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A Husband for All Seasons

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      A Husband for All Seasons
Irene Brand

His faith was being tested for the first time: Chad Reece's promising pro football career was cut short by a devastating accident, and then a kidney transplant revealed his biological parents were a couple he'd considered family friends. Shaken, Chad was determined to recover on his own, when he met Vicky Lanham, a pretty hospital volunteer. Vicky's passion for mission work impressed Chad, who felt a call of his own to assist others. Perhaps it was the start of God's new plan - a life together helping others.

“If I’m in the hospital again before you’re released, I’ll stop in to see how you’re doing.” Vicky picked up her purse and jacket.

The warmth of Chad’s smile brought a ray of light to a portion of Vicky’s heart that had been dark for a long time. How strange that she was here to help him, and he had encouraged her.

As Vicky walked down the hallway, she gradually lost the upbeat attitude she’d shown Chad. She had overheard a discussion in the hospital lounge not intended for her ears. She knew that Chad Reece was in for a sad awakening. When that happened, someone would have to be around to pick up the pieces, and maybe, just maybe, she would be that someone.

IRENE BRAND

Writing has been a lifelong interest of this author, who says that she started her first novel when she was eleven years old and hasn’t finished it yet. However, since 1984, she’s published more than thirty contemporary and historical novels and three nonfiction titles. She started writing professionally in 1977 after she completed her master’s degree in history at Marshall University. Irene taught in secondary public schools for twenty-three years, but retired in 1989 to devote herself to writing.

Consistent involvement in the activities of her local church has been a source of inspiration for Irene’s work. Traveling with her husband, Rod, to all fifty states and to thirty-two foreign countries has also inspired her writing. Irene is grateful to the many readers who have written to say that her inspiring stories and compelling portrayals of characters with strong faith have made a positive impression on their lives. You can write to her at P.O. Box 2770, Southside, WV 25187, or visit her Web site at www.irenebrand.com.

A Husband for All Seasons

Irene Brand

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,

“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me.”

—Isaiah 6:8

Special thanks to my relatives, Julia Pasquale, M.D. (specialty in emergency medicine) and Alice Giles, M.S. in nursing, for sharing their knowledge and experience about lacerations to the renal artery and subsequent kidney transplants.

Also my thanks to my friend Tony Leport, who steered me in the right direction for information regarding professional football players.

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Epilogue

Letter to Reader

Questions for Discussion

Chapter One

“Help! Help!”

Chad Reece struggled to open his eyes, wondering why he couldn’t move. Was he lying on the gym floor with a heavy weight on his chest?

“Help!” a weak voice called again.

Chad was always the first to help when any of his teammates were injured. Responding to the distress call, he tried to sit up. Gentle hands on his shoulders pushed him backward.

“Don’t try to move,” a kind voice cautioned sternly. “You’ll pull out your IVs if you don’t settle down. I’m supposed to keep you quiet, so cooperate, please.”

Chad opened his eyelids slightly, and even that was an effort. He wasn’t lying on the floor. He wasn’t in his apartment. He wasn’t in his parents’ home, so where was he? Who was this woman hovering over him—a woman, with a soft voice, who smoothed his pillow and wiped his face with a warm, moist cloth?

“Where am I?”

“You’re in OSU Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.”

In the hospital? He never got sick—not since the ear infections he’d had as a toddler.

“Are you real? Or am I dreaming?”

“It isn’t a dream, Mr. Reece. You were recently airlifted to the medical center from a small hospital in eastern Ohio. I don’t know all the details, but it seems you had an injury that hospital couldn’t handle. Don’t worry—you’re doing great. You’ve been calling for help, and I’m here if you need me. Go back to sleep.”

Chad closed his eyes, but he didn’t want to sleep. Airlifted to this hospital! The last he remembered, it was the first weekend in September, and he had been in Pittsburgh heading for the goalpost during the first football game of the season. He recalled the shouting of the spectators and the victory celebration of the cheerleaders—sounds that had been music to his ears since he had started playing football as a teenager.

When he had vaulted to safety with the ball, he must have grazed the goalpost, for it toppled and knocked him down. He had felt a sharp pain in his back, but that discomfort had faded into the background as they celebrated. He had scored for his team and started his third NFL season with a winning touchdown. Why worry about a pain in his back?

Eluding his many fans, at the end of the game, Chad got into his car, needing some solitude to unwind from the tension he’d been under for several days. After the emotional high of a game, nothing settled Chad more than driving alone through the rural area of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. He didn’t want to talk. He turned his cell phone off so he could concentrate on driving.

But a few hours of driving brought excruciating pain in his side and back. Although he was bent double with pain, he drove slowly to a hospital in the next town. He must have blacked out before he saw a doctor, for he didn’t remember what happened after that.

Chad opened his eyes again. “And who are you?” he asked the aide, hardly recognizing his own voice, which sounded faraway.

“I’m Vicky Lanham, a hospital volunteer, and I’m sitting with you through the night. Your parents will be back tomorrow morning.”

Parents? His parents were in Alabama. Although they had rarely missed any of his high school and college games, they had stopped following him when he turned pro. They had watched his last game on television. He must be having a nightmare.

He tried to sit up, but he couldn’t move.

When Chad woke up again, he was more alert and aware of his surroundings. He was in a hospital, but the young woman had gone, and his parents stood beside his bed. Tears glistened on his mother’s wrinkled, wistful face.

Trying to smile, he said, “Aw…it can’t be that bad, Mom. What happened to me?”

She shook her head, unable to speak, and Chad turned questioning eyes toward his father.
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