The heart monitor kept a slow, steady rhythm. Lewis stared at the machine unconsciously nodding his head to each beep. The love of his life lay before him. Her gray pallor belied the life that still beat within her chest. He stroked her long golden strands through his fingers. Even now, her soft locks felt like cotton rolling across his fingers. He wanted to absorb every moment. The doctors told him she did not have much time.
Lewis bowed his head in prayer. “Why God? Why now? What will I tell our young children? You gave them to us. What do you expect me to say to a four and six-year-old? There are no viable solutions down here, but you say you control everything. What about us? What about Deborah? Are you taking her home and leaving us alone in the dark?”
Lewis stopped and reached for the tissues near Deborah’s bed. Both of them had lost their parents when they were young. He has his church friends, but he could not bring himself to call anyone this day. He wanted to be alone with his love. Nobody needed to be here, not even the children. As far as the next door neighbors knew, he was just visiting the hospital as he had always done for the last two weeks. They were more than happy to keep an eye on their kids.
For all Lewis knew, Deborah’s spirit had already left the room. There were no signs of consciousness, just her slow, beautiful breaths. He bowed his head and held her cold hand. “God, I’m sorry. I know this is selfish, but have I ever asked for anything selfish? People ask for miracles all the time, but I never have. I didn’t ask for my parents back, did I? I won’t bargain, that isn’t who you are. I can only ask, please bring her back to me. I know there are worse problems in the world. I know there are more deserving people in the world. Just this once God, please indulge me. The children need their mother, and I need my wife.”
The beeping of the heart monitor changed. One long tonal sound emitted from it. Nurses rushed in with a crash cart. Lewis quickly rose to the corner of the room. His world turned darker with each moment. The voices of the medical staff sounded distant like he was not there. He heard the words “clear,” a pop and a whine.
Did he hear that right? “She’s back!” someone said excitedly again. “Deborah, do you know where you are?”
“I’m in my hospital bed. Is my husband here?”
Lewis knew the sweet, graceful sound of her groggy voice at once. He rushed over and pushed a nurse out of his way. He looked into her bright blue eyes. Her face was no longer gray. They hugged, and the nurses failed to pull them apart.
With tears in her eyes, she looked at Lewis and said, “He says yes.” They hugged again and began to cry.
From across the bed, the doctor on duty spoke up. “Lewis, please, we need to check your wife.”
They released one another. “Of course,” Lewis said and stepped back.
Deborah laughed and wiped the tears from her cheeks. Lewis thought how she sounded like a joyful angel to his ears. She looked at the doctor and said, “I feel fine. No pain, no weakness. Do what you need to do because I want to get home to my family.”
The staff all shook their heads at one another. One nurse remained with the doctor, and the rest left. The doctor pulled up his stool, sat down, and asked Lewis to have a seat. Then he said, “You know, this is the third time something like this has happened this month on my shift. We have to do the tests to see what is going on with your tumors, but I already know the outcome. You should be out of here in forty-eight hours with a clean bill of health. Officially, we don’t believe in miracles, but I believe you just had one.”
With that, the doctor stood and left. The nurse finished her notes and stopped at the door. “Officially, I do believe in miracles. They don’t happen every day, but I love it when they do.” She left and shut the door.
Lewis grabbed Deborah’s hands, and they prayed together. “God, we don’t deserve this, and we don’t understand your grace, but thank you.”
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