Hope Anew, Part 8

Fiction By Jackie West // 6/28/2011

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                “Jon?”

                Jon jumped when he heard the voice.   It sounded like Mariah, and it was coming from the direction of her bed!

                He got to his feet and ran to her bedside.

                Mariah was fully awake and smiling.  Her face, which before had been flushed with fever, was back to its normal color, and she was breathing normally.

                “Why did this happen?” she asked.

                Jon could hardly keep himself from gaping.  “H-how are you feeling?” he asked in wonderment and shock.

                “I feel fine, except for this funny feeling in my side.  What happened?” Mariah wondered.

                “You had a bad cold, a fever, dehydration, and appendicitis, and you had to have surgery,” Jon explained.  “Are you sure you’re feeling quite well?”

                Mariah nodded as best she could.  “Yes.”

                Jon ran to ring the bell for the doctor.

                When Dr. Julien came in, Mariah looked over at him.

                “Hello,” she said.

                The doctor almost stopped in his tracks.  “What-?”

                “She’s basically recovered, Doctor,” Jon jumped in, barely able to contain her excitement.  “She’s well!”

                “I don’t believe it,” the doctor said firmly, recovering from his shock quickly.  “How could she be well so fast?”

                “Only a divine hand could have done it,” Jon said, smiling.

                The look Dr. Julien gave him was almost icy.  “And I suppose the help you got from the hospital was nothing?”

                Jon closed his eyes briefly and prayed for help.  “God helped her recover-partly through the work that you and your assistants did.”

                Dr. Julien stared at strangely him some more before going over to Mariah.

                Mariah lay still as the doctor checked her pulse and listened to her breathing.  When he finished examining her, he turned to Jon.

                “It’s impossible,” he stated flatly.  “She couldn’t have recovered so quickly.  It just doesn’t happen!”

                “With God, nothing is impossible,” Jon said firmly.  “I believe that.  And I also believe that God works all things for the good of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

                Dr. Julien shook his head.  “You’re another Christian, aren’t you?”

                “Yes, I’m a Christian,” Jon said.

                Dr. Julien turned and only Mariah saw him roll his eyes.  She half-raised an eyebrow as he settled his hands on the side of her bed and shook his head while he looked her over again.  “Impossible,” he muttered.  “Absolutely impossible.  This can’t happen.”

                “Yes, it can,” Mariah said softly.

                The doctor ignored him-that or he just didn’t hear her- as he rang the bell and summoned a nurse.

                Jon returned to Mariah.  “Do you think she could come home and recover there?”

                “No,” the doctor said.  “She might have a fever relapse.”

                “Why do you want to keep her here?” Jon asked.  “This is a miracle!  Anyone can see that!”

                “She needs to stay.”

                “I’m her guardian, and I don’t think she needs to stay.  You saw for yourself!  Her pulse, heartbeat, and breathing are all perfectly normal, her fever has gone down, and the cold has left her.”  He spread his hands.  “She can go!”

                “I’m her doctor, and I’m saying that she has to stay,” the doctor said firmly.  “Now please, don’t argue.  I know what I’m doing.”

                Jon sank back into his chair unbelievingly.  “You’ve got to be joking!” he exclaimed. 

                “I’m not, Mr. Matthews, I’m being perfectly serious.  She could have a relapse.”

                “What will you do?  I could probably do it at home, right?  And anyway, she’s obviously been healed.  There’s only one valid reason for her to stay-and that’s just the pain in her side-and it’s something that can be dealt with at home, too!”

                Dr. Julien sighed.  “I’ll call the head physician.”

 

                The head physician, a man in his late fifties named James Park, was quick to come at Dr. Julien’s call.  He thoroughly examined Mariah before talking to the other doctor and Jon.

                “She seems perfectly healthy, aside from that pain that she has in her side that will go away with complete rest for a day or two.”

                Dr. Julien threw a triumphant glance at Jon, who focused on the other man and tried not to pay much attention to the opposing doctor.

                “Bed rest at home at this point seems fine,” Dr. Park continued.  “Someone has to be nearby constantly, though, in case something happens.”

                Jon smiled with relief.  “So she can go?”

                “Yes,” Dr. Park said briefly, smiling back.  He turned to Dr. Julien.  “Please send for a wheelchair.”

                In silent defeat, Dr. Julien obeyed.

 

                Miriam picked up the phone wearily.  The day had been such a long and tiring one, with Jon deciding to stay over at the hospital one more day, and Leah being a grump because Mariah wasn’t back yet…

                “Hello?” she asked.

                “Miriam?  I’m coming home in the morning.”

                “Alright,” Miriam said.  “I’ll be ready to go when you arrive.”

                “No.”

                “What?” Miriam’s eyes opened wide.  “No?”

                “Mariah’s coming home with me.”

 

                “Yippee!” Leah squealed.  “Mariah’s coming back today!”

                She bounced into the boys’ room, singing, “Mariah’s coming back today, Mariah’s coming back today!”

                Micaiah sat up straight in his bottom bunk, hitting his head on the top. “OW! What’s that, Leah?”

                “Mariah’s coming home today, Mariah’s coming home today!” Leah sang out again, not hearing his question but continuing her joyful song.  “She’s all better, an’ she’s coming home!”

                Micaiah’s eyes widened as he leapt out of bed.  “She’s-WHAT?”

                Leah threw wide the curtains of the boys’ bedroom window. “She’s better. Ask Mom, it’s true!”

                She danced back out, singing again. “Mariah’s coming home today, Mariah’s coming today….”

                Micaiah stared after her.  “Mariah’s…better?”

 

                “Micaiah, are you alright?” Miriam asked as she stepped into the boys’ room and saw him staring into space, a shocked expression on his face.

                He shook his head. “I-don’t believe it.  How could she be better?”

                She sat beside him on his bed and took his shoulders, turning him so that he faced her.  “A miracle, Micaiah, God’s grace.”

                He stood and pulled open his dresser drawer, pulling out a clean shirt and pants, still shaking his head in shock.  “Amazing…”

                Miriam stood and left the room, smiling.

 

                “Mom? Is it really true?”

                Miriam looked up from her pancake at Gabrielle’s question.  “Is what really true?”

                “Leah said that you said that Dad told you that he and Mariah are coming home.  Is he kidding?”

                “No.” Miriam shook her head.  “He wouldn’t joke about things like this.  He really is coming home, sometime right before lunch. And kids,” she added quickly, “you need to be quiet and gentle with Mariah.  Remember, she’s been sick and been in bed for quite awhile.  She needs rest so that she can recover from her surgery.”

                They all nodded obediently and leaned forward to hear what more she had to say.

                Miriam nodded approvingly.  “Good.  Now, this is what’s going to happen this afternoon…”

               

                When Jon arrived home in a taxi with Mariah, he noted how well kept the gardens and fields were, even though he had been gone for some time.

                With Mariah protesting loudly and strongly, he carried her into the house to her room.

                All the kids had washed up and dressed in clean clothes.  They were lined up in a neat row near her room.

                “Hello, Mariah,” they all said quietly and simultaneously.

                She waved slowly at them and smiled. “Hi, everybody. What’s with all the solemnity?”

                “Mommy wanted us to be quiet because you needed rest,” Leah piped up loudly.

                Mariah nodded seriously. “I see. You have a very wise mommy.” She smiled at Jon. “But I think I could manage answering a few questions.”

                Everyone started laughing, and they all crowded around Mariah, peppering her with questions at a nod from their father.

                And she managed to answer them, every one.

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