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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)

TITLE: Teetering on the Cusp
By Chely Roach


Today I will die. An answered prayer.

The first few months I laid here in my prison of a vessel, I begged God to make me snap out of this. I screamed at the top of my non-existent voice, pleading with you all to hear me. Ah, but you never did. Countless one-sided conversations, but no interaction. It has been sheer torture. I mean, I have suffered physical pain, but it has been far worse to hear you all grieve this pseudo loss, day in—day out. I have listened to you all, especially you, Sweetheart, pour your heart out to God, praying for me to be healed. Even though you couldn’t hear me, I was praying and crying with you...

I can’t help but see the irony that the most non-suicidal person any of you know has spent the last several months praying for death. If it was ever going to be in God’s will that I could recover—at least enough to speak—then I was willing to go on like this as long as possible.

But then my heart failed.

Those ninety three seconds in heaven were better than the ten thousand days I had spent here on earth—which is saying something. But there, in His brilliant light…everything was perfect. Jesus spoke my name—which wasn’t my earthly name—it was like…the name I was meant to have. My ‘forever’ name that I have had since the beginning of time. It was untarnished from sin…

My face was buried at His feet, and I could hear beautiful, familiar voices gathering. But it was the girls that stunned me. They pig piled on me right there at the Throne of Grace. Our babies, Sweetheart—the little lives that to others were not much more than an uncomfortable conversation—they were there. I clutched them in my arms and sobbed like a blubbering idiot. They came up to my waist, but they smelled like newborn babies…and honeysuckle. I wasn’t sad really, just…I dunno, overwhelmed. Emma and Chloe were so much more to me than a lost pregnancy—they were my babies...I mourned them as if they walked this earth for two thousand years.

And sweet sister of mine…Miranda was there, too. I couldn’t resist scooping her up to blow a raspberry in the fold of her neck. Her laugh was so…perfect; I can still hear it. She wore the scent of magnolia blossoms, with pretty light brown hair—just about your shade—up in a French braid. I laughed because when you were a kid, your hair was always such a mess. But oh, Sis, her eyes…they were a gorgeous shade of green. They reminded me of Mom’s. Your daughter was as beautiful as I could’ve ever imagined her to be. If I could only have one more conversation here, it would be to tell you that…

Those ninety three seconds went too fast. When I was pulled back here, to this wood between the worlds, I was honestly heartbroken. Right now, I am neither here nor there…teetering on the cusp of this forsaken limbo and eternity. Since that first night in Heaven, I have counted eleven more round trips. Eleven. Most of them have been in the past few weeks. It’s excruciating to walk with Jesus for a moment, and then find myself back here in purgatory.

Two nights ago, I knew my prayers had been answered. Sweetheart, when you crawled up into bed with me, and held me so tight, and cried all night long…I knew that you had made the decision. I felt your tears on my chest. I cherished the tender kisses on my face. A piece of my very soul died…you too, have been held prisoner these past months. You gave me my last earthly wish; to spend one last night lying in your arms, feeling your breath on my skin. For one melancholy night—this horridly uncomfortable hospital slab, this virtual coffin—was our last marital bed. Be strong my love…by signing those papers, you have not approved my death, only assisted us with getting on with our lives. My eternal life, in our forever home. I will be waiting for you…waiting for you all.

I pray the Spirit will speak my heart to your hearts…tell you the things I never had the chance to say. I can hear you all surrounding me…praying over me. I feel your hands, trying to grasp my last flicker of life. Let it go...

I have.

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This article has been read 1007 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw06/15/08
Oh my goodness, my heart is wrenched in two. Very powerful piece with quite an emotional ending. YOur title drew me in and did not disappoint.
Jan Ackerson 06/15/08
Oh, Chely, this is ABSOLUTELY amazing! Some of the best writing here, ever.
Lyn Churchyard06/15/08
Chely girl, YOUR ROCK!
Mariane Holbrook 06/16/08
I don't believe you know how good this is! Wow! and more Wow!
Joanne Sher 06/16/08
Chely - this is ASTOUNDING. WOW. I was absolutely THERE. If this was your first try at this, I might just have to hunt you down if you decide to make it your last. Just WOW in every way.
Karen Wilber06/16/08
Wow. Just wow. Your first sentence grabs the reader--then you don't let go until the end. What an ending. Marvelous writing.
Colin Swann06/17/08
Thanks for sharing your gift.
LaNaye Perkins06/17/08
This was so good. I love how you expressed the POV of the MC. Bravo!
Tessy Fuller06/17/08
93 seconds of heaven...thanks for giving me a glimpse of it. Great writing.
Debbie Wistrom06/17/08
Wow-just wow! Loved the paragraph about Emma and Chloe.
Your talent is very apparent here, I can hardly believe that this was a last minute effort.

Everything was clear to me. Thanks!
Marita Thelander 06/18/08
Chely, you never cease to amaze me. your heart speaks clearly in your written words. A true author, you are.
Sara Harricharan 06/18/08
Goodness! This is simply amazing! The emotion and the atmosphere, the way you describe all of this, wow! It is wonderful, I think this is one of your best yet! Excellent writing! ^_^
Beckie Stewart06/18/08
Great piece. Having an aunt who slipped into a coma before dying without waking up. This showed the glory of heaven but how hard it is for us to let go of those we love to go there.
Gerald Shuler 06/18/08
Chely, your work on this piece is masterful in every way. I don't think I've read anything with more effective word choices... ever.
Catrina Bradley 06/18/08
I missed the tissue alert! Exceptionally well written - this reeks with emotion, both joy and sorrow at the same time. The only snag was the paragraph where she (he?) is talking to Sister - at first I thought it was still to the spouse about his (her?) sister named Miranda. I did figure it out tho. :) Also would like to know if this MC is a man or woman. :) Other than that, LOVE IT!!!
Joshua Janoski06/18/08
Ok. So here's the deal. I thought that "The Stalker's Curse" was your best piece I have read...until this one came along!

Wow! I sense a possible EC. I sure hope this places high. You sure know how to grip the reader and keep their eyes glued to your words until the very end.

Every Christian should read this piece then prayerfully and immediately sign an advance health care directive that will free their loved ones from having to struggle with such life and death decisions. Very well written - as expected from you.
Betsy Markman09/17/08
A sensitive handling of a controversial topic. Very well done.