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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Book 1 (Title to be determined)

Disclaimer: OK, I wanted to put this up first so that no one misunderstands what I am doing here! I am NOT a professional writer! I only write for my pleasure. If anyone else enjoys it, that is wonderful! If not, that's ok too. I will never use anyone's material knowingly, so if someone see's that something I have written is similar to something they have seen or read, please, please, please inform me so that I can change it or reference it!!! I am not into plaguarism! I will not title anything I do until I am done because if any of you have ever experienced having to name something (i.e. a pet) you know that when you give it a name as a baby, you sometimes will regret the name you gave it! So, since this is not a living, breathing soul, I think it's best I wait until after I am further into it to name it! For my longer stories, I will try to only post one chapter at a time, so as not to bore anyone! This is all original work, so please ask before you use it somewhere else. I hope you enjoy what I write!

Chapter 1

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me......." Sarah sat in the pew next to Samantha. They call her Sam for short. "They"...she really should stop saying they. There isn't a "they" anymore. Sam is her 6 yr old precious little girl that has led such a hard life in her short time here on earth.

The music rang on…"I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now, I see." The problem is that Sarah is still lost. She isn’t sure if she will ever be found again. A tear quietly slipped down her cheek as she sat quietly listening to the choir sing the second verse of what once was her favorite song. She looked over and noticed the precious old Miss Jane in the next row watching her. She knew what the last year had held for Sarah and her baby. Sarah saw as much sadness in old Miss Jane’s eyes as she was sure she saw in Sarah’s.

John was only 42 years old when it happened. It was very dark that night in June. John was driving home from work. He had just flown in from a 6 day group of flights to Europe and was on his way home for a 4 day rest. John was a pilot and he was tired that night. It's no surprise that John fell asleep at the wheel. He never knew what hit him.

Sam and Sarah were excited as they waited on John to come home. He had called at 8:00 p.m. to say the plane had landed and he would be on his way home in about an hour after he settled all of the after flight paperwork that he had to do. We lived in a little suburb outside of Dallas, TX and on a Friday night, getting out of the city was a nightmare. It took him an hour to travel from DFW to the south side of Dallas that night. He pulled over to gas up and stretch his legs and called Sarah around ten to tell her he would be home in 20 minutes. He told her he loved her and hung up the phone. Sarah could hear the exhaustion in his voice, but knew that he was a very careful driver. He knew when he had had enough. If he had been too tired to drive anymore, even just twenty more minutes, he would have said so. At least Sarah thought he would have.

Sam had fallen asleep on the couch. Sarah usually let her stay up as long as she wanted and fall asleep on the couch because John loves to come in and see her laying there waiting on him. He enjoyed putting her to bed at night when he was home. He so rarely got that chance during the vacation months. These were his busiest times of the year. So, whenever he has the opportunity to spend time with Sam, even if it's just the tradition he has of putting her to bed, then Sarah let him do it. But, that night would be different. Sarah sat watching some sitcom on TV. She doesn't even remember what it was now. "Everybody Loves Raymond", "King of Queens"....oh well, it doesn't really matter.

Looking at her watch at 10:30, she realized John was 10 minutes late. She figured he had decided to run back into the convenience store to grab something he forgot. Ten minutes turned into twenty, then thirty, then an hour. Something was wrong. Sarah tried to call his cell phone, but it went straight to voice mail. Now she knew something was wrong. He never turned his cell phone off and she knew that he had a charger in his car and wouldn’t allow his phone to die. She called the police and told them what she knew, when she had talked to John last and could they please look for him. They told Sarah that he had not been missing for very long, but they would definitely drive out Hwy 77 and take a look for him. She waited anxiously for John to call, for the police to call to say they had found him and he had just pulled off the side of the road for a quick nap, for good news. At midnight, she heard a knock on the door. Sarah froze, unable to stand, unable to face the fear that shot through her at that moment. She knew that the news was not good. She knew that John was gone. As Sarah stood to walk to the door, her heart pounded with a kind of fear that only a wife of eighteen years could feel when she knew something was wrong with her beloved husband. Slowly she opened the big oak door that John had carried her through the day he made her his wife. This house was his gift to Sarah that day. She couldn't believe her eyes when he pulled up outside of the two story, brick home with a white picket fence and a big oak swing on the front porch. The flowers were meticulous and there was a huge elm tree in the front yard, a perfect place for a tire swing when they had children. It was beautiful. Sarah had grown up in a rough part of Dallas and never had the life that John had given her. They loved each other with a passion. They had been high school sweethearts and even gone to college together. Sarah couldn’t imagine living without John.

"Mrs. Collins? Mrs. Sarah Collins?” the office stated as clearly as he could so as to make sure she heard him correctly. He didn't want to make a mistake. Not with a task this important, this life-changing.

"Yes, I am Sarah Collins. Where is he? Where IS HE?” she shouted. Sarah started crying as the officer shook his head. She was grateful that the stairs to the second floor where in the foyer. Her knees went weak and buckled underneath her. The officer and his partner grabbed Sarah and sat her down on the carpeted stairs. Somehow she managed to not pass out from the shock.

"Ma'am, is your husband John Collins?" The officer wanted to make sure he had the right house, although he already knew he did. He could sense the panic in her voice.

Sarah managed to get out a weak, but audible, "Yes, please, is he ok? Did you find him? Is he alive?" The officer lowered his head, not wanting to tell her the news. He shook his head and as gingerly as he could, he told her that there had been an accident and John had not survived.

"Mrs. Collins, is there someone I can call for you…a neighbor, a friend or a relative? You shouldn't be alone right now."

"Um, ye...yes, my neighbor, next door, please," Sarah tried hard to keep her head. “Sam, oh my God, my little Sam has lost her daddy. I have to go get my baby." The officer grabbed Sarah because when she stood, she started to sway as if she were going to faint. He set her back down on the stairs.

"Ma'am, is she asleep? You should let her sleep right now. My partner will go wake your neighbor up. What is their name?” the officer asked. Sarah told the officer what he needed to know. The officer then helped Sarah into the kitchen so the he could get her a glass of water. As they walked through the living room, Sarah saw that Sam was sleeping like a little angel. She was oblivious to their world falling apart before them.

Before Sarah knew what was happening, her neighbor, Sylvia, and her husband Tom, were at their front door. They had a look on their face that could only be described as horror. Sylvia was crying and Tom was trying to fight back the tears. They had been neighbors for the 18 years Sarah and Tom had lived there. They were friends. Sarah wouldn't call them best friends, but they would do anything for them. Now was no different. Sylvia came running into the kitchen to Sarah and put her arms around her. She held Sarah for what seemed like an eternity. Tom and the officer went outside together. The officer told Tom all the details as he thought it would be a little easier for Tom to talk to Sarah once things settled down a bit. Sylvia didn't say anything to Sarah. She just held her. She knew that Sarah would talk when she needed to. She was just that kind of unselfish, loving kind of person. After the two sat there for a few minutes, Sarah told her that she needed to hold Sam. She needed to see, smell, touch her baby, her baby that was so much a part of John.

As Sarah walked into the living room, she sensed something different. Almost like a warmth that she hadn't noticed before. As she stood next to Sam, she saw her stir a little bit and then Sam started giggling.

"That tickles, daddy!...I love you, too...OK, I promise I will take care of mommy." Sam started crying then. Not a lot, just kind of whimpering, like someone had just told her that they had to go away for awhile.

Sarah froze. When she looked down at Sam, her eyes were wide open. She had her back turned to Sarah and she didn't notice that Sam was awake until she moved. "Sam, who are you talking to," Sarah asked quietly.

"Daddy. He's right there." She pointed to the other end of the couch. When Sarah looked up, she didn't see anything, but the warmth grew stronger and as she sat there marveling in the miracle that she had just witnessed, Sarah could feel a sense of calmness all around she and Sam. Sam could see her daddy. He was telling her to take care of her mom. She understood him. Sarah was sure that John was there in the room with them. But, how was it that Sam could see him, but she couldn’t. She wondered if John could see and hear what she was telling their daughter about what happened. She hoped so.

"Mommy, where is daddy going? Does he have to go in the big plane again?" Oh, this is so hard. What would Sarah tell her little girl? How could she tell her that her daddy would never come back and rock her to sleep or read her a story or watch her go on her first date? Sarah began to cry again. She couldn’t stop the tears. Sam just watched her. There were still some tears in Sam’s eyes as well. “Oh, John,” Sarah thought, “please, help me here.” Sarah looked at where Sam had said her daddy was sitting, but still could see anything. Sarah still felt the warmth around here. It felt like a big warm blanket was swaddled around her. She had never felt this kind of security in all of her life. It was almost like John was trying to tell her not to worry, they would be o.k. It was like he wanted her to feel safe. She was beginning to. They were a Christian family and John had always told her that if he wasn’t there, that God would be their security. At that very moment, she knew what to say to her daughter.

"Yes, honey, daddy is going to go back into the big plane again and he is going to fly to Heaven this time. He is going to be with God. Imagine getting to see God in person, and Jesus and the angels!" Sarah hoped that Sam would understand. She loved her Sunday school class and always talked about the baby Jesus and the angels. But, Sarah wasn’t sure she really understood that her daddy would never come home to them again.

"But, mommy, will daddy get to come back and see us again?" There was a look of fear in Sam's eyes.

"Daddy will always watch over you. He loves you, Sam. He loves you and I and he will always be with us here." Sarah patted Sam's heart.

"But, will I see daddy again? I want daddy to come back. DADDY!!! Wait! You didn't take me to my bed!" Sarah started crying. She couldn't stop herself. She picked up Sam and tried so hard to reassure her that she would never forget her daddy. That she would always see her daddy in her dreams and that she would never let her forget. Sarah held Sam until she fell asleep in her arms. She didn't know how she was going to manage alone. "Oh, John, please come back, please," Sarah whispered. In her mind she would have sworn that she heard John’s voice tell her to have faith and continue to believe and that they would be just fine.

She stood up and carried Sam to bed. When she came back down, it was all she could do to manage the stairs. Sylvia and Tom were waiting for her in the living room. Tom wanted to explain all that the officer had told him. He wasn't sure if Sarah could handle it all at once. She sat down and told him that she needed to know everything, even if it took the rest of the night. As Tom started relaying all the details, Sarah's mind could only think of her dear, sweet husband and all he must have gone through that night.