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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Breathe (08/19/10)

TITLE: 911 Takes My Father
By Teresa Lilly
08/25/10


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“Please Lord, don’t let him take one more breath” my mind screamed, as I silently stood at the foot of his bed. Seeing my strong, powerful father, now emaciated, gasping for the last few moments of life.
911, My father, recovering from surgery, still on a respirator. The nurses say its good to have the news on in the rooms, it lets the patients know what’s going on in the world.
My father’s biggest fear in life, the United States invaded , 911 announced on the television, my father too weak, too afraid, unable to help his family. The stress brought on a stroke.
“If he ever recovers his brain will only be about 20% of what it once was.” We all stare at one another. Five children and a mother who know a father and a husband who would never want to live like that.
“Wait a week.” I beg, hoping that somehow God will heal him. No one else agrees, I am the baby of the family. What I say, what I ask means nothing.
“Turn off the oxygen.” It is decided. We wait all night long, until the doctor can get to the hospital. Waiting to say good-by. I sit by his side. I pray, I sing, I tell him I love him.
Morning comes too soon. Move his bed into a private room.
“Turn off the oxygen.” It is done.
So strong still, my father struggles eight hours (thankfully so heavily drugged he doesn’t know).
Finally, one last shuttering breath. Then silence. Then an empty body. The soul is gone.
I pray he has gone to heaven.
My sister weeping. Her strength, her rock gone. These were her last sane moments.
I stand beside the bed. Alone.
“Breathe, please breathe and live.” My mind screams.


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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/28/10
The grief of losing some one you love is so painful. The grief the nation felt on that day is also painful beyond imagination. Except many did live through it and had to feel the pain. My heart aches for your grief.