“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

"In Love and Desperation" - Friday Fiction

Fiction Friday,button,karlene

Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted this week by Karlene at Homespun Expressions. Make sure that you head over to her blog and link up with your own fiction. Or, if you just want to read some great fiction (ALWAYS great in my opinion!), head over to Karlene's blog and check out the links there.
I wrote this a year and a half ago, when I was using the FaithWriters' Writing Challenge to figure out how I was going to write my book Ailing Body, Nourished Soul, which is now officially in the hands of its professional editor. This is not an excerpt, but shows my heart about the events of my husband's brain tumor and the complications.

It looks like we may have a bit more trial in this. My husband's vision has worsened, and an MRI found there is bleeding on his brain (though no growth, thank the Lord!). As he meets with the neurosurgeon on Monday, I need to remember things like this from the first portion of this trial. God never changes, and he is always faithful.


"I'm so glad you're here." Those were the only words I could force from my mouth as I held her tight.

"Me too. It's going to be all right, dear." Neither of our voices was above a whisper.

We both needed the embrace, the encouragement to hang on, the hope for the future. We were desperate for the strength to work through--to think through--the events of the past few days. I certainly can't speak for Sharonl, but I know I was glad to see her walk through the hospital room door at that moment. Her hug was precious, as were her words.

It made no difference to me that we were not blood relatives, or that she wasn't even related to him by blood. It didn't matter that she was "just" his step-mother. Sharon loved him with a maternal love, and she treated me like the daughter she'd never had.

My own mother, the one I'd turned to for every scary, frightening situation in my first half-dozen years, was no longer living. My step-mother, who had taken her place (to an extent, anyway) in those matters for the next dozen or two years, was three thousand miles away.

For the past decade or so, I'd had someone else to turn to with my fears--someone new with which to share them. My husband, Marc, became my protector: the one who scared away the boogie man and comforted me in my troubles. But today, when I needed someone to do just that, not only was he unavailable, but he was what was scaring me.

Then, of course, there was God. Was he there? Undoubtedly. And, yes, he comforted me. But sometimes having a physical person you can actually touch and talk to can make a difficult situation a bit easier to handle.

It was my husband in that hospital bed, and we really had no answers. When hospital personnel were mentioning "mass" and "brain" in the same sentence, however, best-case scenarios were not the first things to come to mind. Sure, God was in control, but how would this affect me, my family, my husband, my LIFE?

It was comforting, somehow, to have another woman there with me. Females really do seem to react to situations like this differently than men do. I needed someone who could share in my concern and fear: someone who would understand. We could certainly empathize with each other. She and I were both afraid of losing someone we loved dearly: she, her step-son of nineteen years, and me, my husband of nine.

Sharon and I, unlike the mother-in-law stereotype, had gotten along since we'd met. Yet, something about that desperate situation, and the love we both had for Marc, created a special bond--a bond of desperation and love, if you will--between us. We were truly drawn together by this trial. This is a bond we still have, five years later. The trial is not gone either, though it is different: less immediate, more controlled, if you will. And through it all, Sharon was, and is, there.

I had other ladies in my life during this time, and they were certainly a blessing. Yet, God knew what I needed at that moment in the hospital room (and several others over the next few years): a woman who loved me, and Marc, in a way only a maternal figure could--and could do it in person. God gave us that woman in Sharon.


Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by Homespun Expressions for more great fiction!


  1. Joanne, what a gift! The Lord knew way before you needed her how much a blessing she'd be to you and vice versa I'm sure.

    I'm so thankful God knows and sees and prepares and supplies our need even before we realize the need.

    Love ya,

  2. Thanks for sharing this moment with us. It must have been hard. We're still praying, and holding you close in love.

  3. I'm sorry to hear that there are new complications! May the Lord bring swift healing and comfort.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Heart warming

  5. You have been through so much, and you are still going through so much. This one brought tears to my eyes, all the more because I know it is your real situation. You are in my prayers, I know God loves you and your family.

  6. I love my mom-in-law too. I'm so glad you have Sharon to share your heart-burdens with.

  7. How special to have such a bond with your mother in law. I'll be praying for the new developments, for peace for all of you and wisdom for the doctors, too.

  8. You have an award on arise 2 write.


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