Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER (don’t write about the song) (04/30/15)
TITLE: The Map
By Melinda Melton
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Jim and I look at each other, completely at a loss for words. Finally, Jim says, â€śDonâ€™t worry son, youâ€™ll find the map that will lead you home.â€ť
The simple statement calms Luke and he lies back in the bed and falls into a deep sleep. His breathing alternates from deep to shallow with long pauses between each breath. Jim and I hold hands and watch our son sleep just like those nights so long ago when he was a baby.
The next morning, Luke wakes up with renewed energy. Sitting up in bed he exclaims,â€śWhat a beautiful morning! The sun is so bright!â€ť
â€śYes, it is a lovely morning indeed. Are you feeling up to seeing visitors? Thereâ€™s family waiting outside.â€ť
â€śOf course Mom, please send them in.â€ť
One by one, family and friends stream through the room all day. Luke laughed, joked, shared stories and memories and it seemed he was getting better. My heart swelled with hope.
When visiting hours were over, the room was quiet once more. It was shift change and the night nurse came in to check Lukeâ€™s vitals. His blood pressure was very low. She put the equipment back in the cart, smiled and quickly left the room.
His renewed energy deflated like a balloon. Lying on his newly fluffed pillow, Luke stared at the ceiling, his breathing once again staggered between shallow and deep. He suddenly smiled and said, â€śI donâ€™t have my fishing gear ready yet Pops, I need to pack it.â€ť
Pops is my daddy. He passed away seven years ago.
Rubbing the chill bumps on my arms I asked Luke, â€śWould you like to pray with your Dad and me?â€ť
He looked at us, nodded and closed his eyes.
Bowing our heads, Jim led us in the Lordâ€™s prayer, â€śOur Father, who art in heavenâ€¦â€ť
During the next hour we praised our God, â€śHoly, Holy, Holy are you Lord God almighty. Glory and honor is yours, our Lord Jesus Christ!â€ť
We sang our favorite hymns, gave thanks for the many blessings in our lives and most especially, thanked God for allowing us to care for Luke.
The room was filled with the most amazing peace, covering us like a warm blanket.
â€śAmenâ€ť Jim whispered. He opened his eyes, gazing at our Luke. A single tear slowly inches down his weathered cheek.
My heart breaking, I watched our son struggle to breathe. I wanted so desperately to breathe for him. He took a deep breath through his wide open mouth and for a moment, I thought it was his last when after a long pause it whooshed out.
I leaned over my sweet boy and whispered in his ear with choked sobs, â€śItâ€™s okay, honey. Itâ€™s okay to go home.â€ť
After a little while, Luke suddenly brightened and lifted both arms up and exclaimed, â€śHeâ€™s here! Heâ€™s here! Isnâ€™t he beautiful and Pops is here too, with my map.â€ť
He looked at Jim and I, smiled and we watched our beautiful boy take his last breath.
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