Autumn's Wind

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Chapter 131: Return
(by NativeRose, added on 29 December 2011 09:24 PM)


It was two weeks later, and this was a big day for Autumn. She was going to be discharged once again. Her family, friends, health care team and Messianic community were all so thankful that there were no infections. They had been able to promptly and successfully treat a wound infection in the hospital, and Autumn had been fever-free for six days straight! Her white blood cell count had risen significantly, and she was no longer neutropenic.

Jason and Abbie had spent days preparing for this day. Some women from their Messianic congregation came to help clean and sanitize the house from top to bottom. The fully-adjustable hospital bed was in place in her decorated room. It had been repainted in her favorite colors with her favorite nature scenes painted on the walls and ceiling. Pictures of her family and friends were on the walls where she could easily see them from her bed. Everyone did their best to make sure this would be a pleasant environment for her. And finally, the big moment arrived.

As soon as Jason, Abbie and Autumn pulled into the driveway, Michelle appeared.
"Welcome home," she said, as she unstrapped Autumn's wheelchair. It had just been donated to the Hansen family by a family whose son had just died of exactly the same type of cancer Autumn had. At the bottom of the ramp, Morgan joined them with a banner that pictures of all the things in Autumn's room. And of course, dominating it was a picture of Autumn--one that was taken at her party the day before her brain tumor was removed. As they went into the house, Autumn smelled something familiar, but she couldn't figure out what it was. AS they passed the kitchen (though she didn't know what the room was called), she saw some lady preparing a...a...that's right! That's what she smelled! It was a chocolate cake!
"Hey, Autumn," said the strange person in the kitchen, "it's Judith, and I'm so glad you're home!"
"Do you want to go into the kitchen?" Michelle asked, turning in the doorway. Autumn nodded, but she seemed a little flustered when she saw two additional people there. Jamison and Kyle had been standing in the kitchen, talking with Judith.
"Surprise!" Kyle nearly shouted excitedly. He seemed to have forgotten that loud noise would not only startle Autumn, but it would probably induce or worsen a headache.
"Oh crap! I'm sorry..." he muttered contritely. His daughters struggled not to laugh about his error and with a mighty effort, were able to conceal the giggles. Each one came in bearing gifts. On the day of the shark attack, Json forgot the book he had been reading to Autumn, so Kendall had purchased a new copy for her. The twins, Katelyn and Kambra, remembered that she liked music, so they purchased CD's with her favorite artists. They all figured a CD player would be easier for her to operate when she was able; she could use it before she learned to read again, since she wouldn't have to decipher digital screens.

It was an hour after Autumn had gotten home from the hospital. Katelyn and Michelle had helped her with a bath, given that the cake-eating was kind of a messy operation. Now she was sitting propped up in bed as someone--she couldn't remember who--was putting lotion on her feet. She sighed contentedly and sleepily stared at the beautiful ceiling--with colors and designs she couldn't recognize. She thought it was beautiful anyway, and so thinking, she fell asleep.

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