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Un-answered Prayers*
12 November, 1998
author: Rebecca Ditch-Hammack (aka Dreamer)

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     The moon hung high in the cool November night sky.  Dreamer pulled her jacket tighter around herself to keep out the chilly damp air that was beginning to sting at her exposed skin.  She listened to the night sounds.  A few crickets were still about.  She listened mostly to the sound of the leaves as they crunched beneath her feet as she walked upon them.

     Dreamer liked the brisk air.  Much nicer than the heat of the summer, she thought to herself.  Dreamer found a large boulder to perch herself upon to watch the moonlit river..  It was so relaxing here...  The moonlight glistened off the waves of the flowing river.  The mighty Ohio ..

     She remembered reading that Abraham Lincoln had taken a barge down this river to the Mississippi River.  It was further down stream in Spencer County, but it was the same river.  She wondered if the waves and the sounds were the same for him then.   She thought about the fish, wondering if they were swimming deeper now due to the cold, or if the cold even bothered them at all.  She thought about how brightly the stars showed against the rich deep blue night sky...

     It seemed sometimes that all she did was think, and wonder about things.   Tonight she thought about all her unanswered prayers.  How many times she prayed to the skies, to her God, and how many times her prayers had seemed unheard.   She sat there thinking about some of the prayers.  And how the situations causing her to pray had come about...

     Dreamer remembered how many times when she was younger she prayed for death.   Life had been so unbearable for her.  The kids always picking on her.   The demands of her parents.  Their lack of trust.  So many times she wished for the strength to end it all.

     She smiled to herself.

     Unanswered prayers.  Yes, there were many she had thought at first.   "Oh, God please can't I have someone... anyone so I don't have to be alone."  She remembered her friend telling her not to worry about it there would be someone and something really special for her someday.  She then thought of the guys she had prayed to have, found, and then settled for...

      The brutality of it.  Joe who had blackened her eyes and bruised her body and spirit so badly.  Rick who in a drunken rage had cracked 2 of her ribs.   Dreamer winced a bit remembering the pain.  So many bruises and scrapes.   She remembered now that had been a prayer answered.  She hadn't been alone..

     She held her head high to the wind.  Just like she had when she wore her bruises proudly.  Her battle scars.  She was stronger for it.  She had learned.  She remembered the terrible night her prayers for the loneliness to end drove her to a bar to meet with her friends.  The ones that never showed.  There alone she sat with her smart pride, as a drunken man made rude remarks, she snapped back some smart comments.  She remembered the cold awful night that followed as none before...  

     As he followed her to her car that night and proceeded to do things to her she could only cry and close her eyes too. She remembered going home torn and tattered and her boyfriend accused her being out cheating on him. He then proceeded to beat her up after she had already survived the worst ordeal of her life..

     She remembered her prayers now.  But not with the same way she had thought about them long ago.  She had hardened herself to those feelings.  Now she wanted to be alone..   Just to be left alone.  Untouched.  She learned to enjoy the solitude.  Her loneliness was ended.  Dreamer sighed heavily.   She breathed deep the night air.  She remembered the answered prayers well.   But now she enjoyed the peace being alone brought with it..

     Dreamer liked to think those events hadn't changed her.  Hadn't hardened her.  But they had.  She knew they had. She would never let anyone force her again.  She forewarned men that she would kill them if they raised a hand to her.   She meant it.  She didn't talk about it too much but it was part of her, these answered prayers.

     She flashed to another time of prayers and the prayer of having someone to take care of her.  For that prayer she had sacrificed her love.  But she was well provided for.....

     She prayed for peace.  For the constant yelling and screaming of abuses of her step-daughter's illness to end. They came and stole her away from her.    Again a prayer answered.  Not the way she had planned it.  But still answered just the same.  The fighting had ended.

     Dreamer didn't feel sad as she looked out into the darkened waters.  She had survived her prayers.  Her wants, her selfish wants.  She was thankful now.   Thankful for the quiet.  Thankful to be alone.  Thankful for the cool night and the coat she had to wrap around her.

      She knew inside her, something was dead.  Numb and dead.  Sometimes she could see it in her eyes when she looked in the mirror.  Again it was a prayer answered, but not the way she had planned.  Another selfish prayer.. She had gotten her death.

     Dreamer knew why she gave up praying for miracles.  She knew now, where the true miracles were.

     Dreamer looked up to the moon and smiled.  She then looked beyond into the starlit sky and thought quietly to herself.  Not aloud in tears as she once had.   Not like in the times of her selfish prayers..

     She was thankful for the things that she had, the beautiful things she could see, and the life of health she now enjoyed.  She was thankful for all the things she had taken for granted, the things she never asked for.  She thought how rich she was, for her friends who had helped her through all those bad times.   She was thankful for the un-asked for blessings in her life...

     Dreamer knew it was the destiny that she was supposed to have, not one to pray against.  She no longer prayed for the things she did not have.  She was thankful for the things she did.  Things happened for a reason in her life.  She knew each time she prayed against the nature of the way things were supposed to be she had been answered.  She had made her own life.  She had chose her destiny.  Now she looked at it so differently..

     Dreamer was content for the first time in her life.  She knew things were as they were for some reason.  You can't fight destiny.." she thought aloud.   She no longer pleaded with the unseen forces to give her what her heart desired. She knew it was being thankful for what she had that seemed to be making the difference.   Not power or money, or anything else, just the acceptance; that things are the way they are for a reason.  She knew now that you can't fight nature.  She had found the strength to end it all after all.  Not in death, but in knowledge..

     Dreamer knew as she looked to the beauty that now surrounded her that the best prayers were the ones that were un-answered... Dreamer looked into the cool November sky peacefully contented with life ....and smiled .

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