Callie Martin heard the struggle of her son’s breathing. It was two in the morning and she knew that
soon Johnathan would take his last breath. For the last two years Johnathan had been battling Leukemia. He had gone through
chemotherapy without success. And even had a bone marrow transplant. The doctors had been hopeful that the treatment would
be a huge success.
They had been wrong.
Callie held her chin up. God was on her side, giving her strength to see her through the last hours of her
son’s life. She recalled the verse in the bible from Phillipians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
Callie reached out and grasped her son’s hand, holding it gently against her bosom. Her fingers stroked
the flesh of his palms, noting how cold and lifeless he was. She had given him a shot of pain medication, so she knew he was
not suffering. That gave her a small amount of comfort. Another comfort was knowing her son was going to far better place.
That he would be healed from his sickness. That he would know no sorrow or sadness. That all would be at peace where he was
She watched the rise and fall of her son’s chest, his labored breathing. She began to recall the years
of his life. The happy years, when he was just an infant, cradled in her arms, when he was five and rode his first bike, when
he was fifteen going on his first date. Johnathan had grown into a handsome young teenage boy. She could not understand why
God had given this disease to her son, or why they had to endure such suffering through the last two years. But Callie knew
in her heart, that God had a plan for her, even after her son was gone. She did not know what that plan was, but she trusted
God and allowed him total control of her life.
It wasn’t easy in times like this. Her faith would sometimes fail her. But never for long, for she
knew she could not get through this without Him.
Silently she began to pray for her son as his breathing began to slow and relax. She tried not cry, but the
tears came anyway.
"Lord, I give you my son today. You gave him to me seventeen years ago, and I thank you for that wonderful
gift. He gave me much joy and made my life complete. Now he is yours, to do the same for You. I pray that You will give me
strength to go on with my life, to give me whatever it is I need to survive the next few hours, and next few months without
As the minutes passed, Johnathan grew more lifeless, his body growing still under her ministering. He was
not awake or even cognizant of what he was going through. She could not even tell him that she loved him, because she knew
he would not hear her, nor understand her. But she told him any way, over and over again, how much she loved him, how much
satisfaction he had brought into her life.
For a moment she was angry. Not at God. For God had never forsaken them through this trial. She was angry
at Reid. Her ex-husband. Callie tried not to think about him, not much anyway. But sometimes she couldn’t help herself.
At this moment, when she was all alone, knowing her son would soon die, she hated him. She knew it was wrong,
that God was not happy with her for hating him. But Reid had deserted her. Not only her but their son. He had been a coward
and could not face their son’s illness. So he had left. Left her to face her son’s death alone.
She had not heard from Reid in over six month’s. She would not tell him of her son’s passing.
He would not want to hear it anyway. The choice was a hard one, one she had to make despite the feelings of guilt the decision
The last two years had not been easy for her. Sometimes it was hard to get through each day. But with the
support of her friends and neighbors and her church, she had managed. Somehow her strength had grown, and flourished. She
would get through this phase of her life, just as she had everything else.
But she knew, understood, her life was about to change forever. She would miss her son. Nothing would ever
be the same again. Her life would be empty without him. But she was up to the challenge of facing her life alone for the first
time in over twenty years. God would see her through it, just as he had everything else in her life.
Johnathan sputtered and took one last gasp of air, then his breathing stopped. She heard nothing more, felt
no movements of his body. And she knew he was gone to her forever. Yet she knew that every memory was stored in her mind and
that he would not be forgotten.
She wept for a long time that night. There were things she had to do. Call the doctor. The coroner. Her mother.
The church. The list went on an on. But for now she held her son’s hand and refused to leave his side.