HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
They told us we should never give up, that it could happen at the most unexpected moment. Marion had had tests. I had had tests. They could find nothing wrong with either of us. But that was a long time ago.
Now we lie side-by-side, my cold hand reaching for hers. I hear footsteps above us, different types – heavy and solemn. But there is something lighter too, something that is full of hope, happiness and promise, the joy of life. It is the patter of tiny feet – or perhaps small feet.
I squeeze Marion’s hand and she responds. She has heard it too. They are right above us now. Together we reach up, our spiny fingers breaking through the surface. We each grab an ankle - white ankle socks, shiny black buckled shoes. A little girl’s. Perfect. Marion has always wanted a girl. We pull with all our might. There is a blood-curdling scream.
Is this our time? After years of waiting, of being patient and keeping faith… is it finally going to happen for us?
We pull hard, her pretty little feet pedalling frantically. Legs kick. The child’s voice shrieks loud with terror. She should not worry. We will give her all our love and she will be happy with us. There are other voices. She is pulling even harder now, someone is helping, stealing from us the precious young life we have waited so long for.
There is thumping on the ground and suddenly our fingers are being trampled and stamped on, crushed underfoot.
At last we let go, or lose our grip… it doesn’t matter which. We have lost out this time. But we will never give up hope and there will be other opportunities in God’s abundant garden.
I settle back down next to Marion, sprinklings of earth pepper my eyes. I hear her tears and my bones ache for her pain.
These days we rest but never sleep. I know that there will come a time… the right time… the perfect time for us to complete the circle.