Standing on The Edge Of Goodbye (14 page)

There were dozens of people in the OR whose
only purpose was to save Kate and their child’s life. There was nothing for him to do but wait.

M
inutes slipped by and with each passing second, his fear spiraled further out of control. He was so afraid of losing them, of having to go on without the woman and child he loved. He found himself praying to God, begging Him to spare their lives. And finally trusting in Him once more.

He couldn’t bear the thought of living without her. She was everything to him. She’d told him she loved him and before he could bring himself to believe the words she’d gone into such a terrifying painful spasm, that he’d forgotten everything except
that he wanted her to live.

Minutes slipped by.

Matt thought about his life before her and how far he’d come since meeting Kate.

He couldn’t bear it.
Couldn't lose her this way.

Please
. Please don’t let her die. Please protect her, spare her life, and spare our child’s life. Please don’t let my sinful doubts hurt them. I believe. I understand now what You needed me to see all along—just how precious life really is. I believe.

Matt wasn’t aware that he was saying the words
aloud. Jumbled images of his life with Kate raced through his mind, and then he was begging God to forgive him. The moment he whispered those words, a peace that overpowered all his fears settled in around him. He was still frightened, but the peace was helping to ease that fear. It was the peace that only God could offer.

“Matt?” He turned to find Denny standing close.

Matt wiped away tears.

“The baby’s fine. She’s still premature, but fully developed in spite of weighing only five pounds. Her lungs are good and strong
, but I’m going to keep her at the Pediatric ICU for a few days.”

“Kate
, what about Kate?”

“She’s still unconscious. She went through the surgery without any problems
, but Matt, this isn’t good. I think you should be prepared.”

“No. She’s not going to die. God would not let that happen to her. I want to see her. Please, I need to be with her.”

“Okay,” Denny said quietly. “Come with me. I think tonight will be the turning point. If she’s going to come out of this, I believe it will be in the next few hours.”

Kate lay so still, so pale and lifeless, that Matt fought to keep back the tears. There were dozens of lines attached
, but her eyes were closed. She was unaware of the efforts to bring her back.

He
clutched her hand in his, silent tears sliding down his face. She was ice cold to his touch. Matt turned back to Denny. “Isn’t there anything else you can do?”

Denny simply
shook his head. “Everything that can be done for Kate has been done. It’s up to her, now. And maybe you. Maybe your prayers are the only thing that can help her now.” He patted Matt’s arm. “I’m going to check on the baby. Kate will be okay for the moment. Why don’t you come meet your daughter?”

They stood together watching the little baby girl bundled tightly in her pink blanket, and Matt smiled in spite of the emptiness he felt inside.

Kate had been right. They had a beautiful baby girl. Their daughter. So tiny, her little fingers wrapping around his, unaware of her mother's struggle to live. “She’s beautiful. Kate is going to be so proud. A little girl.” He turned to Denny, who smiled slightly. “She knew all along it was going to be a girl.”

“Yes, but her mama’s going to have to wake up soon, so she can give the poor girl a name.”

 

****

 

Matt sat
next to Kate’s bedside all night long holding her hand.

Denny had been right there with him throughout the long hours. Everyone else they knew and loved had arrived. Amy and Herman had gone to the chapel
along with Melissa to pray. Their pastor had called an all-night prayer vigil at the church for Kate.

Somewhere in the early morning hours just before dawn, Denny was paged to the emergency room, but he made sure Matt knew where to find him in case there was any change.

Now, as Matt quietly prayed, he felt that same unbelievable calm come over him again and somehow he knew everything would be all right. God was comforting him and letting him know that he wouldn’t have to say good-bye to her.

“You’re praying?” Matt’s head shot up in astonishment at the sound of Kate’s weak voice. She was awake
. Kate was awake.

“You’re awake. Oh, thank God.” He laid his head against their clasped hands sobbing.

“Did you see them?” she asked him softly.

“Who, baby? Did I see who?”

“The angels. There were so many. It was a glorious sight. You prayed and they came.”

“Yes, I prayed. God sent them to help you.”

“No,” she answered with so much force that he raised his head and looked into her eyes. “No, they’re not here for me. They came for you.”

Matt gathered her close, his head resting against her neck. He
couldn't seem to stop the tears soaking through her gown.

“I need to find Denny. I promised I’d let him know the minute you
woke up.” He smiled down at her, trying to untangle her arms from around his neck.

“No, not yet. Matt you’re crying.
The baby? Is it the baby? Is the baby all right?”

“Our daughter is fine. She’s just prefect, in spite of being a little early. She’s been waiting for you to wake up.”

“Are you sure? You’re not telling me everything I can feel it. Please—”

“She’s fine. Denny wants her to stay in the PICU for a few days just to be safe. But she’s fine and absolutely perfect. She just needs her mother to give her a name.”
             

He tried to smile, but
he'd need time to let go of all those fears.

“Is it me, then? Am I dying?”

Matt’s face twisted in pain at just how close to the truth her words came. “No. No, you’re going to be just fine, baby. Nothing is going to happen to you. I promise. You and I are going to grow old together.”

“Then why are you crying?”
she asked once more, her voice growing faint.

“I’m just so happy that you came back to us
—to me.”

 

****

 

Denny got the page from Kate’s room and found the nearest phone, his heart pounding hard against his chest.

“What’s wrong?” he asked
while fearing the worse.

“She’s awake
. Kate awake. Come quickly.” Denny hung up the phone without answering and ran up all three flights of stairs to Kate’s room.

“Oh, thank God.” He kept repeating until he stopped in front of her door to catch his breath. “Thank
You, God.”

He pushed open the door in time to see his patient
grin. He didn’t have to glance Matt’s way to know he'd be overcome with emotion.


Okay, out of the room, you. I need to examine my patient.”              

Matt, who was holding onto Kate’s hand tightly,
shook his head, ready to argue. “I’m not going anywhere. Kate is my wife.”

Kate seemed oblivious to all the fussing that was taking place. Her eyes were slowly closing and she was fighting to stay awake.

“Denny, I want to see my baby. Can you take me to her?”

Both men turned, silenced by her innocent request. “You’re kidding, right? She’s kidding, surely?” Denny turned to Matt as if to confirm. “You’re not getting out of this bed for a while, so you can forget that. You gave us all quite a scare earlier. I’ll see if we can bring the baby in a little later, after you’ve gotten some rest. And I think the only way you’re going to do that is to get this guy out of here.”

He turned back to his friend and pointed to the door. “Go. Go tell Lissa and the others the good news. And then call Pastor Jack. There’s going to be a whole lot of rejoicing today.”

 

****

 

In just a few short days, Kate had made so much progress that Denny was ready to release her on the condition that she go home and straight to bed.

“Denny I’m not going back to
Silver Mountain without our daughter, so you can just find me someplace to stay in the hospital until Rachel is released.”

Denny threw up his hands and turned to Matt for help. “Sorry, Denny
, but I feel the same way. That’s why I talked to Frank and he’s letting us stay with him for a couple of days until Rachel is ready to come home with us. Relax. You’re off the hook.”

While Rachel Samantha Stevens was growing stronger with each passing day,
Denny still wanted to keep her until the end of the week just to be certain.

Choosing the name for their daughter had seemed simple to Kate. Since she’d been so sure she was having a girl she’d decided months earlier what to name their daughter. She wanted Rachel to carry a reminder of those special souls who had touched hers and Matt’s lives so deeply.
But Kate wasn’t sure how Matt would feel about naming their daughter after Sammy.

“I’m honored that you want to. You couldn’t have made me happier. Our daughter will be a living reminder of the people we love dearly. Thank you.” He touched her cheek, gently
then brushed a kiss across her lips.

Reluctantly Kate let Matt drag her away from Rachel’s side. It was late and she was tired, but still she hated to be away from their daughter for a moment.

“I’ve asked Frank to put us in the same room,” he told her once he closed the door to their bedroom. “I thought it would be best in case you woke during the night and needed something. It’s a big bed,” he added. “You won’t even know I’m there, I promise.”

Kate was half way to sleep when Matt came to bed. She felt his weight and turned to face him.

“Go back to sleep. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” Matt had deliberately waited until he believed she would be sleeping before coming to bed.

“I’m not asleep. Matt, I can’t believe you prayed for me. It was your prayers that saved me
. I really believe that. I owe you my life.”

His fingers were gentle against her cheek.

“But does this mean...”

Matt didn’t even have to ask what she meant
—he knew. He smiled at her in the darkness. “Yes, I believe. I guess I never really stopped believing in God. I just lost hope. You brought me back. You tell me that I saved your life, but you’ve saved mine just the same. You gave me hope again, and helped me find my way back to God. I won’t ever leave again. I’m so lucky I found you. You were my angel sent from God.”

She sobbed gently and he
drew her into his arms and held her tight.

“I’m so glad.
Oh, Matt, I’m so happy for you.”

He held her when she pulled away.
“No. Wait. Don’t go away just yet. I have to ask you something.” Matt could feel her grow tense.

“Do you remember what you told me before you went into labor?” Matt waited
with his heart in his eyes.

“I remember.”

“Did you mean it?”

Kate glanced hesitantly up and there was no denying the truth. “Yes.”

“Oh, thank God
.” His voice broke as he pulled her back into his arms. “Oh, thank God. I was so afraid you were just delirious or reacting to the kiss or...oh, I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. Kate, I love you, too. It’s true, my love. I know what I told you before, but I was wrong. Just as I was wrong about not believing in God. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. I’ve loved you for so long, but I was afraid. I thought my love would be the last thing you’d ever want from me.”

She started to laugh and he moved away so he could see her shining eyes.

“Oh, Matt. We’re both such a pair of dorks. We’re so lucky we found each other, because I don’t think anyone else could put up with us.”

Matt drew her close
r. He was so amazed that God had given him so much in spite of all his disbelief.

Through all
his years of doubt and anger, God had never stopped loving him. He understood all of this now. The woman in his arms and the child they would raise together were the only proof he needed of that eternal love.

“Do you remember what you said to me in the hospital? About the angels. You asked me if I’d seen the
angels. You said that they were there for me. Well, you were right, baby. And I think maybe, just maybe, one of the angels was Rachel.”

 

 

The End

 

 

 

 

About the author

 

Mary Eason grew up in a small Texas town famous for, well not much of anything really. Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than her brothers and sister, Mary had plenty of time to entertain herself. Making up stories seem to come natural to her.

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