Don’t climb up there, they yelled. It called out to me, though, that ledge with the water just beyond. I reckoned its width was the same as that of my feet. So I pulled my leg up, up until it clung to the railing, and I pushed the rest of my body onto it. From a straddling position I tried to raise myself, but I lost my balance and began tipping to the side of the river. With a mighty scream, Dad came and grabbed me just in time. I started giggling but then I saw the terror in his eyes, and instantly mine filled with sorry tears.
Don’t ever get close to him, they warned. Yet how could I resist that stare and the promises it seemed to hold? So I climbed into his car, leaned back as he leaned in. But then he began wanting more than I could give. I was about to succumb, but as strong as his arms Dad’s words grabbed me. “You have been fearfully and wonderfully made.” So I got out, just in time, eyes steady.
Don’t think you can live on that, Mom said with a shake of her head. I just knew I had to give it a shot, though. So I quit my job and started writing. Day in and day out I turned my posts in, but for weeks on end I got nothing back. I was preparing my humiliated daughter speech when a check came in from the mail. “Can’t give up just yet,” was Dad’s accompanying note. So I pressed on, eyes on the goal.
Don’t lose hope, they all advised. Looking at him, however, made me half-wish that the machines would stop working so his pain would just end. That night I raised my head up, as if seeing through the concrete all the way to heaven, ready to curse it with all I had. But then Dad lifted his arm–not as strong but having the same hold over me as when I was seven–and he touched my hand, whispering, “In Him all is well, all fear is gone.” My eyes became transfixed on him, and then above, all pain and confusion quenched.