Mom, how are you today? I'm sorry I haven't come to see you for a while." Mark said as he smiled at her trying to be cheerful. "Mom, I have a surprise for you today. I'm sure you will love it." He held his surprise behind his back with his right hand,
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There were no smokers in my family and I had a healthy life in the countryside. She tried not to think about it, but as much as she didn't want to accept it, she had to face reality. There would be no miracles and her life would be soon over. More than anything she wanted her life to end happily.

"Mom, it's okay. Don't try and get up." Mark talked to her quietly, holding back his tears. "Mom, look at this. Isn't it beautiful?" he said showing her a string of colorful origami paper cranes. Trying to be cheerful he looked into his mother's eyes, but he couldn't hide his emotion. The small, multicolored cranes were strung on thread, one on top of the other in 16 rows looking like colorful Christmas decorations. Each crane opened its wings as if it was ready to fly away into the heavens.

"Oh, my! What's that?" His mother said opening her eyes wide and smiling.

"This is senbazuru, one thousand cranes. My Japanese friend made it for you, Mom." Mark looked at her light greenish eyes again. "Mom, she said the cranes will give your spirit strength. I'll tell you the story she told me about one thousand paper cranes in her country. Do you want to hear it?"

"Sure. Tell me the story." She looked curious, and took in a deep breath of anticipation. Mark was glad to see the pink color of life return to her face.

"Japanese people sometimes fold a thousand cranes to make a wish or to give them to a sick person as a present. The crane is regarded as a symbol of long

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