Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)
TITLE: In Times Like Thse
By Karen Treharne
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“Hello, Dr. Stuart.”
“Nice to see you again, Carol. I’ll get right to it. The M.R.I. shows a tumor in the right temporal lobe of your brain. It’s small but growing fast. We’re going to have to start treating it immediately.”
Carol was stunned. She stared at the doctor and tried to digest his words. Brain tumor. Tears filled her eyes. “When?”
“By the end of the week. We’re going to have to be aggressive, Carol. I don’t want to scare you, but we need to slow the growth so we can operate and remove it. I know this is a shock. It’s never easy to get news like this. Any questions?”
Oh, she had plenty of questions, and he answered them all, one by one, then they went to the reception area and scheduled to begin chemo two days later.
Her husband, John, was supportive but anxious. “Do you want me to call your office? Have you called your Mom? How are the kids going to take the news?” He sounded like his brain was on overload. Then he took a deep breath. “We need to call church and ask for prayers, and we need to pray ourselves.”
The kids and her parents took the news hard but rallied in the end. However, her boss wasn’t so understanding. “I’m sorry Carol. We’re going to have to fire you. It sounds like this is going to be a long process, and we can’t afford to have you absent for several months or longer. I hope you can understand.”
Understand? No, she didn’t understand, but there wasn’t anything she could do about it. John was furious. “I can’t believe they would fire you. They could have just given you a leave of absence. Now we’ll only have my insurance and with only one income, I don’t know how we’ll be able to pay our bills with all the excess medical costs .”
Carol felt terrible. She knew it wasn’t her fault, but she couldn’t help feeling guilty. She prayed for patience and strength for both of them.
Almost a year later, the tumor had shrunk and was successfully removed. Radiation had been tough but that was over and even her hair was beginning to grow back. It hadn’t been easy. At first, John had taken a second job to help pay the mortgage, but finally had to quit because she was sick for days following her chemo and radiation treatments and needed his help at home. The bank threatened foreclosure and now the house was up for sale. But, the tumor was gone! Praise God.
“That’s the last box, John,” said Carol.
The new house was smaller and less expensive, but in a nice neighborhood. It cost less for heat and electricity and was actually closer to John’s job which meant less time commuting. And the kids were still in the same school district which was a definite blessing.
A couple of weeks after they settled in, the phone rang. Carol answered it on her way out the door for an interview. “Carol Williamson? This is Fred Hines from Smith and Courtland. I don’t know if you remember me, but I used to work in the Finance Department of Smith and Courtland.”
“Yes, of course I do, Fred. This is a surprise, though, how did you get my new number?”
“Well, it’s a long story, but Smith and Courtland, Inc. went out of business. Everyone lost their job right after you were fired, and I and a couple of others from the firm started a new company. I tracked you down through your husband to offer you a job. Could you possibly come in and talk with me about it?”
Carol couldn’t believe her ears. “Of course, I can. What’s a good time for you?”
When she hung up the phone, Carol looked around and thanked God for providing everything they had needed during this past year. Things had looked and felt so terrible, but now. Well, now, all she felt like was smiling. A new job with people she knew, a second income again, finally, to help with the medical bills, and for the first time in months, EXTRA money! She picked up her cell to tell John the good news.
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