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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: Don't Take Him From Me
By Laurie Walker


From the moment Dr. Johnson set him on my chest I knew something was terribly wrong. It was more than his unnatural charcoal hue, more than the nurse whipping the oxygen mask off my face to place it over his. Forever engrained in my mind is the sight of his mouth opened in a noiseless cry, an abnormal screech was all his little body could manage.

Before I could even reach out to touch his hand he was snatched from me.

“Dad, follow me,” the nurse said as she ran with my child through the door.

I was left alone in a room full of people. Left to think terrible thoughts, to agonize not only for my child but also for my husband. Dr. Johnson continued to work on me, keeping up a lively bit of chatter with the nurses.

I prayed. Oh God, please don’t let him die. He’s my baby. I need him. My daughter deserves a brother. My husband deserves a son. Please God, don’t take him from me. The words played through my mind like a cruel storyline in which the actress must practice the part repeatedly until she gets it right. If I say it enough, if I speak with just the right inflection, this gigantic lump of terror sitting heavily on my heart would dissolve.

My doctor left to see what was happening. I watched each tick of the clock until he returned: four minutes and fifty-three seconds.

“It’s not good,” he said, and my branch of hope bent under the weight of his words. Snippets of “a tube down his throat” and “he’s not pinking up” blended with the erratic beating of my heart. “I’ll go check on him again.”

I nodded just to make him go away. The nurses continued to clean the room, yet not one of them could possibly scrub hard enough to remove the spot of fear that had settled over me.

I pretended a smile as my mother came in and motioned to a chair where she could sit. There we waited, mother and daughter, each struggling to make sense of a world that had suddenly gone very awry. Every once in a while someone would pop in to give an update, never really giving the gift of hope but neither fully eliminating it.

Neither Mom nor I spoke. Though never going through something like this before, she understood my need for silence. Perhaps we were experiencing similar thoughts, similar prayers.

All at once a voice spoke inside my head, instantly comforting. Everything is going to be okay. it said. Relief washed through me! My baby would live. In a few days I could take him home, show him to his sister, place him to sleep in his crib, sing him to sleep at night. He would be okay.

No, said the voice again, so remarkably clear. No, but everything is going to be okay.

The doctor walked in pushing an empty wheelchair. “It’s time,” he said.

Before long I was in the NICU clutching my husband’s hand, watching as people bustled around what could have been a doll. I saw the tube emerging from his mouth, wires taped to his still grayish skin.

A wrinkled gentleman in a starched white coat knelt next to me. “Mrs. Walker, I’m so sorry, but this little guy’s not going to make it.”

The words stabbed, willing me to bleed from every pore. I nodded my understanding, unable to say a word. The machines were turned off, the wires and tube removed, and his body was wrapped in a small blanket covered in brightly painted handprints. The doctor laid him in my arms and all at once my husband, my father, and my brother circled around us to pray over this child.

Peace swelled through me, quelling the fear of what would happen, stalling the pain for just a moment. I thought to myself, if God could give up His son for the greater good, than how could I refuse when He asked for mine?

As the prayer ended a chorus of ‘amen’ echoed throughout the quiet room. Not a person moved for several seconds until the leading doctor drew near, placed his stethoscope over his heart and declared young David had passed on.

He lived only one hour and twelve minutes, but his spirit continues to inspire us.

Dedicated to my son, who would have been seven this year. Mom loves you.

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This article has been read 1185 times
Member Comments
Member Date
sue moreland08/31/07
Wow! You told a very sad personal story so well. What a gift you have in the telling.
christine bastow08/31/07
Very heart wrenching and well written. chris x
Jacquelyn Horne08/31/07
What a beautiful piece. So heartwarming, but sad. Wonderful that you could write with such love.
Joy Faire Stewart09/03/07
Beautifully written. Only God can give this kind of peace.
Myrna Noyes09/05/07
What a sad story with, nevertheless, a sweet ending. Such a loss, but such a hope! Very touching!

You used excellent descriptive words and phrases that helped me see everything that happened. One of my favorites was "The words played through my mind like a cruel storyline in which the actress must practice the part repeatedly until she gets it right. If I say it enough, if I speak with just the right inflection, this gigantic lump of terror sitting heavily on my heart would dissolve."

This is good writing, my friend! :) Thank you for sharing this personal piece with us!
Loren T. Lowery09/05/07
There are so many wonderful things about this tender and touching story but the one that stands out to me is the way God spoke to you and gave you peace. I've heard that voice, too, many years ago, and it still speaks and brings peace to me today. Blessings to you and your little one who waits in heaven.
Leanna Roe09/05/07
Thank you for sharing such a sad time. I was there in the room with you. God bless you for opening your heart and letting us get a peak.
Mark Bell09/05/07
What an awesome testimony of faith in times of crisis. thank you for sharing your pain, and hope.
Pamela Kliewer09/05/07
I, like you and Loren know that voice of peace as well. Your story touched my heart and I have tears in my eyes. Your descriptive words and phrases held me to the end.
Cathy Kane09/06/07
What can I say? A beautifully written and moving tribute to your son.

You captured the topic in an extraordinary way.

You are a gifted writer and have a wonderful way with words. May God bless you in a very special way for sharing this story that is sure to deeply touch each person who reads it.
Kristen Hester09/06/07
You are a gifted writer. I am inspired by YOUR words and attitude. This is AWESOME. Our GOD is AWESOME. Thank you for sharing this. Congrats on your win. It is very well deserved!
c clemons09/06/07
I haven't read all tne entries in level 2, but I am sure you deserve the win. I rejoice with you that although little David is not with you here, you will see him again. Good job and I know it will bless others.
Loren T. Lowery09/06/07
Congratulations on this wonderful writing and its well-deserved placing. I continue to look forward to more of your writings.
Dee Yoder 09/06/07
Simply beautiful, Laurie. One day, you'll see him again, and what a wonderful day that will be! I love the hope you wrote into your story, and the way you surrendered the future, no matter what it held, to the Lord.
Congratulations on your winning entry!
Tracy Walshaw09/06/07
Congratulations on your well-deserved win. Not only did you tell a heart-wrenching (I'm still crying!) story, but you did it in excellent "format"; the spacing, the mechanics all worked to make it easily readable, which is important in any story. You touched my heart and reminded me how God has promised to always be there, especially in the darkest times that don't end as we would like. I know you can't wait to see your precious son again!
Trevas Walker09/06/07
This entry brought tears too my eyes. What a heart wrenching story, but with a clear message of hope. Very well written.
Myrna Noyes09/06/07
CONGRATULATIONS, LAURIE!!!!!!! :D I am so glad you won first place with this wonderfully-written story! WAY TO GO!!
Myrna Noyes09/06/07
CONGRATS on your 3rd place EC, as well, Laurie! You richly deserved it! :)
Mo 09/06/07
Congrats on your EC win.
God bless.
Sheri Gordon09/07/07
Congratulations on your EC -- very much deserved. This is excellent writing. You did a really good job of bringing your emotions, your turmoil, to the reader. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Dianne Janak09/09/07
Congrats on a very well deserved win, about a very sad but inspiring story. We lost our first two grandchildren to miscarriage, and though it is not quite the same, I could feel the emotions richly because of the grief any life doesn't last long enough for us to embrace. Thanks for sharing from your heart and life...