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And Daddy Prayed

I wrote this in response to a conversation with my dad on the fourth of July. I intend to submit it to Chicken Soup, whose submission page states that we can submit items published on our personal blogs. It’s very different than my fiction. and most of my other non-fiction. This is the second piece I’ve written regarding spirituality. I seem to be holding to an eclectic voice even in this. Hope you enjoy.!.

And Daddy Prayed

             Even before the stroke on Mother’s Day, my 89 year old father wondered: Why am I still here? What purpose do I still serve in God’s plans?

Then the stroke happened. It was thankfully fairly mild, and he came home after a week. After one or two days at home, he went back to the hospital. Unfortunately, the effects of the overdose of medication has not been mild. We just celebrated the Fourth of July, and hopefully he will be home soon.

Throughout this, there have been times where he didn’t know what was going on. At one point, he gave up. It was in the tired planes of his face, in the droop in his shoulders, his voice that lost its fire. The “rehab” he was in, while modern and nicely furnished, crushed his independence. This old war bird, proud Navy man from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, was reduced to needing the help of churlish and neglectful people. It took its toll in both body and spirit.

When he was transferred from the “rehab” to the hospital, he started coming back. He still had health problems, still tired out so easily, but was starting to be him again. When I was told he’d be going to a different rehab, I was terrified. Indifference and incompetence had almost cost us our father— would this place finish him off?

It’s not as pretty, as shiny new as the other. But it’s the people who count, and they make a difference. I know this to be true, because Dad is starting to come back. The things that make him uniquely him are coming back.

Including his ministry.

We were out on the patio: Dad, my 9 year old son and I. Dad I started a conversation, and it went as most of ours do. Wide ranging and far flung, we can talk about anything and everything. He started telling me of the people he had met in the rehab, and how he feels an embarrassment of riches not only because his family visits, but also his anticipated home coming.

“There’s a woman in the room right next to me,” he began. “Every night, she calls out ‘Oh Lord, oh Lord, please come take me home.’ All night long she cries out. In that other place, there were two who would do it. I need to tell you something, though.”

Tears thickening his voice, he continued on. “So I started praying for them. Not for me, but for them to have comfort, peace, a restful night. Every time I pray for them, keeping them in my heart, He answered. They were comforted. The woman next to me will call out, then find peace for an hour or two, then call again. Every time, He comforts her. Because I prayed.

“Their heads don’t think right any more. They’re broken inside. But deep down, you have to remember that they are human beings too. They need comfort too!” I grabbed hold of his hand as he cried, moved beyond words at the testimony my father had just given me.

Have I had the open heart, the courage, to pray as he does? Not yet. But I’m practicing it. A day before this talk, I would have been stewing in anger over my own lost sleep. I hope that with practice, I’ll be able to love a stranger like that.

To open up your heart like that, then be able to share the story. That’s a powerful ministry. So powerful that I could not keep the words inside myself. When I got home, I called my sister. Then I sat down and began to write.

And as I write, I pray.

Thank you, Lord, for showing Daddy and I how a little prayer can do so much for a person.

##The End##

Copyright 2015 Wynelda Ann Deaver

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Cost of E-Submissions

There used to be an elegance to submitting a story or essay or novel. You printed it out, had your minister of choice bless the manuscript, placed it along with a carefully worded cover letter and/or bribe, and mailed it out to your editor of choice.

Currently everything that I have published I submitted electronincally.

There was a time when I mailed things out. Of course I did. The closest I came with mail in submissions was an honourable mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest.

There’s actually a lot right with email and site submissions. As a writer, you get to get your work into the editor’s hands quicker and with a lot less postage. There’s a great feeling when you hit the send / submit button.

But.

But.

For me at least, there’s 2 immediate consequences. The reason why I am adamant about getting copy back from my beta readers is because I no longer print out my manuscripts. My stories reside in my computer, and it’s not very often that I print them out. Yet I know that I find more typos and problems with a hard copy format than on a computer screen. I think I’m going to print out my last story, see if I can see the bigger picture…..

Then there’s the other thing. Living with the internet has made us greedy for information. Or answers. Or something. I just submitted a short story to F&SF, and even though I’m number 513 in the que, I keep checking! Why? There are 512 people ahead of me and the poor editor is probably asleep right now!!!  (Although obviously not because I’ve gone down to 503—- 10 down and 502 to go!)

Yah, see. I’ll be tracking the submission for a good long time. If I have emailed out the story, I keep checking and checking for a response. Even when it’s only been an hour since I sent it.

Then I check my spam folder.

I think I’m going to have to reign myself in. Take a deep breath and move on. Because, well….

I’ll hear when I hear.

Until then, It’s time to write!

Except for you, my lovelies! Did you know that Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC has an open call for submissions! You can find the submission guidelines here  And yes! It is electronic submissions! Wheee!

Get your pens ready: Submission call

I promised to get this to you this weekend and am scraping in by the skin of my teeth! I love Mocha Memoirs Press, and they currently have a Steampunk Anthology call out. Go check it out here   You’ll notice that they are also looking for a couple of types of romances… I don’t write those, so all I can tell you is this: I love my publisher and they are great to work with!

I actually finally got a beginning that I like for my story for the anthology. Sweet! The Golden Apple‘s book birthday on Friday was wonderful. Thank you all! The best compliment I’ve gotten on it has to do with one of the interludes, and I think I’ll discuss that in it’s own post. The subject matter kind of dictates that. So. I have one just published. One in with the publisher. One being written, and then next perking around on a back burner.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

I love my life!

Seriously, if you write romance or Steampunk, go check out the guidelines. That is what they are currently looking for, but check back lots. We also do Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy… Lots of stuff!

Love you all!