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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Dead End (02/06/14)

TITLE: Somersaults in Heavenly Realms
By Danielle King


Here I am, upside down again. No one appears to be taking much notice of me. Maybe, had I been upright more often, they’d have sought medical attention.

Don’t you just love old photographs?

I wasn’t born breech, but somehow life seemed more interesting from the alternative viewpoint.

Mother was forty when she gave birth to me. She was hospitalised for three weeks following. Apparently she’d contracted a ‘germ.’ However, the germ was fighting fit and raring to go.

I found walking quite mundane unless it was on my hands. I preferred to travel by way of cartwheels, backflips and forward rolls. I watched TV standing on my head. Doesn’t everyone?

Fast forward to high school and I represented the school in gymnastics. Well it was nailed on wasn’t it? I couldn’t fathom how kids could be so clumsy and uncoordinated. Couldn’t even vault a box?

I finished school in the early 60’s when the world was a different place. The Careers Officer asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ I told him,

‘I do not want to be a comptometer operator, a shorthand typist or a telephonist.’

‘But that’s what you’re suited to,’ says the man in the suit, who’d never met me before. The headmaster nodded his agreement. I heard my limp voice say,

‘I’d like to work with animals.’ Mother shot me a loaded glance. Filing cabinets, typewriters, nine to five, beckoned with a portending finger.

‘I’m not clever,’ I truthfully protested. I’d never sussed Geometry with its silly pi r squared, circumference doofers; or history, dry with dates and dead monarchs. Geography - all latitude and longitude. ‘I’m top in French language though,’ I squeaked.

‘So you want to be a kennel maid!’ Mother had a way of making me feel smaller than the germ she incubated. In spite of me being tone deaf, she’d never forgiven me for spurning piano tuition in favour of Judo lessons.

Of course, I ended up behind a desk, a ‘pricer’ totalling up prescription drugs; such a step up for mother, whilst I steadily sank in a swamp of despondency.

The change came about when my super fit Dad was admitted to hospital for investigations. Mother and I arrived at visiting time to find the ward in pandemonium. Sister ushered us into the office. ‘Mr Ives had a massive heart attack and died. We got him back, but he’s really, very poorly. Be prepared for the worst.’

I shot up a desperate plea to the God I was barely on nodding terms with.

It didn’t happen. After we’d settled back into daily life, I could not rid myself of the memory. With life and death hanging in the balance, the medical team chose to pull out all the stops. They gave Dad back to us. He enjoyed fourteen more years of healthy life. To me, that was job satisfaction personified.

Or did God hear my prayer? I didn’t know, but I knew what I intended to do, and just let Mother refer to this one as a dead ender!

Three years later I emerged a fully-fledged Registered Nurse and later added Psychiatric Nursing to my CV. It was a career choice I never regretted.

It’s amazing how humbling being around sickness and disability can be. I’d viewed life only from the perspective of an active, healthy person. Now I saw tragedy, grief, pain and loss; yet admirable strength and resilience too.

How would I cope in similar circumstances?

I loved to talk with patients. Sometimes, though the illness was terminal, peace and acceptance of the inevitable was evident.

Sam was a perfect example. As he became weaker his smile widened. One morning he called me over. ‘I hear you’re on leave next week.’ I nodded. ‘Will we meet again?’ He offered his hand.

‘I’m back the week after,’ I laughed, knowing full well he wouldn’t be here.

‘I hope we meet in God’s beautiful garden,’ he said. ‘And He wants that too.’ He pushed a small, red, Gideon’s Bible into my hand.

I didn’t disappoint him. I read daily, as promised, but Sam never knew just how much The True Source of his strength and faith had spoken to me, through his own unwavering trust and focus upon God’s promise of eternity, in His presence.

At age fifty eight, I performed cartwheels to entertain my son. I spent the following week on bed rest! My next performance will be in God’s garden.

There will be no dead end for me!


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This article has been read 397 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 02/14/14
At first I thought you must be an Aussie at heart, because we also do all that you described in the beginning upside down - all the time!!!!
But thanks for a hentertaining, 'eartwarming and 'onest read. (now you probably think I come from the Midlands, but halliteration got the better hof me:-)
C D Swanson 02/16/14
Awwww. I loved this! It was so entertaining and it brought a smile to my heart.

God bless~
Toni Hammer02/17/14
I think the upside down thing was lost on me, if there's anything to get. I really enjoyed the fact this was non-fiction. A wonderful story of how the Lord leads us to where he wants us. This was a fun journey to read about.
Bea Edwards 02/19/14
Your testimony -it is yours?- gave us a wonderfully entertaining look into who you have become and how you arrived here. Loved it very much!
Leola Ogle 02/20/14
Congrats, Danielle, on this excellent entry. God bless!
Margaret Kearley 02/20/14
Dee, just wonderful and (I suspect) almost 100% authentically true? Fantastic to read- particularly the part that Sam played in your life-story. Many congratulations - very well deserved.
Linda Goergen02/20/14
Congratulations Danielle on a well deserved win! This testimonial story of yours was terrific—such a fascinating read! You sounded like a true tom-boy! My middle daughter was like that. I laughed out loud at the vision of you doing cartwheels at fifty-eight, though the results had to have been painful! So glad this was a winner!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/20/14
Oh wow! This is brilliant. You touched my heart in so many ways. I used to be an RN and also loves talking to patients. I'm glad the work force has changed in its attitude towards women since the 60s. Congratulations on your your EC. Happy Dance! (sans cartwheels) :-)
Judith Gayle Smith02/20/14
What a delightful read! Thank you for so much entertainment! Appreciating your enthusiasm for our Lord.

Congratulations and big hugs to you!
Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV

On a personal note, having limited time, I read almost all the Challengeentries to my husband and sister. A lovely way to enjoy God's holy Sabbath! The quality of the writings is superb, and I love all your hearts for our wondrous Savior!
Tracy Nunes 02/22/14
This was fabulous. Your use of the semi-colon makes me envious (not my strong point), and I love the way the MC speaks as if just talking to a friend. Simply eloquent and powerful.