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One Prayer, One Life, One Death, One Heart

 
 

By Bradley Schlegel

 
  He could not believe that this was how it was going to end. After everything that he had been thorough in his life it had come down to this. As big and as strong as he once was. Flat on his back in a hospital bed with a heart that was giving up.

He thought about everything he put himself thorough. The broken bones knocked out teeth six years in the military. All the booze, cigarettes and drugs some legal most them not. Here he was paying for the life that he led. All the hours spent on that big two wheeler. Just having to see what was over the next horizon. The wander lust in his heart. Who could have put up with that?

He thought about the girl who spent so many miles riding behind him. How he loved that woman now. Twenty-five years of good times and bad. She never left sometimes he didn’t understand why she stayed. He was grateful that she did. She was his world. Some days his temper was not to be believed. He could be moody for weeks at a time. By the end of the winter he was wearing a groove in the carpet waiting on the weather so he could get back outside. How that woman could stand that just amazed him. Then there was their daughter.

What a spitfire she is. Whoever she marries is going to have their hands full. He thought about all the overtime he put in and how much of her life he missed. She is almost finished with college. How wild is that his daughter in law school. Is the world ready for that? He wonders if she knows how proud of her he is. Does she know how much he loves her? Not being there for her is what hurts the most about this.

He was not going to think like that. He’ll get a transplant stop smoking and drinking and life will go on as it has in the past. A cigarette sounds good about now he thought. The rare blood type that he has that kept in beer money half of his life. Is now going to be the reason that he ends dying on his back in a hospital bed. What a way to go out. Where is the blaze of glory he always figured would accompany his departure from this world. No bells or whistle just a slow fading away. That sucks.

He woke up to hearing voices in his room. He looked around and saw that they had brought in another patient and put in his room. No dying alone now even if he wanted too. He saw woman pass by the end of the other bed. She was huge. She must have been at eight months pregnant. He thought how sad is that to have a pregnant wife and be in the IC unit of the hospital. He could them talking. The man voice was weak and he was trying to be encouraging to the woman. She told the man that he needed to get some rest and that she would there when he woke up. He could hear the steady breathing of his roommate as realized that he must have fallen on the woman’s command. He could hear the woman mumbling. He thought prayers at this point lady are not going to help. Then voice got a little louder and he could hear her.

She was praying. Just like he thought. But what she was praying for sent chills down his spine. “Oh God just a couple of more months. Please let him live long enough to hold our child in his arms at least once before you call him home. Please just a few more days. I know he is dying but let him see his child first.”

As he laid he thought how hard her life was going to be. He thought about the unborn child growing up without their father. Who would his daughter be if he had died that early in her life. What would happen to his wife. With his quirks she loved him with all of her being. How would have she survived.

He must have drifted off again.
 
     

 

     
  With the lighting in this place you can never figure out what time it is. His roommates were talking again about how he would never get the transplant that he needed in time the list was so long and he was so sick.

The nurse came in and told him we have to get you ready they had found him a heart. It was on its way and they needed to get him prep for the surgery. He looked at her ask her to get his wife and his daughter for him. She said there was no time. He looked at her and told her to make the time.

He watched his wife walk in. She was so beautiful. Their daughter behind her, her mother’s looks and intelligence and her father pit bull mentality and he smiled. One on either side of his bed holding his hands. Was he strong enough for this he didn’t know? He done a lot bad things in his life he cut corners and cheated when he could get a way with. But this was different this was where the rubber meets the road. He knew what had to be done. He looked at his wife and said, “ I love more now than I ever did thank you for the life we have had. I will miss you.”

To his daughter he said, “ Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I could have a child like you. No father anywhere at anytime could be a more proud parent than I am. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I will love until the last star is a memory.”

The doctor came rushing into the room and started talking about how they had to get him ready. He looked at wife and his daughter then he turned to the doctor and told him “ Doc we ain’t doing this. You give that heart to the person on the list. I have had a good life. Let someone else get a chance at theirs.”

He looked at the other woman in the room as said. “ How could God not answer your prayer”

He looked at wife and said “ Get me out of here while I still have the strength to leave and before I get scared. “

The doctor left the nurse brought in a wheel chair at he left that hospital knowing he had done the right thing. He didn’t particularly believe God but some else needed that heart. He died that at his home with wife and daughter with him. A cigarette in his mouth and a beer in his hand. With no regrets.

Back at the hospital days kept turning. His roommate was recovering from getting his heart transplant. And it looked like he would get to see his unborn child grow up.

The nurse took a different position at the hospital she could not work with dying people anymore. So she went to OB/GYN department help bring lives into the world. As things would happen the woman whose husband had needed the transplant months before was there to have her baby. The nurse was not involved in the delivery but stayed to see the child. As she was looking at baby thorough the window the husband showed up to see the baby. He noticed the tears that were running down the nurse’s face and asked her way was she crying.

The nurse responded pointing at his child she said “ That baby has daddy because of the unselfishness of one man. And the baby’s mother’s prayer.”

The man asked to explain why she would say this about this child. She told him of a night when she worked in the Intensive care unit of hospital. And that a man gave up his heart transplant to the next person on the list. The next person on the list at the hospital with the same blood type was the baby’s father.  
 
 
     
 

 

 

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