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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Anniversary (04/11/05)

TITLE: ANNUAL ANGUISH
By Faithaline Stanislaus
04/17/05


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I sat up bolt upright in bed, my sweat-drenched night gown clinging to my trembling body. The nightmares were back. They came around this time every year. They were always the same: a voice crying for help; a hand barely visible above grimy water; I try to rescue the drowning victim but never get to them in time.

Gradually the trembling ceased and I lay back, only to sit up a few minutes later, too agitated to lie down. With a resigned sigh, I got out of bed, wrapped my robe around me, and walked over to the window. Pulling back lace curtains, I gazed up at the black sky, in stark contrast to the white, snow-covered ground which was illuminated by a crescent-shaped silver moon. The peaceful landscape silently mocked my inner turmoil. Squinting, I fixed my eyes on the few stars that were visible in the cosmos.

“Are you up there—up in heaven? Can you hear me?” I murmured.

I reached out and opened the window, steeling myself against winter’s frigid fingers.

“When you died on that bitter cold day, something in me died with you,” I cried out. “It’s been five years and I’m still haunted by guilt and despair.” I seemed to have no audience but for the few apathetic shadows outside my window. “All the tears I’ve cried can’t bring you back,” I continued. “What have I done? It’s all my fault. You were innocent; defenseless; you were depending on me to protect you—and I let you down.”

My gaze fell on a few bare-armed birch trees, seemingly holding up their empty hands to the sky as though pleading—like me—for forgiveness.

Dropping my head until my chin rested against my chest, I whispered, “You created my inmost being…knit me together in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place…your eyes saw my unformed body…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

I flinched when I heard a deep groan of anguish, then realized that it had come from me.

“They said you were only a clot of flesh, and I believed them. I didn’t realize you were a tiny human being, capable of suffering. You didn’t die with dignity; and I wasn’t allowed to moan—not then.

Now I am weighed down with grief and guilt every winter; year after year. Forgive me, my child, who might have been. Forgive me, God.


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This article has been read 714 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynne Gaunt04/18/05
Wow, this is very powerful. You have effectively described a life tortured with grief and self-condemnation. So sad that she would not accept that God has forgiven her in Jesus.
Pat Guy 04/18/05
If she could only realize, her child is alright and flourishing in the Presence of their Heavenly Father. That forgiveness is for here and now, and one day all will be forgotten and made new. Peace to the ones who suffer so, over this decision that God has already forgiven. Pat
Pat Guy 04/18/05
I was so caught up in the instensity of the piece I forgot to comment -- Well done and good job. Pat
vicki mccollum04/19/05
You write with alot of power. Good job.
Suzanne R04/21/05
Very moving. Your title is clever, too. Well done.
Helga Doermer04/21/05
The intensity of the grieving ache carries all the way through.
Sally Hanan04/23/05
Excellent writing and vivid imagery.