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The Smell of Rain C Connelly mcgil mmmg@netscape.net The Smell of Rain

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the
Doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still
groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced
themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991,
complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo
an emergency cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter,
Danae Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one
pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously
premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.
'I don't think she's going to make it', he said, as kindly as he could.
"There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night,
and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future
could be a very cruel one". Numb with disbelief, David and Diana
listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae
would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would
never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be
prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete
mental retardation, and on and on. "No! No!" was all Diana could say.
She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of
the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now,
within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away. Through the
dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread,
Diana slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that
their tiny daughter would live-and live to be a healthy, happy young girl.
But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their
daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy,
knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable. David walked in and
said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements. Diana
remembers 'I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying
to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't
listen.' I said, "No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care
what the doctors say; Danae is not going to die! One day she will be
just fine, and she will be coming home with us!" As if willed to live by
Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help
of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure.
But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.
Because Danae's under-developed nervous system was essentially 'raw,'
the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't
even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of
their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet
light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close
to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly
grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of
weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Danae turned two
months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very
first time. And two months later-though doctors continued to gently but
grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of
normal life, were next to zero. Danae went home from the hospital, just as
her mother had predicted.

Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with
glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no
signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she is
everything a little girl can be and more-but that happy ending is far from
the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in
Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a
local ballpark where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.
As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several
other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her
arms across her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the
air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it
smells like rain." Danae closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell
that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet,
it smells like rain. Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head,
patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No,
it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."
Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with
the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed
what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had
known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and
nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive
for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest and it is His
loving scent that she remembers so well.

You now have 1 of 2 choices...you can either pass this on and let other
people catch the chills like you did, or you can delete this and act like
it didn't touch your heart like it did mine. IT'S YOUR CALL!



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