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

TITLE: Forgotten
By Sarah Elisabeth


God has forgotten me.

This realization did not come in a thunderous boom from the heavens. It did not come with any speed at all. It came in the days and years that drained my clear vision into a haze unable to see beyond the foot of my bed. It came with my failed hearing that could scarce discern the tone of a voice, and with the dumbness set in on my tongue. It came with the vanished hope of knowing an answered prayer again.

I am left with nothing to do except breathe. In. Out. In. Out. My only desire is to take the next breath as my last.

When my nurse in the Home, Karen, patted my shoulder as she rolled me onto my side I could almost feel God’s presence still near. But Karen had disappeared long ago. No one pats my shoulder or speaks to me when they administer a shot or change my bedding. They have forgotten I am still a person. So has God.

Sometimes I wish for enough vision to see the wall that is covered with portraits of family my mind’s eye can no longer visualize. But for what purpose? The children in the pictures now have children I’ve never seen. No family has visited in years. They have forgotten I’m still alive. So has God.

I breathe. Another night passes into morning.

A squeaky voice fills the drainage in my ear. I struggle to focus my eyes on the speaker. Young faces crowd near my bed and one child slides something onto the medicine cart always constant by my side.

“Merry Christmas!” the voices sing out.

Christmas? I breathe and they are near enough for me to see their uncertainty at the gurgle of my sucking intake. They wave as each backs away and vanishes from my sight. All but one.

I no longer discern age well, but I see this girl as older than the others. She moves close to my side and extends her hand to cover mine. She squeezes with the tenderness found between a mother and her infant.

The warmth from her hand flows through my body as a tingle spreads to my toes. It is then I realize she is speaking. I catch bits of her sentence.

“My……is Cindy. I saw……label outside your door……name is Ruth Anderson. I hope it’s……call you Ms. Ruth.”

She stops there and I fear she will leave. I never want her to release my hand. I find the strength to apply pressure with two of my fingers. Cindy smiles and begins to circle her thumb over the wrinkles of my spotted skin. The action bunches it together in a roll then smoothes it as fine as a baby’s. I almost forget to breathe. My chest vibrates in effort to capture air.

“I need to catch……with the others……Ms. Ruth. But first……okay if I pray……you?”

Bless this child. Her study of my face for signs of comprehension stirs my heart to life. I struggle to convey with my eyes what tongue cannot.

Our eyes connected, Cindy nods her head before bowing it. “Dear God, I……Ms. Ruth up to You. I don’t………she faces everyday but You do. I pray…………she needs now will be fulfilled…….Lord, please help her……know You have not forgotten her……… why You sent us here today. In Jesus name. Amen.”

As Cindy hugs me, pats my shoulder and promises to come see me again, I realize that breathing is not the only thing left I can do. I can still cry.

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This article has been read 1008 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Gina Fifo08/26/10
Your story brought tears to my eyes and touched a pesonal cord with me. Well-written, tender and caring . . . God bless you.
Amanda Brogan08/30/10
You have a gift for writing touching stories with real meaning. :)

This story really got to me because it was like getting inside the head of an elderly person in a nursing home. Sometimes it's easy to wonder if they're so far gone that they can't think much of anything, but your story showed that they are still God's children and that they should not be forgotten by us, His servants.
Cheryl Harrison08/30/10
I have to tell you that when I finished reading this one, I said something outloud... it was the word, "Wow!". Sarah Elisabeth, you nailed this. It touched me in ways that you will never know. Thank you.
Gregory Kane08/30/10

I particularly liked the way you broke up the little girl's speech. It added to the realism and stopped her 'preaching' from coming across as just something contrived by the author
Charla Diehl 08/30/10
This was so sad because so many live the remainder of their lives like your MC--feeling forgotten and discarded. May God bless the ones who bring a bit of happiness to these lonely people.
Melanie Kerr 08/30/10
Excellent story. You conveyed such sadness with your words. Forgotten by God brings to mind a really bleak place to be. I love the snatches of the prayer.
Caitlyn Meissner08/30/10
Your story didn't catch me right at first, maybe because of all the telling, but as soon as the little voices said "Merry Christmas!" I was hooked. You had a story to tell, you told it well, and it definitely honors God. Good job!
Virgil Youngblood 08/30/10
Wonderfully written. The care centers are full of those whose families seldom visit. You have clearly shown the joy a visit can bring. -- and in so doing, reminded us who are able to go and do likewise.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/30/10
Wow you did it again. If the last time hadn't booted you up to Masters this one surely would have. outstanding!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/31/10
You really have a gift to bring the heart of your characters to life. Beautiful story.
Mona Purvis09/01/10
I love the way you told this story. Just enough anger, hurt, forgotten feeling. This should do very well, I think.

Joan Campbell09/01/10
This is excellent Sarah! The first line had me hooked and from there you bring your reader right into what your MC is experiencing. The message is a very powerful one - being God to people the world has forgotten. I hope it does really well!
Rachel Phelps09/01/10
The first line grabbed me, and your story held me throughout. There were a few sentences where the telling was a bit strong, but I noticed only slightly. Awesome work, girl!
Amanda Brogan09/02/10
Yay Sarah!!!! :D Congrats on your editor's choice!
Jody Day 09/02/10
So compelling and inspiriting...sniff...congratulations.
Sarah Heywood09/02/10
This was so powerful and beautiful, Sarah! Congrats on your win!
Marita Thelander 09/02/10
Wow, Sarah! Welcome to masters. You can say it...I know you can, 'cause you certainly can write it. Congrats!

Mari <3
Hanne Moon 09/02/10
Congratulations, Sarah...it brought tears to my eyes. This piece is wonderful.
Glynis Becker09/07/10
Really beautifully written, Sarah. And definitely deserving of a win! Congratulations!!
Bill Ebert09/22/10