My eyes throbbed, the light stabbed through the darkness like a jagged blade. Pain radiated throughout my body.
What’s going on? Where am I?
My heart fluttered, anxiety consumed me.
Why can’t I move? Dear Jesus, please!
“Pupils equal and reactive,” an unfamiliar male voice, he was very close. “How long was she in there?”
What’s happening to me? I feel so cold.
“I don’t know,” it was Andy. “I saw her floating out there.”
That’s right, I was swimming. I remember.
“I dragged her to shore and called 9-1-1 right away,” everything resonated. I felt as if a fog was pressing in around me. “Her name’s Heather, she’s my fiancée,” his tone wavered, “Please help her.”
“Heather! Heather, do you hear me,” the first man boomed in my ear.
Yes, I hear you.
A commotion rustled near by, blurred just beyond my perception.
The sound again drew near, they tugged and shifted my body. I felt pressure on my arm, “Heather!” A hand tapped my face; light at first then it became harder. “Talk to me.”
Hey! That hurts, stop it!
“She’s unresponsive to both verbal and painful stimuli. Her vitals are shaky. Let’s get going, work her up in the rig.”
The sensation of movement became intense.
What are you doing? Where are you taking me?
I was alone, as if the mist was still consuming me, holding me against my will. I wanted to cry, but not a tear nor a whimper. I was not in control of my body.
I’m freezing. Lord, I know you are here, please help me.
“We’ve conducted another EEG and an MRI,” yet another voice, soft spoken and compassionate. “I’m afraid she’s not improving. In some aspects she’s deteriorating.”
What do you mean?
“The damage is too severe. If she survives she’ll be in a persistent vegetative state. I’m sorry.”
Am I dying?
My heart trembled, overwhelmed by trepidation.
The edge of my bed shifted. I felt the soft, warm caress of Andy’s hand on mine, “Hang in there, babe. Don’t be giving up,” the pressure of his head resting on my chest comforted me. “I love you.”
I love you, too.
Warmth and moisture from his tears seeped through my covers, “Why?” His body convulsed as he sobbed, “God, why have you allowed this?” he pulled my sheets with his clenching fists. “Why do we deserve this?”
My dear Andrew, don’t be angry. Not with God.
“I’ve got to go, babe. But I’ll be here whenever I can. I promise,” he kissed my cheek.
No, please don’t leave me. I need you.
The sensation of being lost in obscurity continued to engross me. The drone of beeping machines and people scurrying past my door reminded me I was isolated.
How long has it been? Must I wait much longer? I try to be patient.
“Heather, do you hear me?” Andy brushed the hair off my forehead.
I hear you sweetheart. I long for your voice.
“I’m so frustrated, so confused,” he squeezed my hand. “I hate seeing you like this, but I don’t want you to die.” His tears showered over me. “I don’t know what to do.”
Andy, everything will happen in His time.
“I can’t sleep, can’t eat. I don’t understand why God is doing this to us … to you.”
Please hold me. I need to feel your warmth against me.
He released his grip and paced about the room, his footsteps shuffled away, “All I wanted was to get married, have a family.” He wept aloud, “Now I have nothing.”
You still have God.
“I stopped by your apartment, I hope you don’t mind,” Andy sat on the edge of my bed.
Why should I mind?
“Pastor Bill asked me to get the Sunday School supplies you bought,” he brushed my cheek with his hand. “I saw your Bible … where you had your bookmark.”
You gave it to me for my birthday.
“You were reading Ecclesiastes,” he released a sigh. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die,” he clasped his hands over mine. “I’m not giving up on you, I just know God has a reason and I can accept that now,” his voice cracked. “I’ll always love you. I wish we could hold each other just one more time.”
We’ll share an embrace again, be patient my love. The haze is lifting. It’s so bright and warm … it’s beautiful.
Ecclesiastes 3 : 1, 2 American Standard Bible
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