JUDY

There's a slight smile on Judy's face as she falls deeper into her dream. The landscape and the sky are extra beautiful in this dream. Everything looks and feels so real. She opens the plaid blanket in the field of daisies and sits on it. She feels peace and safety in her life. But dreams have a way of going array real fast. This beautiful dream is about to turn into a horrible nightmare. As she's looking up into the sky it slowly turns into a blood red haze. Then black thunderclouds roll in. An evil silence falls on the land. A fog comes up from the ground and lightning and thunder barks from the sky. The rain starts to drop down. Judy slowly gets to her feet. She starts to shake in utter fear. She can hear them coming now in the distance. She knows what they are and what they want. Judy turns and runs through the field and into the woods. There's a light ahead in the distance and she runs toward it. With all her might she races through the thicket, rain and fog. But they have caught up to her way to fast in the rain soaked darkness. Death is on her heels.
She can smell them now, they are right behind her. The hands of death reach out and grab her by the neck and slam her into the moist ground. Her face is shoved into the earth. She can not breathe now and she fights for her life. They push her deeper and deeper into the ground with their lifeless hands. Judy tries to push back up, but they push her closer and closer to hell. She fights harder and rolls to the left and to the right to get out of their grip. The hands of death let go and she falls into the black darkness.

Judy is startled awake right before she slams to the hospital floor. She braces herself and hits the tile floor. She has fallen out of the hospital bed. Judy lands on her left side and the pain shots up and down her left arm. She rolls onto her stomach and takes the weight off of her arm. Judy's heart is racing as she looks around the room. There's some light coming in from the window. The moon is bright on this cold winter evening. She looks out the window and sees the snow slightly coming down. The cold tile floor is already trying to numb her hands and feet. Judy is forty-seven and has bone marrow cancer. Her hair is all but gone. The chemo treatments have knocked the life out of her. She feels like she's in her eighties as she lies on the cold floor. With effort Judy rolls over on to her back and reaches over and grabs the side of the bed. She tries to pull herself up back into bed, but there is no power in her arms. She collapses back onto the floor. Her breathing is heavy after one try. Judy starts to shake and the tears swell in her eyes as she tries again. But her effort this time is even worse than the first time. She falls to her back and weeps in the moonlight room.

Her eyes are adjusted to the dark room now. Judy can see the big clock on the wall and can barely read the time, its 11:11. The nurse came in at 10:00 something and gave her some pain pills and said good night. Judy hopes the nurses check up on the patients during the night. Then she remembers the buzzer for the nurses. She knows it's on the right hand side of the bed, the side she fell out on. Judy grabs at the side of the bed and pulls up with all her might. This time she makes it farther. She shakes uncontrollably as her hand reaches over the top of the bed. Judy slaps at the covers and feels everywhere, but can not find the buzzer. She falls again to the cold tile floor. Her chest rises up and down from the effort. After a few minutes she tries again, but feels nothing and falls to the floor. Judy wipes the sweat from her forehead. Without knowing it she had just missed the buzzer by inches. Judy gives up on the thought of getting back into bed or finding the buzzer. She looks back behind her at the door that leads to the hallway. The door is only fifteen feet away. But in the dark it looks like forty feet away. She must get to the door. Judy rolls and lies on her stomach. That was too easy, it felt like someone lifted her and rolled her over. She frantically looks around in the darkness. But she is the only one in the room.
Judy lays her face on the top of her hands and rests. Her body is slowly dying on her, but her mind is alive and racing. She is wise enough to know she is leaving this life soon. Death has taken control of her body. It is only a matter of time. But her soul and mind is a different story. As she lies on the cold floor she remembers her life growing up with her sister Pat. She reflects on all the good times the two had together, and reflects on the bad times also. Her parent's faces run through her mind. Will she see them again in the next part of her life when she leaves the world? There are so many questions when we know that there is so little time left. All the memories of Dad and Mom flood in. Dad was a factory worker for twenty-five years his life and Mom stayed home and raised Pat and her. Judy remembers the car crash her parents were in ten years ago. Retired and coming home from vacation in Canada. The car comes from nowhere and hits them at an angel. Her Dad is shaken but not hurt from the blow. Her Mom has no seat belt on and goes through the windshield. At the same time the hood flies open and smashes her back into the car. She survives, but she was never the same. Life was not the same either for her mother. She lived but wanted to die.

Judy wipes the tears from her eyes as her mind races with more thoughts of her past. She smiles to herself as she thinks of her favorite sandwich when she was growing up. Two pieces of bread with mayonnaise piled in between them. Then she remembers the love of her life. The smile slowly fades as she looks into the darkness. Just two years out of high school she meets Joel. When the two met it's like the old story of the young couple falling in love at first sight. Before one years up the two are married and starting a family. In four years they have three children, Kathy, Wayne and Lisa. Judy is going to a memory she has been running from for twenty-three years. She embraces the cold floor as she thinks about that December Night in 1964.
Joel was teaching Judy how to drive on this winter night. The three kids are in the backseat with Grandma Roe and Aunt Francis from Tennessee. Judy remembers pulling out and then getting slammed into. The car coming east hits the passenger side where Joel is sitting. Her beloved husband is killed from severe head injuries. The unexpected has happened, the worst in life has happened, the nightmare begins. She doesn't remember but they had to sedate her, she lost all control, and her life lost any meaning. After the funeral Judy doesn't remember much of the next three months of her life. She falls into a life of utter despair and depression. How many times has she asked Joel to forgive her? Even to this day lying on the hospital floor Judy asks Joel again for forgiveness.

Judy rests and looks at the light under the door that leads to the hallway. If she can just get to the door and open it, then yell for a nurse. Slowly she claws at the floor and tries to push with her feet. She stops after what feels like five minutes. She looks at her progress and sadness grips at her heart, she has only moved a couple of inches. Her breathing is real heavy now and her strength is almost empty. Panic sets in and Judy tries to yell for help.
"Help, help somebody please! Help me please! Somebody Help me!"
Over and over she yells for help. But her voice is weak and failing just like the rest of her body. None of the nurses can hear her down the hall at the nurse's station. Judy stops as her voice turns into a whimper. Even trying to yell for help takes her to the edge of exhaustion. She lies still and tries to get her breathing back to normal. Judy calms herself and her mind wanders back into the past. She thinks of her second husband Bob and the time they spent together. With him she had her fourth child Bobby. After ten years the two divorce, but still made time to be with one another. Then with tears she thinks of her kids and how they will do when she is gone. She hopes they all have a better life than she had. Not like she didn't have some good times. She smiles to herself as she thinks of some of the things she did that no one knows about. But there is someone that knows and he's been on her mind lately, God.

The memories flow through her mind and Judy thinks of the man that came into her room four days ago. She was not expecting any visitors on that day at the hospital. So Judy was surprised when the man in the long winter coat walked into her room caring a bible. He closed the door and turned and smiles at Judy.
"Hi Judy my name is Paul, God spoke to my heart this morning and told me to come talk to you about his Son Jesus."
At first Judy is confused by what the man says and wants to tell him to get out. But no words come out of her mouth as she looks at the man called Paul. As long as she can remember there has been a void in her life. Something has been missing, something is telling her to listen. She feels the love and the peace that is present over the room since Paul came in. He walks up to the side of her bed and Judy looks into his eyes and she sees the love and the peace. For all her life she has run from the man called Jesus. But she can run no more. Her hand shakes as she reaches out and touches Paul's coat sleeve.
"Tell me about Jesus!"
For twenty minutes Paul tells Judy the story of Jesus from his birth to His crucifixion. Paul reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a small pocket bible and hands it to Judy.
"Read the book of Matthew with your heart and open mind and you will find the love of Jesus."
Paul leans over and hugs Judy and she hugs him back. He talks softly into her ear.
"He loves you so much Judy, He has always been here with you, all your life."
Paul walks to the door and turns and smiles at Judy. She smiles back. "Thank you Paul."
Paul's smile grows bigger. "Your welcome Judy, and remember, Jesus is a prayer away.
seek Him and you will find Him." Paul leaves and Judy watches her room door slowly
close shut.

The cold of the floor creeps up and works its way through her body and chills her to the bone. Judy wipes the tears away again, she has no control over them now, and they flow at their own will. She thinks of Paul and his visit all the time. For the first time in her life she has taken to heart what someone has said about Jesus. But opening her heart to Him in prayer of forgiveness has turned into a mind game. Fear of everything that is unknown has suddenly found refuge in her mind. Fear that Jesus is not real and it's a made up story. Fear that Jesus is real and this is her last chance at finding Him. Confusion has become her best friend. Now fear of dying on this cold floor has worked its way into her thoughts. With a body that feels like it has already given up on her, Judy again claws at the floor and tries to get to the door. With a voice that is hardly audible she calls for help again. But again no one can hear out in the hallway. Inside the room He hears every word Judy says.

In the shadows of the room He stands and watches Judy. The scares on his hands are visible even in the darkness. He is from the beginning and will always be. He sits at the right hand of God, his father. He is the light in the darkness. For him all was created,
the heavens and the earth. He sees all, knows all, and is all. He is Jesus, The Son of God.
Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice, He gave his life that we may have eternal life. Jesus is there as Judy struggles to get to the door. He is with everyone and is everywhere. He is omni present. He is the Messiah, the chosen one. He is the Savior to all that believe.
Jesus could easily pick up Judy and lay her back into bed and fully heal her. Then she could live her life out to a sweet old age. But each person must live out their lives to their own destiny. And each person must travel that destiny by the choices they make. From the beginning God has given mankind free will and free choice. And we have that choice to reach out to Jesus or to turn our backs and look the other way. But God wants none of us to perish, but to find peace in His Son.
Jesus draws closer and kneels beside Judy and His heart cries out to her.
"I love you so much Judy, call upon me and you will find life eternal."
Judy is startled and senses someone in the room with her. She asks "who's there", but sees nothing in the darkness. Then she feels the peace overflow the room again. Just like the day Paul came to see her. Judy lays her head on the cold floor and closes her eyes. For now she lies still and soaks up the sweet peace.

Her eyes open slowly, somehow Judy fell asleep on the cold floor. She tries to look at the big clock on the wall then gives up. Everything is blurry and disoriented. And the pain is shooting all over her body. A chill runs up and down her spin, is she going to die on this hospital floor? Where is she going when she does pass away? What is stopping her from reaching out to Jesus? She is so afraid of dying. All these question race back and forth in her mind. Then the dream crashes back into her memories. The dream she was having when she fell out of bed. Dreams are only dreams, but why does this dream feel like there's a truth and a reality behind it. In her mind she can see the hands of death reaching out and grabbing hold of her. They were pushing her down to where they come from, hell. Fear engulfs Judy like a dark shadow. With no strength left Judy pulls and kicks at the floor. She must make her way to the door. For what seems like an eternity Judy fights to the door. She stops and collapses her head on the floor again. And like before her effort has moved her only inches. The tears fall from her eyes again as all hope is fading away. Despair, loneliness and fear take Judy to the edge. Without hardly any voice left she cries out for help again. "Somebody please help me!! Please help me!"
Judy cannot fight it back anymore and she surrenders her mind and heart. "Please help me God." "Please forgive me Jesus. Please forgive me."

The pin is pulled and the flood gates swing wide-open. The walls of sin and hatred that covered Judy's heart now tumble to the ground. Her human pride collapses as she reaches out to Jesus. The peace that she felt in the room now starts to fill her heart. Judy has never known this kind of love. The fear and the pain that Judy has felt most of her life, now turns to overflowing hope and joy. She feels the Holy Spirit of God come into her heart and wash her whole. The void Judy has felt in her life is gone. She knows Jesus has filled that void with His love. The tears of salvation fall from Judy's eyes and she makes no effort to wipe them away. The nightmare has no meaning now, and the fear of the unknown is gone. Death has no grip on her now. Judy hugs the floor now and knows she will be with her Jesus soon.

Nurse Stacy Lumberg stands at the nurses' station and looks over some paperwork. Working on the cancer floor has opened her eyes to the world. The job has brought her closer to God and her family. She tries to live each day as her last. Stacy has seen how death comes and goes. How many times has she seen the heart rate monitor go to a flat line. How many times has she become close to a patient. She knows better, but love has compassion, not cold shoulders. Now Stacy comes to Judy's paperwork and smiles. The forty-seven year old lady has touched her heart. Stacy looks at the clock on the wall. It's 3:16 am and something is telling her heart to checkup on the patients. She checks on Mr. Lemay and all is good, then checks on Mrs. Simon and she is sleeping.
Stacy opens the door to Judy's room and stops in shock. Judy is on the cold hospital floor weeping. Stacy turns on the light and rushes to Judy. She kneels down and asks Judy if she is alright?
"I am fine Stacy, I could not be better."
Stacy hurries down and gets two other nurses to help her get Judy back into bed. They get Judy back in and cover her up and check her vital signs. Stacy notices the whole time Judy has tears in her eyes but she is smiling.
"And why are you all smiles Judy after what you just went through?"
"I found him."
"Who did you find Judy?"
"I found Jesus!"
Now the tears swell in Stacy's eyes as she leans down and wraps her arms around Judy.
"He's always just a prayer away Judy."

Three days later the heart rate monitor slowly beeps and then goes flat line. Judy dies in her hospital bed holding her new bible. It's on a day her family was not there yet. And it was nurse Stacy's day off. But Judy did not die alone that day in the hospital. That day she died in the loving arms of Jesus.

Wayne Roe
3/9/09

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