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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: TEARS - (as in crying) (10/04/04)

TITLE: The Crocus
By Tracy Albiston


It was the coldest day of the year. Heedless of the temperature of her skin, she ran through the maze of cars, blindly searching. Stopping in despair, she dropped to her knees and clutched the small mound of her belly. Rocking gently, she sobbed as tears charted frozen trails down her cheeks. It wasn’t supposed to be like this! Today was supposed to be the most exciting day of her life. Sure, there is always apprehension that the doctors might find something abnormal at the first ultrasound, but no-one really expects something to be wrong with their baby. She had already started a plan on how to tell Sam the good news. But now…. A shake on the shoulder brought her back to the present. Realizing that she was kneeling on the frozen ground of the parking lot, she awkwardly rose. Mumbling a quick response to their questions, she turned once again in search of her car. A temporary refuge from prying eyes. Finally, she fell against the familiar red hood and thrust her hand into her coat pocket looking for the hiding keys. Once inside the car, she fell against the steering wheel and succumbed to more desperate sobs. “Why? Why, God? Why me?” Would God even hear her heart’s cry this dismal day? She never once thought something would be less than perfect. She was a faithful woman. She served diligently at church teaching Sunday school and leading a woman’s group. Her husband was a church deacon. They had waited several years to be financially stable. They were part of a couple’s life group. By church standards, they were living their lives according to all the “rules.” Why then, wasn’t God honouring them with a healthy baby? “What is it, God? What is it? I’ll do anything to fix it, please! Don’t take it out on my baby!” Finally, exhausted and numb, she leaned her head back against the head rest and closed her eyes. In a daze, she opened her eyes and recognized her husband, his voice as if a long ways away. She scrambled to unlock the door so he could open it. “Jen? Jenny? Honey, are you all right? I got here as soon as I could. The nurse called me and said you left pretty upset.” “Oh, Sam! I’m so sorry! I must have done something terrible. Our baby! Oh, Sam, our baby!” “Sssh, I know, honey. I know. The nurse explained it to me when I got there. You’d already left but she wanted me to understand before I reached you. “ Sam slid her over and crawled onto the seat, pulling her into his arms. Weeping together, they held each other until they were both spent. That evening, they talked and cried some more. They spent hours researching on the internet, trying to find out all they could about this disease that was taking over their lives. Information abounded on the net, not at all encouraging. Knowledge was not proving to be the source of comfort they desired. They tried praying, but their souls seemed dry and parched. Finally, just as the sun was beginning to rise once again, Jenny could take the confines of the house no more. She crept outside. Bundled in a warm jacket, boots and a scarf, she headed out the door and down the path. Although the splendid garden lay dormant today, Jenny felt drawn toward it. Hoping inexplicably to see an abundance of flowers that always greeted her on spring and summer days, Jenny was left bereft as snow and ice covered the once vibrant flower bed. Why in the world would she expect to see flowers in the dead of winter? There was no hope left in her life and certainly no flowers in winter. The sun crested the row of houses and suddenly shone brightly on Jenny. Squinting and losing the battle, she closed her eyes and soaked up the weak rays of the winter sun. Turning, something caught her eye. Peering into the snow beside a bush, she saw a little bit of colour. Reaching down with her mittened hand, she swept the snow and ice away and caught her breath at what she saw - a little purple crocus bravely peeking out of the ground and arching toward the sun. Staring at it a moment, she raised her face once again to the sun, tears bravely rolling down her cheeks, and whispered, “Thank you, Father. Thank you.”

Member Comments
Member Date
Cyndy McNaul-Nelson10/12/04
Tracy; I felt that it was full of emotion. Your article left me with many questions to ponder. I see you like the crocus, reaching for the warmth of the sun and your writing unfolding with the days emitting a sweet fragrance. Thank you for sharing something very personal to you. cyndy
Kristin Slavik10/12/04
This is a good heartfelt story. Breaking it up a bit with some white space can make it easier to read. I really could feel the emotion in your writing. Keep writing! Kristin
L.M. Lee10/13/04
fflowers in the snow are so rare and that's what makes them so beautiful. nice piece.
Lynda Schultz 05/01/06
This is an engaging piece, packed with emotion. I wanted a little more at the end. I can imagine the connection but other's might not. Lots of potential here. Hope to see you again on the Challenge.