It was raining outside. The wind could be heard from within the sterile room. She was in a state of repose but warmth eluded her. It was cold. Freezing. Her lips began to chatter and her body had now begun to shiver in response. These outside interferences invaded her healing slumber. Gingerly sitting up she gasped in pain,she waited a few minutes, finally the pains intensity subsided to a dull ache. A glance out the window revealed it was raining outside. Intensely, so. It was raining inside too, she thought. Her sorrowful tears were falling fast and she let them.
"Will I ever be happy?"
She glanced around the room as if it would bring forth the answer her soul sought. She knew the next thing for her to do was to pray. But she was tired. Not true . She was exhausted. Her mind formed the words that were in her heart. Yet her words remained trapped. She felt scared and alone. Shifting her position and inhaling deeply she tried again, and again the words refused release.
Yes, she was truly and utterly exhausted. Sometime later gathering her courage and donning her robe, she eased into her slippers. She paused. Oddly enough, she became aware of her pink bunny slippers.
This was a moment for her. The slippers weren't new as she had them for some time now. Yet strangely enough at this painful moment in her life she noted that the bunny's eyes were large... and happy.
Its pink tongue was sticking out as if teasing its owner. A giggle sprung forth. Quickly clamping her hands over her mouth, she looked around the drab room.
Sighing in relief that no one had witnessed her lapse. Clearing her throat, she tightened the belt on her robe. What was that moment? She was determined. Inhaling a fortifying breath she exited her room. The looks of compassion on the nurse's faces as she passed, made her more determined. Stiffening her spine she proceeded forward.She didn't need their pity. She was going to be all right.
She felt the familiarity of that powerful emotion. It was her constant companion for most of her twenty eight years. Anger! It was her fuel. It was her elixir.
She was angry at the situation. Angry because no one could tell her why tragedy this happened? She was angry, because she was afraid, to be angry with God for allowing this to happen. Why her? Why anyone? Why? Why? Who could she blame? The rain?
She made her way to the ICU premature ward. She gasped at the many machines attached to her baby. She literally felt as though someone kicked her in the gut. Pressing her hands against the plexiglass she began to weep. Her baby was so tiny and helpless. Yet looking past the machines and ignoring the beeps and chirps of the equipment it was obvious that the small bundle was beautiful. Beautiful.
"She is beautiful," the stranger's voice was hypnotic. He had one of those nondescript faces.
"Yes, she is," Hoping to discourage further conversation she inched away from him. Moments passed and yet the stranger gave no indication of leaving.
"It was raining outside as I was coming in."
"The rain can be misunderstood at times." The stranger hazard a look in her direction. "You see the rain serves its purpose. The rain can be cleansing."
"It cleans our gutters out. Taking with it the debris. Hurt can turn into gutters of disparity."
"Ahh, but the rain fertilizes growth. It rids the dryness that is produced by anger. Most importantly... it's doesn't last always. Yep, the rain serves a purpose." The stranger's gaze captured her attention.
His eyes held the sun. They were golden. Clear and bright. For some strange reason, she suddenly wanted to cry. She wanted the sun to shine on her. She wanted her baby to be healthy and strong. She wanted to believe. She felt dried up as if she had nothing else to give.
She wanted it to rain on her. To clean out her gutters --for she had many-- and to fertilize her faith making bloom. She needed the rain to cool her burned soul. Help me. Help me. Came the inward cry.
"Who are you?" The question came out in a whisper.
The stranger's eyes if possible, brighten, causing her to shiver. Shrugging. "I was just visiting the sick. I make my rounds daily. I heard a cry and was drawn this way." He focused his eyes back on the baby.
"She is beautiful."
She flicked a quick look at him. Again moments passed and still the stranger made no move to leave.
"Well, I am off to complete my visits now."
His abrupt declaration caused her to jump in surprise. Bowing slowly he turned and left. Just like that. Not a good bye or fair thee well. He just left.
Standing in askance, she became aware of two things. First, her baby was looking at her smiling. Her baby was smiling! That gummy smile made her heart sing with joy. Regardless of the foreign objects hooked up to her she was smiling! And then...and then her anger began to dissipate, replaced by utter calm, and just like that her tears ceased.
Calmly making her way back to her room, she glanced out the window, noting that the rain had stopped. The trees were no longer leaning from the winds fierce attack; they stood erect and majestic. The sun was shinning.
"Code blue!, cold blue!, code blue!"
She could hear the bevy of nurses running towards the IC prenatal unit, but was not frightened. She began to pray. Over and over she voiced the words until they became her mantra. Finally succumbing to exhaustion, she slept.
Three Years Later....
The park was extremely congested that day. It was a good day to have a picnic, to ride a bike, and to enjoy life! Making her way over to a bench she looked around, seeing life. She was content and happy. A woman was making her way to the empty bench next her. She was crying. Looking at the approaching stranger, she was over come with compassion.
"The bad news is it is raining now. The good news is that it doesn't last always."
The woman seemed startled by the declaration. Gently dabbing at her tear swollen eyes, she nodded, stood and left. Walking with more confidence than before.
"Mommy," recognizing the voice of her daughter, she turned embracing her Destiny.
The three year old's laughter rang out. It was contagious, soon her own laughter joined in. Her Destiny was beautiful.
Three years ago they fought fatality and won. How? Who? She looked up at the sky and saw the sun's golden rays bursting forth and immediately thought of the stranger with the golden eyes. Eyes that held the sun.
"But God." She whispered.
She hugged her Destiny closer to her bosom. "Just like that the rain will stop." As if agreeing with her, Destiny smiled. Come on baby let us go home."