THE SMELL OF RAIN
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 todeliver 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
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
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
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
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
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 remembered so well.
You now have 1 of 2 choices. You can pass this wonderful story on and
let other people "catch the chills" like you did, or you can delete this
email and act like it didn't' touch your heart. It's your call. But
remember the next time you smell rain in the air - He is watching over
"I do not regret the things I have done, only the things I have not."