Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)
TITLE: The Final Gift
By hannah anderson
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A small squirming bundle, wrapped in a ubiquitous blue and pink striped hospital blanket, is placed in a warmer and rolled out of the delivery room through the extra wide doors, down a long fluorescent lit corridor and safely deposited between Baby Boy Saunders and Baby Girl Callaghan.
January 28, 20--, 04:26 a.m.
The blank lines of the patient chart are filled in, noting date and time of death; the cause is recorded as “severe hemorrhaging/ complications due to childbirth.”
She had known better.
But she had been newly widowed and carrying this life inside her belly was a gift – the miracle that they had prayed and waited for but that heaven had decided was only to come after the valley of the shadow of death. This pregnancy, this child was a resurrection, her rod of comfort and staff of deliverance in the first months after he was gone. Alone at night she would sit upright in the bed that they had once shared and cradle her ever expanding belly in arms that had once encompassed him, now able only to hold what he had left her – their child.
At fourteen and a half weeks, the news had come, cold and exact. “You must terminate the pregnancy - both for your sake and this child’s. One of you will not survive.” She collected her records at the front and left. Eventually she found a practice willing to treat her, to shoulder the risk of such an uncommon gift, led on by a common hope and trust in the wisdom of heaven’s designs and bolstered by the solid confidence that life, even at risk, is precious.
But they all knew the risks.
January 28, 20--, 04:41 a.m.
An older gentleman guides his wife down a long fluorescent-lit corridor, both wear a look of quiet confidence and determination. Through the safety glass of the hospital’s nursery window, they gaze down into the wrinkled face of the child; they are now father and mother to their daughter’s orphaned son. This was her gift to them and they understand.
She had known best.
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