Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: YOUTH (04/04/19)
TITLE: Forever Young
By Jenny Miller
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Grace put the paperwork on the chair beside her and walked over to the side of his bed. He looked as though he was only sleeping. She squeezed his hand, hoping against hope he’d squeeze back. “Sweetie wake up. I need you to come back to me. Please, Jake. I can’t do this.” Tears fell down her cheeks as she thought of how he got here.
Two days ago, he was just a boy riding his bike through the neighborhood for everyone to see. He’d raked leaves and mowed lawns for three months to save up for that bike. Everyone in the neighborhood knew him as Jakey, the most ambitious eight-year-old on the block. Really, he was the only eight-year-old on the block, but they were still impressed by him. Whoever said youth is wasted on the young didn’t know Jake.
Jake had been showing off his new bike and turned the corner too wide. He never saw the car speeding toward him. The helmet and knee pads he'd been wearing didn’t make a difference. Now, he was attached to machines that were keeping his organs alive and the doctors had declared him braindead. They talked to Grace about donating his organs soon after the diagnosis. It’s not fair. Grace laid her head on his bed. Please, God. Save my boy. Bring him back to me.
Suddenly, a bright light filled the room. An angel as tall as the room stood behind the hospital bed, shining brighter than the Sun. Grace looked up and was frightened. “Do not be afraid,” the angel said. “The Father has sent me to tell you Jake has a home in Heaven. God has prepared a place for him and he is in no pain. You can let him go.” Grace felt a peace envelop her that she’d never felt before. As quickly as it came, the angel was gone. Grace got up immediately and had a nurse call for the donation coordinator.
Grace signed the papers for organ donation and handed them over. When the coordinator left the room, Grace said her goodbyes. She hugged and kissed her son for the last time. “I love you, Jake. You’ll always be my baby boy, forever young.” It felt wrong to leave him, but she knew it was time. Jake wasn’t here anymore, but she knew she’d see him again someday. Grace left the hospital without him.
A month later, Grace received a letter from the recipient of Jake’s heart. A lump formed in her throat as she read:
Dear donor family,
Words cannot express how grateful we are for the gift of your son’s heart. Our daughter Nevaeh is seven and was diagnosed two years ago with congestive heart failure. She was put on the transplant list immediately. A month ago, she almost died. We sat in her hospital room and were about to tell her it was okay to go home to Jesus when an angel came and stood behind her bed. The angel told us not to fear because everything was going to be okay. A moment later, the doctors rushed into the room. Nevaeh had a donor heart.
Today, Nevaeh is going home with us. Although you didn’t get to take your son home, know that he has a home in Nevaeh. Thank you for your sacrifice of love. We hope it eases some of your pain to know your son’s death was not for nothing but brought life to a little girl and hope to a family. We are forever grateful.
With deep sympathy and great love,
Sam, Michelle, and Nevaeh
Grace was amazed. She was sure God had sent the same angel to comfort her as He sent to Nevaeh’s family. Neveah. Grace looked at the letter again. Nevaeh spelled backward is Heaven. The angel told her Jake had a home in Heaven. Grace was overwhelmed. Coincidence or not, Jake was home now. He was healthy and whole and would stay as she said, forever young.
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