Copyright 2014 © Paula Mowery
Sean relaxed on his couch, surfing the Internet. A trip and some travel writing were in his future. He needed to branch out. The articles he was writing now just didn’t thrill him. Something was missing. With the approach of spring just around the corner, he could slip away for a few weeks. March was the time for spring breaks.
His cell phone buzzed. He glanced at the screen.
“Hey, Dad. What’s up?”
“Son, could you come over to the house?” His tone was serious.
Sean sat up straight. “Now?”
“I’m on my way.”
Sean’s heart raced, and he swiped clammy hands down his jeans. He wasn’t sure what this was about, but his father’s grave tone drove Sean to get to his parent’s house immediately.
He gripped the steering wheel, thinking back ten years ago. His mother had just moved into the head of the department of English at the university when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her mastectomy, the treatments had taken such a toll on her that she had to retire. Of course, she had said God had worked everything out, because she then had the time to write and publish her Bible studies. Sean didn’t think God had anything to do with it.
He pulled into his parent’s driveway behind his brother’s familiar minivan. He took a deep breath and bounded through the front door. He found his parents and brother in the family room. He crossed and planted a peck on his mom’s forehead, then plopped down next to Richard on the couch.
“Boys, we wanted to tell you in person that Mom has breast cancer again.” His father’s tone was matter-of-fact. Despite that, Sean’s gut wrenched.
Richard slid forward, propping his forearms on his knees. “What does that mean? Same as the last?"
“Not exactly,” his mother said. “The doctor says this isn’t a recurrence. It’s a different type of cancer. We proceed one step at a time. I plan on having the mastectomy, then it depends on the lymph node tests as to treatments.”
“When?” Sean blurted out the question before he thought. He cleared his throat. “I mean, do you have the surgery set”
“Next week, on Tuesday.” His mother’s voice shook slightly. She swallowed.
“The doctor is a little more concerned this time. He wishes this had been caught sooner.” The worry lines in his father’s forehead were evident.
“But, we need to flood the situation with prayer. God is in control.” Mother folded her hands in her lap.
Sean didn’t share her confidence in prayer, but in this situation he wished he did. Before he left his parent’s house, he located their church’s phone directory and entered a number into his cell contact list.
As soon as he started his drive toward his apartment, he scrolled to the number and pressed call.
“Hello?” the sweet, soothing voice answered.
“Hello, yes, is this Hope? Hope Weaver, the nurse who makes the shawls?”
“Yes, this is Hope, and I do crochet prayer shawls. Who…”
“I’m sorry, this is Sean Holland. We met a couple of months ago at the hospital. I’m Richard’s brother.”
“Oh, yes, I remember you.”
“I hope you don’t mind my call. I need to ask you a favor.”
“Could you make one of your prayer shawls for my mother? She has breast cancer again.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. But, of course, I would be honored to do that for Mrs. Holland. She is such a godly woman.”
“Um, yeah.” She was right, however he didn’t put much stock in all the religious stuff. But he had seen and heard people give testimony to these shawls Hope made. If there was any validity to their claims, he wanted to make sure his mother had one. “Would I need to pick it up or something?”
“Can I call you at this number? I usually deliver the shawls myself…”
“Whatever it is you do.”
“I’ll call you, and we can deliver it together. Okay?”
“Sure. Yeah. Thanks.” Sean scratched his head. Was he completely crazy? If the shawl did nothing else, it would encourage his mother.