Cries Of Sorrow
Once there was a couple named Sarah and a man named James. They lived a long time ago in an old farmhouse in South Carolina.
They had been married for sometime. They were very happy. But yet something was missing from their life. A child was what would have made life perfect for them both.
"Oh James, how I wish we had a child to share our life with. " said Sarah.
" I know my darling, it would be wonderful to have a son or daughter to love." said James.
"Mayhap, if we pray about it. The Lord will see fit to bless us." said Sarah, " I will start praying about it this very night."
"As will I my love." said James, as he kissed her cheek.
Before long it seemed that Sarah and James's prayers were answered. Sarah was to have a child. When the doctor told Sarah and James the good news, James picked Sarah up in a hug and swung her round and round. They were both so happy, tears of joy rolled down her cheeks.
Sarah's pregnancy went by in a whirlwind of good health shared by her and the baby, preparing the babies room, making clothes and blankets and the joy that very soon they would have a son or daughter of their very own. And sooner than she thought , it was time to have the baby.
A midwife was sent to Sarah’s house. Shortly after arriving, the midwife realized something was wrong, very wrong.
" You need to saddle a horse, and ride as fast as you can and bring the doctor back here!" said the midwife.
"Why? What’s wrong?" asked James. " If you want the child to live, don't ask any questions. Go get the doctor and hurry." said the midwife.
James ran to the barn as fast he could, saddled his fastest horse and took off like a shot. He knew it would be a thirty-minute ride to get there even on his fastest horse.
James was off the horse before it had come to a full stop. He practically beat the door down before the doctor answered the door. He yanked the doctor out of the house, rambling and out of breath the doctor barely understood him.
"Oh doctor please.... come quick.... my wife.... The baby.... something’s wrong.... hurry!" exclaimed James.
"James you must calm down. You're going to collapse. Of course I'll come, just let me get some things I'll need. " Said the doctor. He hurriedly gathered the instruments he thought he might need. Then headed out to the small barn behind his house. Where James had been hurriedly saddling a horse for the doctor. The doctor quickly mounted his horse and rode at break neck speed. But, he was still barely able to keep up with James. Both men arrived at the door at the same time. James burst in first with the doctor at his heels. They raced up the stairs and down the hall to the bedroom where Sarah lay. The midwife met them at the door.
" Your just in time... There’s no time to waste. Something is very wrong. Quickly.... come on.... don't dawdle." said the midwife.
The doctor hurried to the bed where Sarah lay. She looked at him imploringly. After many hours the baby was finally born. It was a little girl. She was very small and sickly. The doctor did not expect her to live.
"I'm very sorry but your baby is terribly weak and very small. I'm afraid all you can do is make her comfortable and wait for the end." said the doctor.
" No, please, there must be something you can do." said Sarah.
"I'm sorry. But there is nothing I can do.”Said the doctor.
And so Sarah named her daughter Jessica. She took care of the small, pale infant day and night. On the third night Sarah was putting the baby to bed when she heard a noise. It sounded like a woman crying. Sarah stood up and looked around. At first she didn't see anyone. But then she looked in the far corner of the nursery. What she saw frightened her. There in the corner was the huddled figure of a woman. She was weeping so mournfully that it brought tears to Sarah's eyes.
When Jessica was eleven days old, she became gravely ill. The doctor was called. He examined the baby. Then told Sarah and James that the baby had only hours to live. He gave then some medicine to help keep the baby comfortable. And told them to be prepared for the child would die by day's end. Sarah and James held each other and cried.
"Oh James.... no this isn't fair we waited so long. "Said Sarah.
" I know my love I know, " said James. James and Sarah spent the rest of the day in Jessica's nursery. Talking to her. Listening to each noise she made. Trying to memorize her face. Trying to remember everything about this little angel who had graced their presence.
Shortly after the sun had set, Jessica started to have even more trouble breathing. And the medicine the doctor had given was no longer working. Her breaths were getting shallow and her skin grew dusky. They knew it was time to sat goodbye to their daughter. So they picked her up and brought her to the window seat, where they could sit with her together.
" Oh my darling girl, you were only here but a short time. But we will love you always." said Sarah.
" Sweet Jessica we will miss you greatly . " said James.
Suddenly a bright light filled the room. It emanated from the same corner where Sarah had seen the crying woman. As the light filled the room, the baby drew her last breath. And the light began to take form. It was the same woman who had been crying so woefully all those nights. But this time she was glowing and smiling happily. And she had what looked to be an infant in her arms. She began to fade again but, stopped and looked at Sarah and smiled. Then she faded. And Sarah knew it would be the last time she would see her.
Several months later, Sarah was cleaning out an old box of papers she'd found in the attic. As she looking through them, she ran across some old newspaper clippings. One in particular caught her eye. It was a picture of a woman holding a baby and below it was a birth announcement. The woman in the picture was the same woman who had been appearing in the baby's nursery. The next two clippings were a bit more disturbing. The first was an article on a large passenger boat that had sunk in the ocean. The next was a picture of a woman, who Sarah once again recognized as the woman in the babies nursery. Below the picture was the woman’s obituary. It said that she and her child had both drowned in when the boat they were on sank. The woman’s body was recovered. But her babies body was never recovered.
Sarah sat down hard on the floor as the realization set in. The woman in the baby’s nursery had lost her baby. And was so torn by it. That even in death she could not rest. So she had come back to claim Jessica and take care of her. Exactly what she wanted to do for her own child but couldn't.
Sarah smiled faintly. She was somewhat relieved to know that even though she couldn't take care of Jessica, someone would be watching out for her.