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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Minute(s) (as in time) (03/03/11)

TITLE: Impossible Choice/ Desperate Prayer
By Helen Curtis


I could hear the doctor’s approaching footsteps.
Was it time already?
Did I have to give my answer now?
Surely it had only been minutes since I was asked to make the decision that would end my world; Peter’s world.
I needed more time.

I could hear the doctor’s approaching footsteps.
Was it time already?
Did I need to know the answer now?
Surely it had only been a matter of minutes since
I was told this may be the end of my world.
I needed more time.

Yesterday was still so fresh in my memory;
We were playing as a family at the park.
We’d just cooked our lunch on an unclean-but-free, council-regulated bar-b-cue. There were wasps hovering around us. Why would I remember that? Oh, yes, I was worried that the kids might be stung.
“They are allergic, and I’d hate for anything to happen to them.”

My memories seem so fresh.
Was it really a year ago I was playing with my family in the park?
We’d used those horrible bar-b-cues the council was meant to regulate.
There were always so many wasps there.
Why does that stick in my memory?
Oh, that’s right. Dad was always worried we’d swallow one.
He never wanted anything to happen to us.

It was time for the compulsory game of footy.
John got the ball from the car and the teams were selected.
Peter was on the team kicking southwards.
Uncle Andy the “Ump” bounced the ball and the game was on.
We would win this year!

It was time for the annual family soccer game.
“Brothers versus cousins!”
Uncle Rob the “ref” whistled and the game was on.
This was our year!


“He shoots; HE SCORES!”

Peter ambled over to retrieve the oblong Aussie Rules footy.
It had been a magnificent kick, soaring through the goalposts and across the service road in the car park. The driver wasn’t at fault. Peter was still celebrating his “awesome goal” and ran into her trajectory. It wasn’t a hard blow, just enough to knock him down to the cold, hard asphalt. One minute he seemed fine; the next, he was lying unconscious in an ambulance.

What if we’d started 1 minute earlier, or 5 stupid, pathetic minutes later? Would he still be here now, or is it God’s irrefutable will that we are faced with this choice, if it can be called that?

It didn’t take that long to get the round, black and white chequered football back to the centre. I went to kick off, but hesitated. There was a “something’s not quite right” knowing in my gut. I paused, trying to get my bearings. People were looking, staring, asking everyday questions that made no sense.
“What’s your name?”
“What day is it?”
“Are you ok?”
I thought I was fine, but in just a matter of minutes everything went dark. And now here I am, so many months later, waiting for someone to make a choice, if it can be called that.

The coordinator for organ-donation sat by me and explained that Peter was brain dead.
I felt sick. My head was in a vortex of information overload, but I had no time to rest and allow the sensation to pass. Every passing minute brought waves of disbelief, followed by grief. Not languid, from-a-distance sympathy, but raw, agonising, unabating grief that cut through every part of my psyche.

The coordinator for organ-donation had sat by me and explained that without a heart transplant I would die.
Apparently I had a, what did the Specialist say, “congenital defect” that had never given me trouble.
Until that day.
Why then? Had I not played soccer, would I still be blissfully ignorant of my broken heart?
I thought I had known hopelessness before that day, but this prognosis brought new and terrifying waves of anxiety every agonising minute.

I can’t face this alone.

I can’t face this alone!

“Mrs. Jones, it’s time. We really need to know your answer.”


“God, what’s the answer?!”

Philippians 4:6-7

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.




NB: This isn’t anecdotal, but I’m certain God knows many in these situations. My prayer for them is God’s abundant peace.

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This article has been read 467 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/13/11
This really struck a chord with me. I remember hearing my mom declared brain. It was a horrible moment But giving her organs helped a bit. I was a tad confused if Mrs. Jones was trying to decide to turnoff her son's ventilator or give consent for the organ transplant or someone else's loved one. but the confusion could be my fault because your story was so real it took me back to my mom's hospital bed. Nice job
Allison Egley 03/14/11
This is very realistic.

I too, was a bit confused about who was who at points, and what exactly was going on; but overall, it really didn't detract from the entry as a whole.

Great job with this one.
Leola Ogle 03/14/11
A tough situation for anyone to be in. Good story, much to think on. God bless!
Margaret Kearley 03/15/11
It took me a time to realise this was coming for two 'view-points' - I should have guessed from your titole. However, once I'd grasped that I realised how good this was - excellent writing. So thought provoking. I am sure God speaks and reaches those who we consider are well past reaching. Well done.
Rachel Phelps03/15/11
I, too, took a while to realize it was two different people talking. Awesome concept and very well done.
Beth Muehlhausen03/16/11
The mysteriousness of your style is part of the appeal. Yes, it took a while to figure it out, but by the end I was deeply involved and "right there." Enjoyed the creative take!
Henry Clemmons03/16/11
You could never know how much I like this. Very brave, out there, not afraid and effective. The story was sad and it touched me, but the writing was fresh and energized me. I am very impressed.
Norma-Anne Hough03/17/11
clever writing. Lots of emotions and one could almost feel the tension.
Well done
Bonnie Bowden 03/19/11
Congratulations on your runner up position this week. Your story really touched me. At church, we have already had three people have organ transplants. It has given each of them more life.

I love your writing. You'll climb thru the ranks in no time.
Carol Penhorwood 04/17/11
What insight this represents! This brought back memories for me as well. "Brain dead"...not an easy thing to hear. May God use this to bring peace to hearts who have to face this situation.