Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)
TITLE: Dear Michael
By thadd presley
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Let me tell you about my day.
I sewed up a deep wound today and this is how it went:
"Please hold still," I told the patient nervously, knowing that he did not understand what I said. "If you keep moving this will not heal..."
"He does not care to heal," came the words from a man who stood by watching me. This man wore a mask and, so far, has been the only one to speak to me in English. "He only wants to fight before he dies." The man on the table jerked then and the needle was jerked from my hand."To die on this table would dishonor him. To have you touch him has made him unclean, that is why he can not be still."
"I'm doing the best I can," I told the man, holding the needle close to ripped flesh, "but if he keeps moving he will certainly die here."
At this point the man on the table passed out. They must have thought he died because I suddenly heard words from outside the room and the man who had been speaking to me hit me with the butt of his rifle
I hate to be telling you this, but I have to tell someone.
I am in the middle of a holy war, although nothing about it seems holy. I knew where I was going before I came here, but I did not tell you the truth. I apologize for that. I told you I would be living in Jerusalem, but that is not where I went. Instead I went to a small town near the Jordan River because they needed doctors.
I am still in the abandoned school house, just like I said in my last letter. Remember, I told you about the children who were learning English here and Bible scripture, well that part was true, but there are no longer children here. Now only two small, rubble-filled rooms remain.
Before the militants came, we had transformed one room into a hospital and many people who were sick received medicine. But now it's a bunker for the militant army. Yes, the Muslims have taken over this area.
Don't be mad, I'm so sorry.
We heard the explosions days ago and that's when the talk about going back to Jerusalem started. I wanted to leave so bad and go home to you and the kids, but it all happened so quickly. Before we had a chance we to leave we were taken hostage by the Muslims.
We are now trapped and the Muslim leader -- I can't spell his name -- killed Steven and Matthew. He cut their heads off while they were still alive. I started crying because they were the only men with us and they Muslims beat me with sticks.
Now there is just three women and because we are Christian it seems our captors have no conscience about what they do to us. One minute they do not want to look at us or touch us, then their hands are all over us doing terrible things. Patricia has been internally wounded and won't stop bleeding. I have tried all I can. I'm afraid she will die soon. Since, I am the only surgeon I think I will be kept alive, but I do not know how long.
Because I'm sure this will be my last letter to you, my love, I want you to know that I am not afraid to die. I feel that I am doing God's work even when I sew together the enemy's wounds. I can feel mother's presence all the time and dying would be better than what the masked men do to us at night.
I don't want you to worry because by the time you get this letter I will not be alive. I am sure of that. Please, give the children my love and tell them that I am with the angels. Tell them I am with grandma. Will you do that?
For now, I just am trying to think of my momma and how we used to stay up late and sew quilts for the homeless. Momma always told me I had the hands of a surgeon, imagine that.
Oh yeah, please dearest Michael, do not mourn me for too long. Your love is so strong and it has been my greatest strength here. Promise you will show another your wonderful love.
Yours forever and ever,
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