“Don’t really know why you bother, Mags”. Dan paced the floor in frustration.
Maggie shot him a look then turned her attention back to their daughter.
“Sammy, Mommy’s here, honey. Brian and Lizzy said to tell you hi and that they miss you and can’t wait till you come home. Brian’s been feeding Puddles for you. Last night I think he even snuck him a little leftovers from his plate.”
Dan slumped into the chair in the corner. The pain is his legs was lessening with time, but it was a relief to get off his feet.
“Lizzy thinks we should fix up your room for you. She’s thinking about a soft pink on the walls, but I know you really love blue. What if we did a nice periwinkle? Everything goes with periwinkle. When you come home, we can go shopping for a new comforter for your bed, too.”
A sharp pain shot through Dan’s shoulder, causing him to wince. Healing was slow. It had been three long months since the accident.
“Aunt Kathy said she would come on Saturday and give you a hair cut! Your bangs have gotten so long”. Maggie brushed the young girl’s hair back as if showing her what to expect. Aunt Kathy wouldn’t have much cutting to do – the entire right side of Samantha’s head was shaved. Swelling and scaring replaced shiny blonde curls.
“I know you’re very sleepy, honey, but I hope that soon you’ll feel like opening your eyes for me. I miss seeing your beautiful blue eyes”. Maggie’s voice held a smile, but it couldn’t hide the tears streaming down her cheeks.
“She can’t hear you, Maggie. Why do you come here every day and torture yourself”?
“How do you know she can’t hear me? I believe she CAN hear me. And I know that one of these days she’s going to open her eyes and smile up at me! And I’ll be here every day until that happens if it takes the rest of my life!”
Dan looked at his daughter, lying in that hospital bed. He feared that she would never come back to them. He feared that he’d have to live with the fact that it was his fault she was here, like this. There was so much that he wanted to say to Maggie. There was so much that he wanted to tell his little girl. But it seemed that there was no point in talking to either of them. He just couldn’t find the words to tell his wife how sorry he was for the accident. He couldn’t expect her to forgive him.
And now his Sammy couldn’t even hear all he wanted to say to her. She wouldn’t hear him sing their special song again, or finish the story they’d been reading. He couldn’t tell her how sorry he was that he took his eyes off the road and misjudged that curve. Standing by her bedside, he welcomed the pain in his body and invited it to consume the pain in his heart.
“If we don’t have hope, what do we have”? Maggie offered a kind whisper and a gentle touch that he didn’t deserve. “Just talk to her, Dan. I’ll be outside.”
Hope. Where was his hope? A scripture rose up in his spirit. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”*
“Father God, if faith is the substance of things hoped for, and I have no hope, then I have no faith. And without faith, I’m not trusting You to bring our little girl back to us. Help me to have hope, Lord. Restore Samantha to us. Just let her hear my voice now, Father”.
“Sammy Girl, Daddy’s here. I know you can hear me, baby. I want to tell you how sorry I am that I was careless in the car and caused you to be hurt. I hope you can forgive me some day”. He hoped he could forgive himself some day. “Daddy’s going to be here every day until you wake up and we can take you home. Would you like to come home, sweetie? We haven’t finished our story.”
As he began to sing Samantha’s song, Maggie slid her hand in his and hummed along. It seemed that he had found all the words necessary after all.
*Hebrews 11:1 NIV
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