I woke up in the hospital, Star sitting in a chair by my bed.
A few years ago it had been me sitting in the uncomfortable chair, praying that she would be okay.
“Hope you are awake.” Star said. “We were so afraid.”
“I’m still here, I am not going anywhere. I think God wants me here a little longer.”
“I hope it’s a lot longer.” Star said.
Something isn’t right, something happened. I was shot, shot in the back.
I can’t feel my legs.
I need to be strong for Star. I have to believe this is only temporary.
Lord let this be temporary.
“I am sorry Hope.”
“This isn’t your fault Star, please don’t feel that way.”
“He shot you, because he wanted to hurt me.”
“Star he is the monster not you.”
“I know I just cannot help but feel bad.”
“Star it’s okay, you do not have to carry all the burdens. I am just glad you are here with me.” I managed.
“Hope are you okay?” Star asked.
“I will be.” I said honestly. I did not want to worry Star any more than she was, I did not want her carrying that guilt around with her.
I tried sitting up to show my sister that I was okay, or was going to be okay, but that was too much for me. I felt dizzy the second I made the effort, and finally fell back into the pillow.
“Hope you are not okay, please tell me, do you know what the doctors said?”
I shook my head. I knew that Star knew as well, even with nothing being said.
“I am sorry Hope, this wasn’t supposed to happen not to you.”
“Star it wasn’t meant to happen to you either.”
“I know, but I am sorry.”
“Star believe it or not I will be okay.”
I did not want to see my sister sink back into the depression that she had been in before. Star did not need to go into that dark place, and I was going to do my best to help her. I knew she wanted to help me, she felt she should be the one laying in the hospital bed, but it had not happened that way. God had a reason for letting things happen the way they happened. I knew that God was going to be with us through this, be with me, but still I did have my moments when I questioned.
Lord I don’t understand why this happened, why I had to be hurt, but I know you are going to be with me in this. With Star too and Mom and Dad. I know that somehow you are going to keep us safe, because if I don’t believe that, I may as well give up and I am not about to do that. I cannot give up Hope needs me and now I need her too, we can’t give up on one another. I love you Lord and I praise you.
I was trying hard to be positive not only for Stars sake but for my own as well. I knew allowing myself to slip into a deep depression was not going to change what happened to me, it wasn’t going to turn back the clock, if I just sat around feeling sorry for myself the only one I would be affecting was me, and my family, and I did not want that.
“Hope are you really going to be okay?”
“Yes Star, I will be. If you survived all that you went through, I think I can live with this.”
“I still feel so bad.”
“Star pity isn’t going to help either of us. I just need your love and support.”
“Hope you know you have that.”
“Yes I do, and that’s my point, you do not have to feel bad for things that you did not do. He is the monster not you, I do not want you spending your life blaming things that are beyond your control, and Star I know the Lord does not want you to do that either.”
“I know Hope, I just can’t help but wonder sometimes if your life would not have been better had I not been brought into your family, had Mom and Dad not adopted me.”
“Star I don’t ever want to hear you say that again. You have brought us all so much joy, and I could not imagine life without you. Please do not feel if somehow you cursed us, because little sister, you have blessed us. I do not want to ever hear you say something like that. I love you, and we are both adults now, so we are both going to go through things, and both have to face the hardships in life, and I know you have already faced plenty, but it is going to be so much easier because we have each other. Even more importantly than that though is we have the Lord.”
“I know you are right Hope, and I am sorry I did not mean to upset you.”
“Star the only thing that upset me was having you think that somehow we regretted you being part of our family. You are my sister, and you are Mom and Dad’s daughter just as much as I am, Mom and Dad love us equally.”
“I know Hope, at times I just felt that bad things followed me.”
“Star you can’t let yourself think like that, you gave your heart to Jesus, and he gave you light. I don’t want you to lose track of that little sister.”
“I know Hope, and again I am sorry.”
“It’s okay Star, and I am going to need you, so please don’t feel that I won’t. I know you need me too, but I am going to get through this just as you got through everything you have been through, by the Grace of God.”
“Amen big sister.”
Star spent so much time by my bedside it was almost as if she had become a fixture. Mom and Dad were there, a lot too, but I knew they did not feel comfortable, still they stayed with me for hours at a time, praying with me, seeing if I needed them, being the Mom and Dad they always had been. I knew I was blessed to have the support system I had, it was going to make adjusting to the changes in my life so much easier, and my faith too it was going to help.
Lord thank you for giving me the family you have given me. I know I am blessed, thank you for giving me the support I need. I know that without them and most importantly without you I would not be where I am today. I ask that you show Star that this is not her fault, and I ask too that the FBI catch this monster too, before he hurts someone else. He cannot continue to go around destroying lives, thinking he has that kind of control. He needs to see that he does not, and that there is a consequence to the things he has done, not just me, but to the horrible things he did to Star, his own daughter. I thank you Lord, and I ask that you help me get used to the changes in my life. I am not one who likes to depend on others, and right now their truly are times I feel helpless.
Be still and know that I am God!
I truly was thankful for Star’s presence though. She stayed many nights in the hospital, not wanting to leave my side, and it made for less lonely nights. I think it made things easier for both of us too, because she needed me and I needed her. I just prayed that the man who did this to me, that the monster who had hurt Star as a little girl would be caught and thrown into prison where he belong. He deserved nothing less than life in prison, though I was sure I could think of much more severe punishments for him. I did remember the Lord’s words…vengeance is mine says the Lord!
“Star I really think you need to take some time to yourself, do something you enjoy doing.”
“Hope I will do something when you get out of here. I miss doing things with you.”
“I miss that too Star, but this is only temporary it is not going to be like this forever. I will be released when I am strong enough.”
“I know Hope. Until then I would rather just spend the time with you.”
“Alright Star, I really glad for your company.”
“Do you need anything Hope?”
“Star why don’t you get us both some Coke’s. I need to call the nurse in to help me anyway.”
“Alright Hope. Are you okay?”
“Yes Star, stop worrying so much please. You are worse than Mom.”
I was okay, at least as okay as you could be after being shot, but the nurse would soon be in to change my sheets, something they did on a daily basis, and to make sure I did not lay in one position for two long, so I did not get a bed sore. I did not like the idea of Star seeing me so helpless, so I had sent her to get the Soda’s, besides it did sound good. I would also ask her to bring my laptop later so I could work on some magazine articles, being shot did not have to mean I couldn’t write. I could still type and I planned on making my deadlines. I was not going to give up my dream as being a writer, I did not need the use of my legs for that.
Sometimes I woke up almost forgetting I could not just get up and walk, that I had been shot and paralyzed, but that only lasts a few seconds, until reality comes back. I was doing the best I could with all of this, but there were moments I cried over what I had lost, but more often I found myself crying over the guilt Star felt, the way this was affecting my sister, because she had already dealt with such hell in her earlier years, and then things started getting better, now this, and in so many ways she blamed herself for what that monster had done to me. It was his way of getting at her, and for that she felt a world of guilt. I hated seeing Star feel that guilt.
I knew hating was not something God wanted of us, but this man, Star’s birth Father, was pure evil and I could not help but hate this man. I hated him not as much for what he had done to me, but from the Scars he had left on Star, the physical Stars, but more than that the emotional scars. I had often spent many nights crying after I had heard the things she went through, but I felt it was important, I felt I needed to try and understand what Star had been through, she was my sister after all, but now Star was older, stronger, she had the Lord in her life, and I was the one laying in a hospital bed. I was glad it was not Star, but I wish it had not happened to any of us, but often things we do not want or plan in life happen, and we can either learn from them or let them become crutches in our faith. I was not going to let that happen, I did not want to turn bitter over what happened to me, I wanted to see how God could use me.