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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)

TITLE: The Sign
By Kate Wells


Jennifer Ross lay back on her pillow and tried to breathe rythmically, the way the instructor had shown them in the childbirth classes. She never imagined having to do this by herself. She began to feel another contraction mounting, along with some self-pity and resentment. She relaxed again as the nurse wiped her forehead and gave her a little cup of ice chips.
Jennifer's husband was in Iraq. His plane had gone down ten days earlier and he was reported missing in action. The physical pain of childbirth was now mixed with the heartbreaking pain of the loss of her husband. It was more than she could endure and the tears began to flow. Another contraction began to involuntarily tighten her abdominal muscles and she braced for the pain. She decided to focus on giving birth to their child. Mourning would have to wait
"Breathe", she told herself firmly, "just breathe". And she remembered the afternoon she and Jack had said goodbye at the airport. He had leaned down and kissed her belly and given it a loving pat. Then he held her hands as he said a prayer. She could not remember the prayer now. But she remembered how he had looked into her eyes and promised that he would be back...
"And" he added, "if for some reason I can't keep that promise...I'll ask God to send a sign to tell you I love you...both of you, and I'll see you in heaven."
And right then...it had started to rain outside. They watched through the windows of the airport lobby as big sheets of rain blew across the tarmac. He took her in his arms and said reassuringly, "Don't worry, Jen, I'll be back. And he smiled that smile that always formed a dimple near the left corner of his mouth.
The pains grew closer together and the birth of their child was imminent. She tried to focus on the doctors' instructions and then came the sound that is music to the ears of anyone who has ever given birth. The indignant wail of a newborn that has been thrust into the world cold and naked.
The nurses quickly wrapped the wriggling baby in a soft blanket and put a little pink cap on the tiny head. As they measured and weighed and did the things that nurses do, Jennifer overheard them talking about the torrents of rain that were coming down outside. And she knew that was her sign from Jack.
She could not stop the tears as they laid the baby girl in her arms. Such pain mixed with indescribable joy.
"Do you have a name for her?", one of the nurses asked.
"Rain"...she replied, unhesitatingly. "Her name is Rain Elise. It means "the rain of God" And Jennifer thought to herself as she gazed into the eyes of her lovely daughter, "Every time I call your name, sweet girl, I will remember that your daddy loves us and is waiting for us in heaven."
Just then, a new nurse came into the room and approached her doctor. After they spoke in hushed tones for a moment or two, the doctor thanked her and she left the room.
Jennifer held her breath as her doctor approached her bedside. It was obvious that he had something serious to tell her. And Jennifer was not certain that she wanted to hear it.
"Mrs. Ross", he began, "it seems they have found your husband's plane"
Jennifer held her little girl tighter and closed her eyes as she fought back the tears.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Ross" he paused, "Perhaps I did not deliver the information in the best way. They found your husband's plane and he was among the survivors. He has been transported to Frankfurt, Germany where he is to undergo surgery. He is in stable condition at present and expected to make a full recovery."
Jennifer Ross exhaled and began to give thanks to God through tears of joy and relief. Her Jack was coming home! And they would be family...afterall.

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This article has been read 793 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W10/27/05
Separate your paragraphs with a space for ease of reading. A minor edit and this one will work well - a touching story.
Rachel Burkum10/27/05
Awww! Such a touching story with the perfect happy ending. :) Well-told.
terri tiffany10/27/05
Wow! Very emotional story! I was prepared for the sad ending and then was happy to read he was okay! Good writing! The only change I might consider would not to start so many sentences with Then. Otherwise, very nice read!Keep writing!:)
Garnet Miller 10/27/05
I'm so glad Jack was found alive! Great story:)
Anita Neuman10/27/05
Well, this was a GREAT way to start the Challenge. Fabulous character development, a realistically portrayed scene, and a surprise happy ending. Great job!
Linda Watson Owen10/27/05
I really enjoyed this story! (OK! so I like happy endings! Haha!) Really good job!
Cassie Memmer10/28/05
Nice story! Good ending. I enjoyed it!
Shari Armstrong 10/29/05
A beautiful story (could use some spacing to make it easier to read). I'm torn between wanting the happy ending and the knowledge that her husband was in heaven waiting for them.