Friday, March 30, 2012

All in a Day's Work PART 9

This week we finish up the story of Missy and Jeff. I hope you've enjoyed this look into Callie's work life.


Callie lifted her hands over her head, arching her back in a stretch that was almost painful. Closing her eyes, she rolled her head on stiff shoulders, seeking some relief from an afternoon bent over her computer. She heard a small noise and looked up with a start. Missy Rich stood by her office door, hand raised to knock.
“Missy.”
“Hi Callie, can I come in?”
“Absolutely.” Callie got up, meeting her on the other side of the desk. She pulled her into a firm hug, then turned her towards a chair.” “How are you feeling?”
Missy’s voice was soft. “I’m better.”
Callie heard tears buried underneath the simple answer. She watched as they were ruthlessly denied the light of day.
“I know you’re probably busy. I should have called first, but I wanted to come by and say a personal thank you and let you know that I think things are going to be alright now.” She bowed her head. “I had a dream last night.”
Callie leaned forward, elbows on her desk, struggling to hear the whispered words. “A dream?”
Missy nodded, looking up to meet Callie’s eyes. “I haven’t been sleeping all that well since...” She shrugged, “I toss and turn so much Jeff ends up on the couch most nights.”
“I can get Dr. Rayburn to write you a prescription for a mild sleeping pill if you think you need it.”
“No thanks.” She took a deep breath, turning her head to look out the window.
Jesus, she’s so young and fragile, Callie thought. I know how she feels, please give her peace.
When Missy’s gaze came back to Callie, the tears in her voice had taken up residence in her eyes. “I know you’re a Christian, Callie. Do you believe that God talks to us?”
Callie nodded, wondering where this was going. “I do, Missy. I believe if we listen, He speaks to us all the time.”
“Good, then you won’t think I’m being weird. I’ve been praying so hard for peace. Wandering through the house during the day, not sleeping at night. I know my Annie is in Heaven, but I needed more. I needed to KNOW. Is that crazy?
 “No,” Callie answered. “It’s normal.”
Missy’s tears finally slipped free. “I saw my baby in Heaven last night. She was in a playground. Laughing and running with other children…” Missy swallowed hard. “God let me see what a wonderful place she’s in. I’ll always miss her, but I can’t be sad for her anymore. I think things are going to be alright now,” she repeated.
She stood up, fingering the buckle on her purse nervously. “Anyway, that’s all I needed. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.”
Callie watched Missy escape from her office without another word. She didn’t go after her. She was finding some peace just as Callie had found hers so long ago. Gavin’s face materialized in her mind. She slipped the locket over her head, snapping it open to reveal a tiny lock of hair. She touched her finger to it in a light caress. “Enjoy your new playmate, baby,” she whispered.

### Don't leave just yet. Check out the offerings on the side bar. Terri has a new book up for review. PERIL by Suzanne Hartmann. There's an interview with Suzanne and a chance to win a signed copy of her book. Karla has 2 new books featured on her page. Two books one author. Stop by for a visit with Susan Page Davis and learn about her two new releases COWBOY TRAIL and LADY ANNE'S QUEST. If you enjoyed your visit, I'd love to have you join the blog as a follower.###

Friday, March 23, 2012

SYBIL HAS NOTHING ON ME

Remember Sybil? Sally Field made her and the sixteen personalities living in her head famous in the 1976 movie of the same name.
Poor Sybil lived with sixteen people in her head. I feel compelled to ask…JUST sixteen?
I have writer friends who worry about their next book. Where will it be set? Who will the characters be? How will they interact?
There are days I almost envy them their indecision. I don’t have characters, I have a whole community. I wake up with them, I go to bed with them, they whisper in my dreams, and invade my prayer time with their never ending requests for attention.
Which prompts my earlier question. JUST sixteen? Let’s take a look at the community living in my head every day.
CALLIE: Hey guys, I think she’s waking up. Are you awake yet? Can we talk about the part where I--
Me: Your story is done, go away.

BENTON: You know, I’ve been thinking about a story line we could work on…
Me: It’s called the WOMEN of Valley view for a reason, Sport.

KARLA: Do you plan on getting back to my story anytime soon? You left me in a very difficult situation.
Me: You have three chapters. Be grateful. Kate has none.

KATE: About that…
Me: Oh good grief.

MITCH:  I have this great story about I guy I worked with.
Me: W.O.M.E.N!!

TERRI:  I hope you’re in a better mood since you’ve had your coffee. Can we talk about that whole wedding scene?
Me: I am not writing a wedding scene done in orange and black, even if it is Halloween.

STEVE: Don’t worry, Terri. I’ll write it. I can do a better job than her anyway.
Me: It’ll take me 14 keystrokes to turn you from a successful writer into a starving plumber. Would you like that?

IRIS: If you keep talking to my Dad that way, I won’t speak to you anymore.
Me: PROMISE?

SAMANTHA: You know, I really don’t think starting my story when Bobbie is four is a good idea. We’ll miss so much of her life.
Me: When you can write it, I’ll read it.

PASTOR GORDON: Would you like for me to pray for you, dear?
Me: Somebody needs to.

JEREMY: I see, after paging through the files in your brain, that I’ll be sixteen in book six. Can I have a LAMBERGINI?
Me: Let me spell this out for you. N.O.

MEAGAN: If he gets a LAMBERGINI—
Me: There will be no LAMBERGINIs

PAM: She’s giving our children LAMBERGINIs
HARRISON: We’ll sue.
Me: No words, just banging my head on the keyboard.

ALAN: Heaven’s pretty nice.
Me: Shut up!

PATRICK: Can I say something?
Me: NO!

SISKO: Patrick, let’s go shoot some hoops. Maybe she’ll be more approachable later this afternoon.
Me: Yes, please try me again next year.

LISA: At least you get to play basket ball. All I ever get to do is be pregnant and take care of babies.
Me: Go talk to Pastor Gordon. He’s looking for someone to pray for.

I wonder who’ll they’ll get to play me on the big screen?

Do you ever feel like the lone crazy person in an otherwise sane world?

### Don't leave just yet. Check out the offerings on the side bar. Karla has 2 new books featured on her page. Stop by for a visit with Bonnie Calhoun and get a peek at her upcoming release Cooking the Books, Shannon Taylor Vannatter and her book Rodeo HeroTerri still has her book review and interview with Regina Jennings is her guest this week, talking about her debut novel Sixty Acres and a Bride. Leave a comment on any page between now and the 31st to be registered to win a copy of this marvelous book. Last but hardly least, Pam has a yummy new recipe for you.###

Friday, March 16, 2012

All in a Day's Work Part 8

Sally blew her nose. “I thought I was having some hormonal, pre-menopausal…thing. I never dreamed I could be pregnant. I tried for two years before I was able to get pregnant on purpose…” She stopped for a second, eyes staring off into space. “We were just together one time. We were out of town for his daughter’s wedding. Everything was so romantic. Things just got a little too… involved…we both knew it was a mistake. We promised we weren’t going to put ourselves in a position like that ever again. What am I going to tell Jason?” Her voice shrank to a whisper. “What am I going to tell Derrick?”
“You’re going to Derrick that he’s going to be a big brother,” Callie answered. “As for Jason, are you guys serious about each other?”
Sally nodded, “We’ve talked about getting married, but I wanted my attention focused on Derrick this summer. He’s going out of state for school in the fall…” she stopped as fresh tears fell.
“Sally, stop it,” Callie told her firmly. “This isn’t doing anyone any good and it’s not fixing things.
“I want you to get dressed, go home, and have a nice long soak in lots of bubbles. That’s not going to fix anything either, but it’ll calm your nerves.” She stopped and took her friend’s hand. “You don’t have to tell anyone about this today, so take some time. Let yourself adjust to the idea. It’s going to be alright.”
Callie waited until Sally looked up. “You’re having a baby. I know the circumstances could be better and you have some tough, embarrassing moments to face over the next few days, but it’s a miracle, Sally, not a tragedy.”
Sally straightened at Callie’s gentle rebuke. She tucked the sheet securely under her arms, molding the sheet to her belly, staring at her still flat midsection. “Maybe it’ll be a little girl,” she said softly. Callie heard the beginnings of acceptance in her friend’s voice.
Callie smiled, “How nice would that be? Are you going to be alright now?”
Sally nodded, rubbing her hand absently over her stomach.
“Good,” she said, handing Sally the last of the candy bar. “Finish this,” Callie advised with a smile. “After all, you’re eating for two now.”

***What do you think of Callie’s advice to Sally? Would you have handled it differently?***

### Don't leave just yet. Check out the offerings on the side bar. Karla has a new book featured on her page. Stop by for a visit with fellow Pelican Group author Dora Hiers and check out her upcoming release Journey’s Edge. Terri still has her book review and interview with Regina Jennings is her guest this week, talking about her debut novel Sixty Acres and a Bride. Leave a comment on any page between now and the 31st to be registered to win a copy of this marvelous book. Last but hardly least, Pam has a yummy new recipe for you.###

Friday, March 9, 2012

All in a Day's Work Part 7

Callie sat at her desk at the end of an equally busy day. She glanced at the clock. Nearly four, she thought gratefully. A quick knock on the door frame drew her attention.
Norman.”
“Callie, could you go back to treatment room four and talk to Ms. Raynes?”
“Sally? Sure, what’s up?”
“She’s a friend of yours, isn’t she?”
Callie nodded.
“She’s upset with my diagnosis. I thought you might be able to calm her down a little.”
 Callie’s hand flew to her heart. “Oh, Norman, what…” she began. The doctor cut her off with a weary wave of his hand.
“She’s pregnant,” he provided. “She’s nearly hysterical and wants to know how this could have happened.” He shook his head. “I told her there really is just one way.”
Callie stopped in the doorway, crossed her arms, and shook her head at the doctor. “Norman, some days you have the bedside manner of a toad.” She went back to her desk, rummaging for a spare candy bar.
The doctor’s stare was skeptical. “My honesty makes me a toad and you’re going to cure her ills with chocolate?”
“God’s ultimate female comfort food,” Callie muttered. She gave a quick knock on the treatment room door and shoved it open.
She stopped in the doorway to look at the woman sitting on the exam table, still wrapped in a sheet. Her eyes were closed, but that couldn’t stop the tears streaking down her cheeks. Sally rocked back and forth, arms wrapped around her middle. Callie grabbed a handful of tissues from the counter and pressed them into her friend’s hand. “Sally.”
“Callie, he says…”
“I know.” She peeled back the wrapper on the chocolate bar and handed a square to her friend.
Sally put the candy in her mouth automatically. Callie was silent while the chocolate melted in her friend’s mouth. When Sally spoke again her voice was calmer but still breathless.
“Callie, I’m forty, single, and pregnant.” She stopped when her voice broke a second time. Callie passed her some more chocolate and waited. “I have a son getting ready to go to college. How did this happen?”
At Callie’s cocked head and raised eyebrows Sally stopped and took a couple more deep breaths. “I mean, I know how it happened, but…how did this happen?” she repeated with a sob.
Callie leaned back against the counter and waited for the crying jag to pass. A few more tissues a bit more chocolate and there was finally silence in the exam room.
“A little better now?” Callie finally asked.
Sally nodded.
“You want to talk about it?”
***Bless Callie's heart. Her job sure does put her in some difficult situations, but she uses those as a ministry.  What's the toughest thing you ever helped a friend deal with?***
### Don't leave just yet. Check out the side bar. Karla has two new books featured on her page. Stop by for a visit with Margaret Brownley and Becky Lyles. Callie has promised a new devotional sometime this weekend, she's a busy lady though. And last but never least, Terri has a new book review and interview. Regina Jennings is her guest this week, talking about her debut novel Sixty Acres and a Bride. Leave a comment on any page between now and the 31st to be registered to win a copy of this marvelous book.###

Saturday, March 3, 2012

All In A Day's Work Part 6

She knocked on the closed door. “Missy, its Callie. You need to open the door.”
Missy’s voice was tearful when it filtered through the door. “Please go away.”
“I can’t do that, sweetheart. Open the door.”
Callie’s patience was rewarded a few seconds later by the snick of the lock being turned. She pushed the door open, taking in the room at a glance. Drawers hung open, baby clothes dumped in a pile in the middle of the floor. Fairy tale print curtains had been stripped from the windows, the mattress and matching bedding taken out of the bed frame. Missy sat in a white rocker, holding a little pink box in her lap.
“I was cleaning.” Missy’s voice hovered somewhere between a whisper and a whimper.
“Do you need some help?”
Missy shook her head, refusing to meet Callie’s eyes.
“Do you feel like talking?”
Callie received another head shake in response. She took a position behind the rocker, placing her hands on Missy’s shoulders. She kneaded gently in an effort to relax some of the tension she felt in those knotted muscles.
“Jeff call you?”
“Yes, he was worried about you when you wouldn’t open the door.”
Missy lunged from the chair. She walked to the bare window and looked out wordlessly, clutching what was left of her child to her chest. “He’s not worried,” she accused. “Packing up the nursery was his idea. He just couldn’t wait to sweep Annie under the rug.” Missy faced Callie, her expression beyond grief. “I don’t think he ever wanted a baby. I think he’s glad she gone…don’t you?” Her voice broke on the final words.
Callie opened her arms to the distraught young woman. Missy stumbled into them with a groan. Callie wrapped her in a tight hug, holding her while she cried it out. She rubbed the heaving back, whispering words of encouragement in Missy’s ear, along with prayers for healing. When the sobs subsided, Callie held the younger woman at arm’s length. “No, Missy. I don’t think Jeff s glad about what happened. Do you really believe that?”
Missy closed her red eyes and drew in a shuddering breath. “I don’t know.”
Callie stood her ground and waited for Missy’s eyes met hers.
“No,” Missy whispered.
“You need to go tell him that,” Callie told her. “Jeff’s hurting too. He wanted to pack some of the reminders away so that you wouldn’t have to look at them every day.
“I’m not ready.”
“That’s fine. If keeping the nursery intact for a little while helps you cope then there’s nothing wrong with it.” Callie smoothed the hair from Missy’s face. “Sweetheart, grief is a process and it’s just like fingerprints, it’s different for everyone. No one can tell you what to do, how to do it, or how long it will take. The only thing I can tell you with any certainty is that you guys need to hang onto each other, now more than ever. Don’t let your hurt dig a gap between you that neither one of you can cross.”
“Callie, I’m so…”
Callie stopped her with a look. “Tell Jeff.”
Missy closed her eyes, allowing Callie to pull her back into her arms. Finally, she returned Callie’s hug. “Thanks,” she whispered as she left the room.
 Callie busied herself for a few minutes, refolding the scattered baby clothes. She sniffed back tears of her own as she handled the tiny outfits. For just a second she found herself transported to her own empty nursery and shattered dreams. She ran her hand over the small stacks. Jesus help them heal.
She walked back to the front door, her footsteps silent on the carpeted floor. She paused briefly at the door. Missy sat in Jeff’s lap on the sofa, the pink box held between them. They whispered to, and cried with, each other, oblivious to Callie’s presence. She let herself out. They’d be OK for now.

***Our installment this week is a little long, but this seemed to be the nest place to break for the week. I hope you are enjoying the story. We're not done yet, I think we still have 4-5 before we start on a new thread.  While you're here, please check out the tabs on the side bar. Karla is featuring 2 upcoming books this week, and Callie will have a new devotional for you sometime this weekend.
In the meantime what's your feelings about Callie's story so far. Can you identify with any part of her day so far?***