Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)
TITLE: Second Honeymoon
By Marlene Bonney
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Brent and Tabitha had rented a rustic cabin in the mountains for a wedding anniversary get-a-way, leaving their youngsters with Nana and Papa back home. The travel brochure showed picturesque autumn trails infused with pristine nature, with their log cabin nestled between fir trees and the nearest neighbor ten miles downriver. Marveling at the scenic views upon their arrival, Brent and Tabitha had agreed that hotel amenities were worth sacrificing for this idyllic romantic setting.
However, the second day brought them a surprise adventure. Brent had returned from a pre-dawn fishing expedition to find Tabitha unconscious on the hardwood floor next to the bed. Unable to revive her with cold water or resuscitation, Brent hastened out to their car to discover the battery was dead! Following several failed attempts to get service from his pocketed cell phone, he checked on Tabitha again. She was still unresponsive with shallow breathing. Covering her with a light blanket and fervently praying for intervention, Brent lunged out the screen door and broke into a dead run to get help at the “Mom and Pop” combination gas station-market several miles away.
As he ran, Brent’s memory began playing back special moments he and Tabitha had shared over their sometimes tumultuous relationship: the time he had proposed to her as they snuggled together on a park bench--he could still picture the tiny auburn curls behind her ears swishing in the breeze . . . their first significant disagreement . . . his bride in all her finery approaching him on her father’s arm in frothy lace, wearing that endearing shaky half-smile that confirmed she was nervous . . . The joyful awe that replaced gnawing fear from Tabitha’s illness a few months later, when the doctor said, “You’re going to be a daddy in six months!” . . . the births of their children and the relief when they were all healthy.
And, as Brent ran and pondered and prayed, and exerted his body beyond its normal limits, he recalled a verse from the Bible having something to do with running a race with perseverance and being surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. He envisioned the cool presence of applauding saints on each side of the trail, and, spurred on by their cheers and encouraged by the spirit of their past victories, his energy was renewed, lightening the weight on his heart and body as he finished the last lap to the valley store.
An ambulance was dispatched for Tabitha’s rescue, and the store’s owners generously offered Brent a ride back to her side. Brent rushed in to find her breathing even shallower and her skin clammy accompanied by a sluggish pulse. There they anxiously awaited the medics’ arrival, and his concern grew as he watched her listless, unresponsive body. However, in spite of these seemingly dire circumstances, Brent again felt that cool assurance of victory as Bible stories of over-comers and verses danced through his mind.
Moments later, the local emergency staff arrived on the scene and Brent reluctantly released Tabitha’s hand so they could attend her. As oxygen was administered and vital signs checked, the young men transferred Tabitha to a gurney and then into the make-shift ambulance, Brent climbing in after them. Speeding for an hour to the closest hospital with the technicians working on her, it appeared that Tabitha was stabilizing.
Arriving at the emergency entrance to the hospital, the nursing staff whisked Tabitha into the facility. After initial tests and blood work, it was determined that her body was compromised by an erratic blood-sugar fluctuation triggered by her latest dieting binge. Amazingly, after a few hours of monitoring and intravenous feedings, Tabitha was restored back to normal and released from the hospital--with strict admonitions about eating properly.
The store proprietors accompanied the couple back to their cabin, promising to return as soon as possible with a new car battery. Although the remainder of the weekend lacked some of its original luster, Brent and Tabitha enjoyed the rest of their vacation in simple, quiet appreciation of each other with a renewed awareness of God’s presence in their daily lives.
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