Daysong Graphics
Blind Hope

Years ago an Amish man and his wife spent their days struggling against poverty. They had four children under the age of five. Even with both Dad and Mom doing all they could, they were barely able to keep food on the table and a roof over the family’s heads.

Then the man’s wife became sick. As she grew weaker, she could no longer take care of the baby while her husband worked. After weeks of prayer, they knew what they needed to do. A suitable Amish family lived in the district who needed the love of a baby to ease their own recent loss.

With tears of sorrow and sacrifice, the couple agreed to relinquish their six-month-old daughter to their care.

While the other children waited in the horse-drawn carriage, the dad helped his wife carry their precious infant to the front doorstep, where the grateful couple waited with both anticipation and compassion. The infant cooed blissfully as she was passed from one woman’s arms to the other’s.

The mothers embraced, gently pressing the baby girl between them. “When your health returns,” the neighbor said, “we will bring her back to you.”

But the mother did not get well. Some months after this painful parting, she passed away.

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Goodbye Gavin

This was the moment. The apex of our relationship. The point I knew would come, but hoped to avoid. I imagined spreading my arms wide and letting myself fall. After I said the words, there would be no taking them back.

“Gavin.” Those two endearing syllables rolled off my tongue. I allowed them to linger in place, letting the flavor melt on my taste buds like the last few bites of a decadent cheese cake.

He tossed his delighted niece into the air. Lily’s golden curls flashed like sunbeams against the backdrop of azure sky. She dissolved into a fit of outrageous giggles. The kind I would have joined if my throat hadn’t squeezed together.

Did it have to be now? On the cusp of summer? With the sun shining like a glorious ball of fire amidst a smattering of puffy white clouds? Couldn’t I just wait until Mr. Sun wasn’t so eager to play?

I shook my head and dismissed the idea. Things were getting too serious. I had no more excuses for putting this off. No more excuses to prolong the unavoidable. I cleared my throat.

“Gavin,” I said, a little louder this time, cherishing the unexpected gift in the midst of my torment. His distraction had given me the excuse to say his name a second time.

He set Lily down and gave her rear a pat before she tore off toward the slide. The really high big-girl slide. The one she’d just learned to slide down two weeks ago. Gavin stood up and smiled over at me, his handsome features sending ripples of agony through the cavern in my chest. I had his attention. There would be no need to repeat his name again.

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ACFW Book Of The Year
Fossil Hunter