Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)
TITLE: Permanently Inked
By Bonnie Bowden
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The wind howled in the dark night. Victoria heard the opening and closing of the front door. The midwife had finally arrived.
“I’m on my way to get your mother,” my husband called out in a shaky voice. He always seemed calm and confident in his role as a college professor, but having a new baby enter the world had unnerved him.
Even though my mother and father only lived on the two cities over, it would still take a few hours. The horse and buggy would still need to be hooked up and readied. It would be a long, arduous trip and take over 14 hours.
The only light in the small, dark room came from the flickering of the candles. There was no fireplace in the bedroom, like there was in the main living room.
“Come in here,” I screamed between contractions.
“My name is Maize,” the midwife announced. “I have attended ten births before this, so you are in very capable hands. Then, Maize reached down to take my hand in hers. “When you feel the pain, just squeeze my hand as hard as you can.”
After hours of dull pain, my body seemed to tear in two.
… You were crowning. I reached down to support you with my left hand, and cup your growing head with my right. I can feel the midwife grasp your slippery, wet body from my hands.
The midwife, Maize, cut the cord, and I heard your screams. She gently washed you off and swaddled your body in soft towels.
I could feel the midwife sponging my body, but the water seemed to rise off my body like steam in a kettle.
“Ma’am, I am going to try to bring down the fever, but I fear an infection is setting in,” the midwife whispered.
“Please bring me my tray with the inkwell and stationery on it. I need to say a few words to my new daughter.”
Tears coursed down Victoria’s cheeks as she wrote, the black ink smudging against the white crispness of the page.
November 15, 1883
My dearest Beth,
I wanted you to know that I loved you from the first time I felt your life inside of me. I am glad I got to hold you and watch the sweet peacefulness on your face. I know I am not long for this world; I can feel all the strength leave me as the fever rages on.
I’m so sorry I won’t have the chance to watch you take your first steps or see you walk down the aisle with the husband of your dreams by your side. It is not natural for a parent to die before her child does. But I truly believe that God has a purpose for everything and does everything for a purpose.
Be gentle with your pa, he is a kind and wise man. Since you are our firstborn, it will be a great challenge for him to know what to do. My mother should be arriving shortly to help in the transition.
When you are scared or need someone, remember to pray. God never slumbers or sleeps, so you will never be alone. Goodbye for now, but we will meet each other shortly.
May 23, 1923
Beth heard her mother’s voice before she saw her. Even though she had only heard it in the womb, she instantly recognized it. What a sweet reunion! Her mom and Christ were there to meet her, just as her ma had said in the note.
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