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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: White (10/29/09)

TITLE: Life's Unexpected Twists and Trials
By Shilo Goodson


Growing up, I thought I had my whole life figured out. I was going to marry a wonderful man, have a white picket fence, two kids, and a dog. I’d be the mom who fixed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into fun little shapes for her kids. When I got married three weeks after college graduation, it seemed like that’s where my life was headed. Because our fathers were college roommates and best friends, Marcus and I had grown up together, and even though he’s three years older than me, we’d been best friends from a young age. Now we were husband and wife.

Eleven months after we got married, it seemed like our lives were headed towards the life I’d imagined . Our twin boys were born. Marcus was finishing his last year of medical school and had secured a great residency. We were even looking into purchasing our first home. It was the home of my dreams complete with my dream white picket fence. Then reality hit. Connor, one of our newborn sons, was born with several allergies. Because of an allergy to dog hair, the dog we had planned to get was no longer an option. Because of his allergy to peanut butter, the sandwiches I had planned for my children were also no longer a reality. I was devastated. To add to that, soon after their birth, we discovered that our other son, Jeffery, had some heart problems. We even decided that because of the medical bills, we weren’t going to be able to afford to buy a house yet.

Instead of the white picket fence of my dreams, I found my life filled with the white coats of doctors. Because of the many surgeries that Jeffery had to endure beginning soon after his birth, clean, white, sterilized rooms came to represent our lives. Between Connor’s constantly newly discovered allergies that resulted in quite a few trips to the emergency room and Jeffery’s surgeries, in their first year of life, the twins spent more time at the hospital than their father. Yet, through my faith and prayers, I was able to handle all the trials that were sent my way. That was until today.

Today I got a call from the hospital. It wasn’t about either of the twins. In the four years since they were born, I have come to accept that there will be many trips to the hospital, but I have also come to trust the doctors and nurses. No, this call was about Marcus. On his way out of work tonight, he was shot. Even now, I don’t know all the details. From what I understand, one of Marcus’ patients overdosed on medication prescribed to them by Marcus, and a family member blamed Marcus. I guess I should at least be grateful that Marcus was in the parking lot of the hospital when it happened and that someone else saw it happen. The shooter was caught, but things aren’t looking good for my husband.

No one said anything to me about Marcus’ condition when I rushed into the hospital, but I’ve been around enough doctors and nurses in the last few years to understand that the looks and lack of looks say more than words sometimes. Many of my husband’s closest friends wouldn’t even make eye contact with me when I ran into the waiting room over two hours ago. I think that hurt more than if they had told me that my husband probably wasn’t going to make it.

I find myself praying harder than I’ve ever prayed in my life, and I have definitely prayed hard in my life. I can’t be a single parent. I can’t raise two young boys on my own. I’m not completely sure of it yet, but I even suspect that there’s another one on the way in a few months. I find myself bargaining with God. I’ll give up my dream white picket fence. We don’t even have to ever own our own home. If Marcus can just survive, I won’t complain ever again about the student loans that we’ll be paying back for years.

“Hannah?” a voice interrupts my bargaining with the Lord.

I look up at Erin, one of the nurses who went in with Marcus for his surgery, and I hold my breath. She whispers some of the most beautiful words in the world.

“It looks like he’s going to make it.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 11/08/09
You certainly shared lots of twists and trials in this story. So glad there was a happy ending.