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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Experiment (02/16/12)

TITLE: The Sailor and The Lady
By Darlene Edmondson


The Sailor and The Lady

My dad and mom were born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains; where, making and honest living was hard to come by. They both completed their early schooling, but neither earned a high school diploma. So, just before dad joined the U.S. Navy, he fell crazy-in-love with mom. Following a two year duty-at-sea, dad was stationed at Jacksonville Florida Naval Air Station. The base provided housing for married sailors, their wives and children. You guessed it; sailor Blake proposed to lady Katherine. So, the newlyweds began their union in blissful joy. Mom was hired by the naval administrator as a mechanical-aide, and the elated couple worked side by side repairing various equipment.

During their first year of marriage, mom discovered she was pregnant. They were thrilled to be starting a family of their own. One sunny afternoon, mom went in for a routine obstetric visit. The diagnosis: pre-eclampsia. The gynecologist was gravely concerned because the baby's due date was three months away. In order to save mom's life, the doctor immediately induced labor. With today's medical advances, she would have been more safe; however, this was in 1945. After heavy sedation and a successful vaginal delivery, mom was out of danger. Richard Blake Free entered the world, whimpering softly and weighing 2 pounds 8 ounces. When she awakened with some coherency; dad whispered, "darlin', our boy made it, but he's fightin' for his life". Still confused, mom gained enough strength to cry out to her only hope: "Oh, God, have mercy, let my baby live"!

Richard did survive the birth trauma; but, the naval doctors explained he may develop a slight handicap, due to the lack of oxygen to his brain. Then, they told my parents of a new project being offered in their hospital to all premature newborns. It was a medical board-certified experiment: one which required their signatures. The team of specialists could not guarantee the experiment would have a good or desirable outcome. Tentatively, my parents agreed to take a chance on this newly-discovered, unproven medicine. It was called penicillin. While Richard lived in the incubator for three months, he was given trial doses of; what they hoped would be, a 'miracle' drug.

Together with mom's answered prayer and the experimental treatments of penicillin, Richard will be 67 years old this September. I am extremely proud to be his younger sister and grateful for the impact he makes on my life. My cup runs over with heavenly delight as I think about Richard; and, how he fulfills his holy purpose in the world. Mom often says, "Richard will always have a special, soul-deep place in my heart". Hey, even the sailor is looking down from heaven; proudly grinning and waiting for that blessed reunion with his lady and their four children.

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This article has been read 484 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/24/12
Thank you for this touching story. What an engaging entry. It was totally on topic and concluded strongly.

Loved it. God Bless~
Linda Motchman02/24/12
I liked the way you jumped a few decades to get to your point. You included all the important information without being wordy. I had a tear in my eye when I read your last paragraph. What love you have for your brother. Thanks
Jody Day 02/25/12
Very nicely done. What a beautiful story. I can see this testimony as a devotional.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/25/12
This is a great story. Wow it's amazing that a preemie that young survived back then. My mom lost her first child due to spina bifida problems. Had he been born today... This is a nice take on the topic.
Kathleen Langridge03/01/12
Tenderly written. The story has good flow and focus. Some editing in the first paragraph would help. The word 'so' was prominent. Good job, keep writing.
C D Swanson 03/01/12
Congratulations on your well deserved placement! This was a touching story.

I look forward to your next entry. God Bless you~
Nancy Bucca03/01/12
What a beautiful story! Congratulations on being highly commended.