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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Breathe (08/19/10)

TITLE: Just Breathe
By Kathy Barnes


Sometimes, I wonder how many times I said or heard, “Just breathe.” It is a simple instruction, but not always easy.

When I was young, we lived in the country and had many cats and dogs. I remember saying those words many times to newborns animals. Some as we watched them being born and sighed with relief when we saw that first breath. Others we found after a cold night and tried to warm with hands and hot towels willing life back into them. We prayed, “Just breathe.”

When I was older, dressed in white and walking down a church aisle on my father’s arm to greet my soon to be husband those words came back.
Hopes, joys, fears of the future, doubts if I were ready all filled my soul. “Just breathe,” it will soon be over and life can begin.

A few years later it was a doctor saying, “Just breathe; it will not be much longer I can see the head.” My son came a month early, lungs not fully developed, weighting 4 lb. and 2 oz. and with a cord wrapped around his neck and I held my breath as I prayed, “Just breathe.”

My husband lay in recovery after surgery, his breathing so slight he kept setting off the alarms every few minutes. I prayed, “Just breathe normal. I need you.”

The first time the cops show up at your door with your son. Your heart stops and you tell yourself, “Just breathe.” When he tells you your son is okay, just a little shaken up, but you car was totaled. You sigh relieve and start breathing again. You can always kill him later.

I receive a call from my daughter; I need to run her to the emergency clinic. She calmly said, "Someone was cutting a board, a piece kicked back, knocking over a paper tree, which in turn knocked over the twelve foot theater paint shelf down, covering me head to toe in paint. My elbow was dislocated, but TJ popped it back. I just need to have it looked at." It all right Mom, “Just breathe.”

My daughter’s alarm goes off and keeps ringing. I call her a few times before going upstairs to find my daughter unconscious; lips, and fingers blue. I grab a phone, call for help, start CPR, and pray. “Just breathe.” I watch helplessly as the doctors say they don’t know what is wrong, but they have to put her on life support. A week later when they are ready to try to take her off, I am still praying that same prayer. “Just breathe, honey. Please.”

I walk into house that once was filled with life but now seems empty. How did the “I love You’s” change into divorce? My heart weeps and mourns the loss and asks how will I it come through it. I said, “Just breathe, somehow you will make it.”

I struggle with kids and parents going in and out hospitals. I lose my job, a house, and my savings. I wondered how I will feed the kids or where we will sleep. I hear, “Just breathe, this too will pass.”

I stand at my mother’s grave. Tears rolling down my eyes, as I weep for the loss. My heart aching, surprised at the love; despite all the abuse. I’m confused by all the conflicting emotions. A friend hugs me and says, “Just breathe, it will be better soon.”

I stand and watch as children once small, now leave the nest and start new lives of their own. No longer do I hold the place that I once did, for they have found new loves. It fills me with joy and pain, and so I say again; “Just breathe this is how it is meant to be.”

I now stand unsure of the future and what other trails I face. God says gently in my ear and heart, “Wait. It will be well. I am still here and I will give you strength to get through the fires of life. Just breathe.” He calls to me to breathe in His spirit, His word and rest quietly in His peace. He pleads with me to be still, let go of my fears and worries. “Just breathe and know that I am God.” It is the hardest thing to do and the only thing to do.

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This article has been read 506 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Betty Farrow08/26/10
You have described "life" beautifully. This was a very well done piece.
Mark Kinsman 08/27/10
That was very well done, it brought you in and one could relate to some piece of it, and that is the job of the writer. Very well done, thanks.
AnneRene' Capp08/27/10
Wow...this was filled with such emotion, would have also been good for next weeks challenge! You touched so many heart strings in me and am sure with all who read this. I also enjoyed and chuckled at killing your son, AFTER you could catch your breath. :)

Tidbit: You had some very simple grammar boofs that are easily corrected with proofreading, proofreading and more proofreading...can't tell you how many times, I still miss a few! :)
Verna Mull 08/27/10
What a great article on "Breathe" It is one that we can all relate too. Great job.
Patsy Hallum08/27/10
Good writing. I have had to breathe through a lot. You said it with great skill. Thanks.
Christine Ramey08/27/10
This one has been a very emotional but inspirational piece. Thanks for sharing it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/27/10
This is such a beautiful story, I almost dread pointing out some of the errors, but I believe you will get through it and Just breath. There were some proofreading misses that I noticed when you walked down the aisle you said I were and it should be I was. When weighing the baby,you spelled it with a T. Just make sure you leave the paper for several hours, before you proof it, if you have someone who can read it aloud for you that would help too. All in all your message was perfect. Life does hand us many tough times sometimes the only thing we can manage to do is to Just Breathe.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/06/10
I just wanted to say I'm sorry about correcting the were in the aisle, in that example I was incorrect and you were right. I missed the if which made it a subjunctive mood and were is the correct phrasing. I'm so sorry. Your story is still great!