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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Doctor/Nurse (11/02/06)

TITLE: Sorrow No More


I sat alone in the park, hugging my knees, listening to the sounds around me. The wind whispered. The trees rustled their leaves in reply, letting some of the more colorful ones float down around me. Birds chirped and hopped around, pecking at the cracker crumbs I tossed them, while ducks quacked in a nearby pond.

It was the end of fall, Indian Summer, actually. I soaked up the warm sunshine wishing I could store it for the coming months. Just the thought of winter made me shiver. My stomach tightened from the anticipation of what the cold days ahead would bring--an anniversary I didn't want to celebrate, didn't want to remember.

It was the first of December, a year ago, one week after Thanksgiving. “No!” I thought. “Don't think about it.” My fingers interlaced, my knuckles grew white. I rocked back and forth from the sheer agony of forcing away the memory.

I shut my eyes tight trying to make my mind forget, but the sound of laughter pried them open. A diversion. I welcomed the distraction of a mother walking across the park with her three children.

They headed for the playground not far from me. I noticed the children looked very close in age. She looked very worn out.

I watched this stranger sit down on a bench. She held a baby girl wanting to join her siblings, whose laughter and squeals filled the park. No amount of coaxing satisfied the squirming toddler, and the mother gave in. She set the little girl on her wobbly feet and told the oldest child to keep watch.

My heart ached. Memories wormed their way through my fallen defenses. I wiped away tears, angry that the diversion had betrayed me. At the same time, conviction pierced my heart. I felt the bitterness that had caused me to walk away from my profession, wrestle with the prodding of the gentle voice within. My head sank to my knees and I got lost in the tug of war with my emotions.

“I can never be a doctor again.”

“You can't walk away from those who need your help.”

“I'm not good enough.”

“You only lost one child; it wasn't your fault.”

“Come back, too many children need your help.”

“I can't. I can't. I can't!”

Anguish wracked my soul. Self pity won out, and I simply gave in to the sorrow, which nagged me day and night. My sobs drowned out the shrieks in the back ground, until I realized they had became screams.

My head jerked up to see the mother lifting her baby from the edge of the pond. In that moment, I tossed aside the weight of sorrow hanging too long around my heart, and ran to the mother's side. “I'm a doctor. I can help.”

Professional instinct kicked in as I took the child from her hysterical mother. “Call 911,” I said trying to calm her down. She hugged her two older children and ran for her diaper bag.

How long could it have been? I struggled to calculate. The baby wasn't breathing. I stripped her wet clothes off, and pumped her little chest, blew my warm breath into her cold mouth. Over and over I worked, until a rush of water came out. I looked at the mother through fresh tears. “Pray.”

“I don't know how,” she said in choked sobs. She still held the phone in her hands. I could hear the dispatcher trying to get more information.

“It's okay...I'll pray.” I pulled my sweater up and held the baby next to my warm skin, asking God to spare her life. Seconds later I felt a shudder. Then came a whimper. Her mother dropped the phone, and rushed to my side. She wrapped her arms around her baby and me, and we laughed and cried together.

With the sound of sirens, came the realization of what had just happened. I wasn't able to save my own little girl, but I was able to help this baby live. A renewed hope surged through me. I had the comfort of knowing my daughter was in heaven. Now I had the privilege of telling this young mother about the true Healer of body and soul.

I looked up, recognizing one of the paramedics heading our way. He nodded. “Welcome back, Doc.”

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This article has been read 1074 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cyndie Odya-Weis11/09/06
Touching! We indeed need time to heal from tragedy and loss before we can engage in healing others again. I am glad this doctor did- she was needed. Two things didn't flow for me- the "she looked tired" left it unclear who "she" was and I wanted to know why the narrator/ doctor was in the park.
Dolores Stohler11/09/06
Your story gripped and held me to the end. Good job! Love your physician. Wish all doctors were Christian; I've met a few uncaring ones.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/09/06
A good story--well written.
Joanne Sher 11/10/06
Wonderful description - very vivid and engaging. You did an exceptional job of drawing the reader in. I was right there every moment. This is wonderful stuff!
Amy Michelle Wiley 11/12/06
You nearly made me cry. I had to reread the part when she started hearing other screams, but that was a minor glitch in a touching story.
Jan Ackerson 11/12/06
Very touching, and beautifully written. I would have liked some indication as to the sex of your narrator--I'll go back and read it again to see if I missed that. Otherwise, very good! I felt your narrator's heartache very poignantly.
Ruth Neilson11/12/06
wow, that was powerful. Loved the feelings of despair and worthlessness that the doctor feels, and the power of God that can cause the darkness flee because of the light.
Pat Guy 11/12/06
A well written/emotion packed, account of how God can work on so many levels of need at one time! Wow! Good work! :)
Sandra Petersen 11/12/06
Any mother who has lost a child can relate to the emotions you write about with such success in this article. Your descriptions are wonderful, the inner struggle this mother/doctor is dealing with very well put. Good job!
william price11/12/06
Yowsers! Some heavy duty drama and some very good writing. Kept me reading. Excellent job. God bless.
Joe Moreland11/13/06
Well, there's not much I can add to the comments here. You did a great job of setting the scene. You showed us so much and I felt I was there. I felt the distractedness of your character and the hopeless emotions coursing through him/her (I suspect her).

Good job.
Stephen Paynter11/13/06
I liked this very much; it brought a tear to my eye. I found it gripping and believable. I am always suspicious of overly neat endings; I think you avoided the danger, but you might have indicated there would be further struggles ahead for your narrator. Then again, it was a year later, so it wasn't too soon for some healing. Great work!
Betty Castleberry11/13/06
This is expertly written. It got my attention right away, and held it. I found it very believable that the doctor would answer her calling again, because in not many words, you painted her as very dedicated. Nicely done.
Marilyn Schnepp 11/14/06
A wrenching, heartbreaking story that ends well. Great read and an excellent write. Tears filled my eyes at the ending; the sign of a great writer...bringing emotion. Kudos!
Venice Kichura11/15/06
This touched me--beautifully written.
david grant11/16/06
DAVEY worthy! Nice job.
Edy T Johnson 11/16/06
Oh, Mid, what a powerful piece of writing! You pulled tears right out of my heart with this. Into my private collection of favorites this has to go. Beautifully done.