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SUZANNE CAREY
Sr. DTLAL Columnist

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PHOTO CREDIT: Andrea

"Rays of Hope"

Elizabeth wiped the sweat from her brow as she took a minutes rest from scrubbing the laundry in the dwindling stream by her home. Pieces of her loosely tied hair stuck to her forehead, and she brushed them away with a sigh. Her faded and tattered dress stuck damply to her back from the humidity of the day, and her strenuous scrubbing of the few clothes that were left for her children.

Looking over her shoulder, she watched as her twin babies gleefully played together, chasing butterflies, unaware of their reality. The sound of their laughter brought a tear to Elizabeth's eyes and she quickly brushed them away. "I will not feel sorry for myself!" she angrily thought.

For a brief moment she allowed herself to remember a happier time. Jason, her beloved husband, his bright blue eyes sparkling, the sound of his joyous laughter when she told him she was carrying his babies inside her. He spun her around and around in circles, and they laughed until they cried. Nine months later it was Jason who helped bring their son and daughter into the world. Because they lived so far removed from any town, there was no time for a doctor. But Jason, with the confidence of the strong man that he was, skillfully and with certainty, brought both beautiful babies safely into the world.

As he placed each infant into her arms, he looked upon the God given gifts before him, eyes glistening with unshed tears. "What shall we name them?" he spoke gently as he touched each one on the head.

Elizabeth, tired but happy replied, "What would you say to David, after your father and Megan after my mother?”

A slow smile formed on his lips. "Welcome my son, David and to you my daughter Megan, welcome." And the tears he had been holding back slid slowly down his cheeks.

Elizabeth shook her head as to shake loose the memory. No time for this. Too much work to do. It had been three long years since Jason had left to find a way to support his new family. The weather had been dry and the crops that they lived on were barely enough to survive. She remembered the day he left as if it were yesterday.

He stood with his arms around her in their small but cozy two room log cabin. "Please Jason" Elizabeth softly spoke, tears choking here voice, "don't go. We'll be fine

as long as we're together."
He held her tightly and spoke gently, "Elizabeth my love, you've brought me more joy

and love than any man deserves, and you and our children deserve better than this. I would move mountains for you just to give you the life you deserve, and I'm going to!” With a tender finger, he lifted her tear streaked face and kissed her with all the love he felt inside. "I'll be back as soon as I can, I promise, "Jason said "Wait for me."

"Always," she whispered as she watched him, ruff sac in hand, walk out the door for what felt like the last time.

Elizabeth brought herself back to the present. "This is not helping me get my work done," she chided herself. As she stiffly stood up she noticed how the sky had started to cloud over, and thunder rumbled in the distance. Another storm she thought. Quickly picking up her laundry basket, she called out to her babies. "David, Megan, in the house, storms coming!"

"Ok Mama" they chorused in unison, as they often did.

Walking briskly toward the house, Elizabeth stopped for a brief moment and looked up. There in the sky, just before the clouds completed their coverage of the sun, rays of light broke through the clouds sending beams of light through the growing darkness. "Rays of hope," her thought said. With a determined stride she started back toward her home.

Just as she approached the door, the rain broke through the heavy water laden clouds. Yet she stopped, cocked her head to the side. She could have sworn she heard the call of her name in the wind. That voice! Her heart started pounding in her chest. Slowly, turning to her left, she looked over the horizon. It was hard to see through the pouring rain, and her hair had come loose and laid wetly in her eyes. "Jason!" her soul screamed.

In the distance she saw a shadow of a man, a form she knew, remembered with every breath she took. Again the sound of her name drifted in the wind. "Dear god, Jason!” She whispered. Dropping her basket she took off into a full tilt run. She ran as fast as her sodden skirt would allow. "Jason!" she cried out. Closer and closer he came, as he too had broken into a run. Leaping into his arms, he caught her with the certainty of a man catching the love of his life. "Jason!" she cried as she clung to him. He put her down and kissed her with the hunger of a starving man.

"Elizabeth, my beautiful Elizabeth. I've missed you so much," he moaned.
She touched his face, her tears mingling with the rain. "Is it truly you?” she cried. "Yes my love," he choked out. "I'm home." Pulling her tightly back into his embrace,

they cried and hugged and whispered words of love.
Time stood still as the lovers reunited, paying no mind to the raging storm around

them. Only the sound of her tiny voices calling, "Mama! Mama!" pierced their private cocoon.

Lifting their heads, they slowly unwrapped from their embrace. Taking his hand she said, "Come see your beautiful babies, you'll be so proud.”

Together they ran to their cabin, to the center and heart of their love. Walking through the door Jason stopped and sucked in a quick breath. Standing before him, four shining bright blue eyes,much like his own, stared up at him. Slowly getting to his knees he dropped down before them.

"David, Megan, look at you!" Jason spoke brokenly.

Megan cocked her her head, much like her mother does, looked into her daddy's eyes, and reached out her chummy little hand to wipe away his tears. "Don't cry," she said in her sweet little voice.

Elizabeth, who stood watching off to the side let out a small sob and knelt down beside her beloved husband and their precious twins. "David, Megan," she said with a gentle smile "This is your Daddy."

David who was standing quietly this whole time reached out his hand, in a manner beyond his years and said, "Nice to meet you sir."

Choking back a laugh, Jason took the little hand in his own and replied, "Nice to see you again my son."

Looking at his family he knew a contentment and a joy of a man that was truly blessed. Holding open his arms, he pulls his family in close and held them to his heart. Later he would share his struggles, his hard work and his well earned fortune he brought to his family. For now he just wants to hold them close.

And as the newly reunited family sat together on the floor, laughing and loving, the sun broke through the clouds, shining its rays of hope. 

SUZANNE CAREY

More Amazing Stories 


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PHOTO CREDIT: SUZANNE CAREY

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