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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: Gifts of love
By Karen Ward


Eve’s bloodshot eyes snapped open at the cry of her newborn.

Again? I can’t do this any more!

She stuffed her head against the pillow and waited. The crying didn’t stop.

I have to. No one else will.

Dropping still swollen feet to the floor, she pushed her aching body up from the hospital bed.

Kai’s cries intensified as she switched on the light and dragged herself to his cot.

“It’s OK, Sweetie” she soothed despite her inner exhaustion. She knew her state of mind was not his fault. Her smile grew as she watched him suckle.

They both started as the door swished open and a nurse bustled into the room and studied the chart at the end of the bed, “Have you opened your bowels yet?”

“Umm, no, not yet.” After Kai’s birth, she was surprised to realize she was still taken aback by such personal questions. Fortunately, this nurse’s direct style meant only a brief interrogation before the quiet of her room was restored.

Eve continued to watch Kai in the subdued light. His eyes were now closed, and his fervent suckling had been reduced to fluttering moments, almost as if he were dreaming. She broke the seal with her pinkie and laid him back in his cot.

Oh David!

The tears that sleep had stopped only hours before resurfaced.

If only you could be here now and see your son!

She hugged herself, trying to imagine David’s comforting arms around her again.

How will I manage by myself? This should be our moment. You here with us, pride shining from your eyes, showing us your love.

Her fingers caught in tangles as she ran them through her hair in frustration and despair. She watched the tears falling onto the floor between her bare feet. Each droplet seemed to mesmerize her, her brain too numb to function properly.

Why does it feel so hopeless? I’m glad to have Kai to remember you by, but it doesn’t really help.

You’re still not here.

I can’t do this by myself! I’m tired. Between being pregnant, and missing you, sleep hasn’t come for months. Oh David. I want to go on, I know you wouldn’t want me to be depressed.

Eve fell onto the bed and curled into a ball, hugging her knees. She stared vacantly at the wall for a long time while the tears continued to run. At last, she became aware of the discomfort of wetness on her cheek, and moved to flip her pillow. Her eye fell on David’s Bible. She remembered putting it in her hospital bag two nights before. Reading it always made her feel closer to him.

Oh David I miss you. Lord, help me. Help us.

She glanced at Kai sleeping peacefully in his cot, unaware of his fatherless state and the concerns that his mother held for their future. Flipping through David’s Bible, a note in his handwriting drew her attention.

Eve, if the worst should happen, take this to heart my darling, and know that it is true.

“Consider how the lilies grow…not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these…do not worry…what you will eat and drink…these things will be given to you.”


She glanced across the room. Chloe had brought her lilies this afternoon.

They are beautiful. Could you clothe me like that God? If I chose to stay at home with Kai like we planned would we be OK? Could you really feed and clothe us on David’s life insurance?

She read the verses and note again.

Clearly he thought you could. David always had more faith than me.

Looking up, her eyes traveled the room. The lilies were not alone. Flowers lined the shelves and the table in a mass of colour, bunches of daisies, a bright pink gerbera in a coloured box, roses in a basket, tulips, iris, babies breath, and many other flowers she didn’t have names for.

I guess we’re not alone either are we? Those flowers have all come from people that love us.

These thoughts settled slowly, and just a glimmer of hope began to soothe her troubled soul. She lay her head by her beloved’s Bible, her eyes lingering on the gifts of love until they slowly closed in sleep.

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This article has been read 1060 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth Muehlhausen10/10/05
Paradox is in this story! Hope in the midst of despair. God's living Word cutting through human circumstances. New life replacing death. Loneliness surrounded by supportive community. Good job.
Helga Doermer10/11/05
“Consider how the lilies grow…not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these…do not worry…what you will eat and drink…these things will be given to you.” The voice of reassurance.
Brandi Roberts10/11/05
Wow! I really enjoyed this. Even brought me to tears! Thank you for sharing!
Julianne Jones10/11/05
This was beautiful and so well-written. I too had tears. Well done.
Alexandra Wilkin10/12/05
Beautiful and bitter-sweet; tears from me too. Well done! God bless.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/12/05
Touching story! I also loved that she was going to stay home with her son. :-)
Debbie Sickler10/13/05
I just woke up to the sounds of my baby and decided to read a few more entries while I nursed him. My mind is wide awake, but my eyes are blurry with sleep. What a perfect time to find your story! Needless to say, I could totally relate to your new mom. I am also an at home mom who felt very alone with my first son's delivery, so I actually related on several levels. Thanks for a great story!
Suzanne R10/13/05
Very touching ... and so sad. Beautifully written.
Jan Ackerson 10/13/05
A great story with very realistically portrayed emotional content. Thanks for writing this.
Anita Neuman10/13/05
Touching and realistic, sad, yet hopeful. So well-written! Great job, Karen.
Garnet Miller 10/13/05
Very touching story:)
Lynda Lee Schab 10/14/05
This piece is full of so much emotion... I agree that "hope" is the underlying message that shines through. The judges sure have their work cut out for them this week. :-)
Blessings, Lynda
Pat Guy 10/14/05
Very good job! From hopelessness to hope! This reminds me of the verse 'With God all things are Possible.' Well done!
Cassie Memmer10/14/05
I enjoyed your story, though sad. God always offers hope and promises to never leave us or forsake us! Great writing.
Julie Beard10/15/05
As a mother of a 12 week old, I truly 'felt' your story Karen. I grieved the loss of her husband (I ache at the thought of that being me!)and found hope in the promise that God will never forsake her. Well done!
Val Clark10/15/05
Go Kaz! A brilliant entry! Yeggy.
Shari Armstrong 10/15/05
I kind of wanted to know what happened to her husband, but a beautifully told story.
Linda Watson Owen10/16/05
You skillfully transported your reader into the mind of that young mother. Well done!!
B Brenton10/17/05
You have a beautiful flair Karen. Just flair, all over again (as per your other works)... Keep flairin'