a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Was A Long Night...

as the mother rocked the baby in her grandmother's rocking chair, the only real chair in the small cabin.  Mustard poultices, hot steam, baked onions...nothing seemed to help...the fever remained along with the death rattling cough of the croup.

She kept adding wood to the fire in the hand laid rock fireplace she and her husband had made when they raised the cabin.  And she rocked and rocked, the baby wrapped in the quilt her mother and grandmother had made.

Tears slid quietly down her cheeks as she wished her mother or grandmother were there to tell her what to do to save her baby, her only baby, her precious baby girl.

Her husband had left to bring the nearest neighbor who knew something of doctoring but that was miles away and it would be morning before he returned. For now it was just mother and child, rocking and rocking and praying.

The sounds of the racking coughs tore each fiber of the mother's being, thinking, if only I could take the sickness and let my child be well.  The silent tears rolled down the mother's cheeks as she stared into the fireplace... rocking, rocking.

The mother dozed in her exhaustion.  A voice woke her, a voice she hadn't heard in years, how could it be? She heard, "Child, I am with you."  She looked around the room and saw no one.  She must have been dreaming.  It was the voice of her grandmother, gone all these years, how could she hear her voice?

Then she noticed something else...there was no coughing from the tiny bundle she held.  Oh, God, No, please, no!  She frantically removed the quilt and felt the baby's forehead...not hot anymore.  She leaned closely and heard the sweetest sound on earth, a baby's breathing as it sleeps. The fever had broken!  The worst had passed. 

The cabin was quiet.  The only sounds were the crackling fire, the baby's peaceful breathing, two women  humming and the rocking chair...rocking, rocking, rocking.

16 comments:

Teresa aka JW said...

Love this! I was a little worried which is what I needed to be. Good job.

EmptyNester said...

Wow, that was awesome! The description of feelings was right on the money! Very glad for the happy ending!

Rural Rambler said...

More!!!!

The Preacher's Wife said...

Your attempt at fiction was more than just an attempt. Sounds like you were born to write. Enjoyed it. I had a long night too but, fortunately, not like that woman.
Blessings

ellen abbott said...

well done.

Judy said...

Thanks for the happy ending...plus for gram to be there to help...

Mary Aalgaard said...

Very sweet. I was drawn in right away, and needed to read to the end. (I clicked on your blog title from Teresa's blog.)

Linda in New Mexico said...

You certainly have the ability to captivate and garner a few tears in the process. Lovely piece. congrats, The Olde Bagg

Far Side of Fifty said...

I liked it..keep on keeping on:)

Nezzy said...

Oh ya know how I adore a happy ending!!! Great job girl...a new career ya can do on the side! :o)

God bless and enjoy your day sweetie!!!

COUNTRY GAL said...

Wonderful ! You should write books ! Well done, had me in suspence ! Glad for the happy ending ! Have a great day !

Lori Skoog said...

What a beautiful post! Writing must come easy to you.

Melissa said...

Gorgeous! Both the picture and the writing

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

a wierd and wonderfully written little tale
well done
x

Clarissa Draper said...

What a great ending! I was sitting up in my chair hoping things would go well. I'm so glad they did.

CD

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh man, I was so sure of the ending....thank goodness for the surprise ending. whew.

Wonderful writing, Gail. You rock!

~Lisa

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