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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Sweet Release
By Paula Titus


Marissa managed to sit up on the side of her bed, leaning on one arm to steady herself she reached for the old metal walker. The hideous looking piece of equipment loomed just outside of her reach, so she decided to give it a good kick instead. The loud clang it made as it struck the dresser was more than enough noise to get the attention of someone in the house.

Brian, Marissa’s teenage son appeared in the doorway. “What was that?” he asked.

“Don’t you have eyes? Hand me that piece of junk.” Marissa’s speech was slightly slurred, but she felt confident Brian understood.

Brian stood the walker in front of his mother, keeping hold of it while she grabbed both sides and scooted to the edge of the bed. “I can do it,” Marissa snapped, “Go back to your precious video games.”

“I can help you Mom, where are you going?”

“I said I can do it.” Marissa clenched her teeth as she spoke. Struggling to stand, she began to make her way down the hall. She watched as Brian shut the door to his bedroom and a pang of guilt swept over her. Somewhere in the back of Marissa’s mind she knew her anger toward Brian was unmerited. But right now she had to concentrate on walking, and with each forced step she felt her bitter rage rising again.

“Hi honey, have a good nap?” Marissa’s husband, known to most as “Buddy,” greeted Marissa from his chair at the kitchen table. In front of him lay an array of medical bills, pamphlets on “How to cope with Lou Gehrig’s disease,” and a Bible teetering on the edge.

Marissa ignored the greeting and went about pouring herself a cup of coffee. “Why do you have the Bible out?” she asked Buddy.

“Pastor called and was giving me some scripture to read.” Buddy pulled the Bible closer.

“Scripture hasn’t helped me yet.” Marissa’s tone had its usual sarcastic ring. She sat at the table across from Buddy. It required a very concentrated effort for her to bring the coffee cup to her lips without dropping it. “When are you going to face the fact that God isn’t going to heal me of this nightmare?”

“Why should He?” Buddy paused, “Unless I am wrong, you haven’t done anything to get closer to God since you found out you had it. Even when you were well, I had to beg you to go to church with me.”

Marissa rolled her eyes and stared out the window as Buddy spoke.

Buddy continued, “Marissa, if you would’ve been right with God before this happened, I think you would have a whole different attitude now. But it’s not too late, and I – plus a lot of people who love you want to help you understand that we can get through this. But we need God’s help, there’s no other way you’re going to find any peace.”

Just as Marissa was about to take another sip of coffee, the cup dropped from her grasp and coffee spilled over the papers on the table. Marissa barely flinched, she had grown accustom to dropping most things she tried to hold. Buddy jumped from his chair and began cleaning the mess. Marissa sat with her head in her hands, as the tears began to flow.

“I’m afraid,” Marissa whispered. “I’m afraid God won’t want me now, because I never wanted Him before.”

“He wants you Marissa. He promises to never forsake you, and we can stand on that promise – I know it.” Buddy stroked her hair as he spoke.

In that moment Marissa felt her bitterness release, she took hold of Buddy’s hand and vowed to place her heart in the hands of God.

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This article has been read 674 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/11/08
Wonderful ending!

If she's that debilitated from Lou Gehrig's Disease, could she have given her walker a good kick, from her bed?

A few typos and comma splices to clean up, but this is a good story. I like reading about people who come to terms with disabilities.
Joy Faire Stewart01/11/08
I like the husband's words of advice, excellent message.
Nathan Perkins01/12/08
It was very relatable. I understand better then before. You brought me into life life of the story. What a gift.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge01/13/08
I enjoyed this. The dialogue was real, pulled me into the story. Your approach to the topic was creative and edifying. Thanks!
Debbie Wistrom01/23/08
Could identify with the bitterness and loved this part. Somewhere in the back of Marissa’s mind she knew her anger toward Brian was unmerited. But right now she had to concentrate on walking, and with each forced step she felt her bitter rage rising again.
Keep up the good words and congratulations.