He smells like 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. She was 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 couple’s new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

The baby weighed only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. bby2

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 Dana 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. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana’s underdeveloped 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 Dana 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 Dana 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 Dana 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, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.  One blistering after5noon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother’s lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin’s baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent . Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, “Do you smell that?”

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, “Yes, it smells like rain.”
Dana 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, Dana 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 Dana 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 Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

6 Responses

  1. What a truly amazing story of faith and blessings.

  2. What a heart warming story.

  3. Amazing…it made me cry. So inspiring – thanks for sharing it!

  4. That is so beautiful! It mad me cry and think of my great nephew. He was born last summer 19 weeks premature and only weighing 1 lb. He finally came home from the hospital a month ago and is doing good.

  5. I know it has been years since you posted this but i wanted to tell you how much your story meant to me and my husband while we were going through the same thing! 4 months in the NICU! Our daughter was born at 24 weeks 1lb 3oz. 11 1/2 in long…. She is now home and 9 months old…5 corrected… and nothing seems to be wrong with her at all!!! Praise God!!! But i really just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this!! It makes me cry every time i read it because it is so close to what we went through!!! May God truly bless your family!!!! đŸ™‚

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