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Decision (standard:drama, 1492 words)
Author: Maureen StirsmanAdded: Oct 10 2002Views/Reads: 4635/2360Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Della sees the Western Union boy beyond the blue star in the window. This is the day her life will be changed forever, the day she will be forced to face the biggest decision she will ever make--between life and death.


I sat in this rocking chair; the very one I sit in now.  Mother had left
her Bible open to James 1:17, 'Every good gift and every perfect gift 
is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is 
no variableness, neither shadow of turning.' I was reading the words 
when the shrilling doorbell sent the lighting flash through my body. 

I walked to the front door holding my breath, my hand on my stomach.
Through the sheer curtains, past the blue star in the window, I saw the 
silhouette of the Western Union boy.  The burgundy flowered carpet 
slammed into my body.  Mother's blurry face hovered just out of my 
vision.  The boy stood behind her with the yellow envelope still in his 

It had only been two months since my husband, Martin's, furlough.  I
remembered trying not to cry, and not succeeding in the least.  I 
remembered--“We will get the diamond after the war, to go with this 
wedding band,” he said.  “We will build a house in the country,” he 
said. “We will have lots of babies.” 

Every night I dreamed of the time he would be home and of the children
we would have. 

The morning after the caboose disappeared from sight I went to work at
the airplane factory, playing my own version of Rosie the riveter.  I 
worked the day shift and took care of the house and the five cows, all 
that was left of a once successful dairy farm that died the day daddy 
died.   Two months after that auction sale, on Thanksgiving Day, mother 
dropped the hot turkey.  Polio!  A new wheel chair became the second 
part of her being.  Not only was she crippled, but very fearful.  She 
fell to relying on me for almost everything.  With the loss of Martin's 
income, mother's medical bills, and the needed repairs to the 
farmhouse, I had no choice but to go to work.  Mother was old before 
her time, and many times depressed, but she was always my biggest 
fan—my emotional support. 

I lay on the carpet in my mother's arms. The dream was over and the
nightmare beginning.  I was in bed for four days.  Night was day and 
day could have been summer or frost.  It made no difference.  My head 
reeled and my stomach churned.  Mother called the doctor. 

After he examined me he sat at the kitchen table with Mother and waited.
When I came down Mother said, “I will be in the garden, honey,” and 
rolled her chair through the French doors. 

There were no surprises.  “You are pregnant,” he said.  Again the tears
ran down my face. He talked comforting meaningless words, “You can do 
it.  This baby can be a joy to you.” 

“Yes, yes, Doctor,” I said. “Did you tell Mother?” 

“No, that is for you to tell.”  Then after I poured myself a cup of tea
I went out to see Mother.  I was faced with the greatest decision of my 
life and I knew I would not tell her. 

That night I lay under the ‘double wedding ring' quilt that mother and
her friends had made for our wedding present.  I tossed—nauseated, 
worrying about the sin I was planning.  I was up against the wall. I 
thought of mother's needs against the life growing within me; the house 
needing a new roof and the insurance benefits that would only last so 
long.  Then softly, like an echo in my mind, I could almost hear the 
tiny cries and smell the wee, pink body.  It was like a life in 
review—but of a life not lived.  It was a wretched night but with the 
rising sun I had reached my decision.  I knew what I had to do.  With a 
heavy heart I headed toward the barn. God would have to forgive me. ... 
Then next morning when mother took her bath I called an old high school 
acquaintance who was in her last year of nurses training. 

By 11:30 I waited nervously in a booth at the back of the coffee shop.
Mother was pleased that I wanted to go out.  I read the menu—not seeing 
the words.  When I heard the click of high heels I looked up and there 
was Marjorie, wild, red hair curled tightly around her freckled face, 
nails brightly polished.  “I'm so sorry to hear about Martin, Della. It 
must be awful.” 

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