Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)
TITLE: My Holly
By DeWayne Bricker
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Upon returning home to North East Louisiana our beautiful, creative, intelligent twenty year old daughter, Holly was diagnosed with kidney cancer. I have always prided myself on the fact that I made sure my family was healthy and safe. That was my job as father, husband, protector and provider. When we heard the horrific news I realized that I had no control over anything. Every time I closed my eyes I saw my lovely Holly in a casket with a white Lilly beneath her gently folded hands across her chest. I couldn’t sleep, eat or think without crying.
One night my wife, lover and soul mate asked me this question: “have you put her on the alter before God?” I told her no and I could not give her up but then I realized I am not in control. It was then that I relinquished my imaginary possession of my daughter and put her on the alter before God with these words: “ Lord, God, I know that she is yours and not mine therefore I give her to you and will worship you no matter if she lives or dies because you are in control of everything and I am not.”
It was only then that I could truly begin praying for her recovery. The next six months would have been intolerable had I not given her to God. We literally went through hell as we watched our daughter suffer the agonies of having a kidney removed and subsequent chemotherapy. Her beautiful mousy brown hair fell out by the handfuls. The nerves to her legs, hands and vocal cords deteriorated at the brutal onslaught of one of the chemotherapy drugs lovingly nicknamed the red death.
I went to work crying as my wife spent every moment of every day by our daughter’s side and watched as her young, vibrant body wasted to little more than a skeleton.
It has almost been a year since we were knocked down by her diagnosis of cancer. I scarcely remember this past Fall, Winter and Spring but Summer is here again and our daughter is cancer free and back in college living her life, full of potential and expectancy as if nothing had ever happened. I look back and see the grace of almighty God and how He shielded our eyes and hearts from the true colors of death. All of this has transformed this new Summer into the most brilliant ever for all of us.
We are getting ready once again to head for the beach as a family. Holly’s hair is about three inches long and extra curly with a slightly different hue to it. Yes, it’s been almost one year and Summer is here again. I wonder what wonderful thing God will use this year to show us what is truly important in our busy, self centered lives?
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