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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In The Kitchen - deadline 7-19-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/12/12)

TITLE: Christmas Cookies
By Jess Capps


Stacey lounged in her bed. Her husband Michael relaxed in the recliner beside her. The TV played some old Christmas movie softly in the background. They were spending some time together before he had to leave Atlanta to go back to work.

There was a soft knock on the door. Then a harder knock and the door flung open. "Wakey wakey!" Stacey's mom, Sheila, called out. "Lets get you out of that gown and into some pajamas. We have a surprise for you."

"Who is we?" Stacey asked suspiciously, reaching for her pj's.

"You'll see. Come along, Edna." Sheila grabbed the IV poles that held the PICC line and the constant Milrinone drip.

The trio and the IV pole made their way down the hall. Stacey looked around for anything unusual, but it was the same mixture of cultures, faces in beautiful shades of white and brown and tan, accents from near and far. Stacey loved the diversity of what she considered her hospital. As they passed the hall's Christmas tree, she heard a familiar giggle and saw the nurse's kitchen and lounge door click shut.

"Close your eyes," Sheila said. "Michael, you make sure she can't see."

"I'm on it, Sheila." Michael said as he proceeded to stand in front of Stacey and make faces at her.

"Okay! Come on in"

Stacey let Michael guide her into the nurse's lounge and kitchen. "Oh!" She gasped.

Stacey's grandmother, sister, niece, and her aunt and cousins were there with all the fixings for Christmas cookies.

"Since you couldn't be with us this year to bake Christmas cookies, we thought we'd bring the baking to you," Sheila explained. "We worked it out with Kris, Becky, and the other nurses.

It was a glorious afternoon, with more frosting on faces than had ever been allowed before. Laughter rang out and made people in the hallway wonder what was going on behind closed doors. "So," Stacey jumped back into the fray. "How are y'all gonna get all these cookies home?"

"We aren't." Stacy's Aunt Donna answered.

"What? Aunt Donna, um, I can't keep them. They won't fit in my room, plus I certainly don't need that many cookies."

"Silly girl," Donna said. "We'll each take a couple, and the rest we're going to donate to Children's Hospital. We thought that some of the kids spending Christmas there might need a little pick me up too."

"That's an awesome idea!"

"You look droopy, dear heart," her granny said as Stacey yawned.

"Yeah, I guess I am. I get so tired so fast."

"Why don't you go to your room? We'll finish packing up, then come tell you bye." Granny hugged Stacey.

"K, I'll do that. Come along, Edna," Stacey said as she wrapped her hand around the slender, cold IV pole.

Michael walked with Stacey to her room, and her family prayed for Stacey's ever failing heart, and the urgent need for the new one that would allow her to spend many more Christmases in the kitchen with them.

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This article has been read 244 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/19/12
A poignant story that reflected on so many things. Faith, family, hope...and touched on a real situation, how many individuals are waiting for viable donors.

Thank you for this entry.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/19/12
Wow this is a powerful story and told in a way that only someone who has spent Christmas in the hospital would understand. This year I was devastated to be admitted to "my" hospital on Christmas eve because my oldest is getting married in October and my son is going to the Seminary. This would have likely been my last Christmas with all my kids there on Christmas morning. I pleaded with the doctor and almost signed out AMA. Then I realized how worse other people had it. My family brought all the presents down Christmas morning and though it wasn't traditional it was one of the special Christmas ever. Your story reminds me of how God can take a challenge and turn it into something spectacular. I know tons of people were praying and oh what power prayer can hold. Many people will be able to appreciate the little things in life so much more thanks to your story.
Allison Egley 07/21/12
Hmm.... I think I may know who wrote this one... Nice job. I enjoyed it.
Genia Gilbert07/22/12
This is a story that has both joy and sadness. Well done. I enjoyed it.
Hiram Claudio07/23/12
This was special! I'm going to bookmark it and leave myself a note reminding me to re-read it around Christmas. This is a wonderful Christmas story about keeping the true spirit of that special season alive even under challenging circumstances. Wonderful writting!
Leola Ogle 07/24/12
What a tender, sad yet heartwarming story. Good job! God bless!
Helen Curtis07/27/12
This is a beautiful tale. It speaks of selflessness and the way small acts can boost so many people. I can't imagine spending Christmas in hospital, especially not in such scary circumstances. But perhaps this year I could spare even a small thought for those who are faced with this reality, and do whatever I can to bring a smile to their faces. Thank you so much for sharing this. Blessings.