Watching for the Miracle

Watching for the Miracle

From Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul

Watching for the Miracle

All things are possible until they are proved impossible.

Pearl S. Buck

Cindy Plumpton’s brother had been missing now for almost nine months.

The Plumpton family, which included Cindy, then twelve, her fourteen-year-old brother, Kirk, and their parents, were spending their traditional summer vacation at their cabin in the Colorado mountains. The cabins were fairly secluded, separated from each other by trees. Because they knew all the families who had cabins close by, Cindy and Kirk had many friends there. Kirk’s best friend lived in the cabin next door. As he often did, Kirk had dinner at his friend’s place one evening. Just before dusk, he began to walk the hundred yards back to his family’s cabin. He never made it.

The state police, volunteers and his family combed those mountains for any trace of what might have happened to Kirk, but when winter came and fresh snow blanketed the earth, they had to halt the search.

It was shortly after that when I met Cindy at our church. Although she was quiet at first, there was something special that drew me to her. We became Sunday-school friends. It wasn’t until she invited me over to her house several weeks later that she told me about her brother. She and I didn’t go to the same school, but we saw each other every weekend after that. Sometimes I slept over at her house, although her parents wouldn’t let her sleep over at mine.

On a warm, sunny Saturday in April, I called her to say that my mom had agreed to drive us to the park. We could pack a lunch and take our bikes and make a day of it. Cindy sounded as excited about the day as I was, so when I got to her house an hour later, I was puzzled when she said she couldn’t go. She said that she was sorry and hoped I would understand, but there was a rainbow today and she had to stay home and wait for the news.

“What news?” I asked.

“About my brother,” she said, almost too excited to speak. “He’s going to come home today.”

“What? They found him?” I asked excitedly.

“Not yet, but they will.” Then she explained. “Instead of wishing on stars, my brother used to wish on rainbows. He used to say that stars were nothing special; you could see the many old night. But when you saw a rainbow, that was a miracle. Seeing this rainbow means a miracle is going to happen today. Kirk’s coming home. So you see, I have to stay home and wait for him. You understand, don’t you?”

I saw only hope in her large brown eyes, and I nodded yes, I understood. We hugged, and together we stared out the window at the rainbow, with hope in our hearts.

Cindy and her family weren’t at church the next day. The reverend announced that the Plumptons had received a call from the police in another county telling them that they had found a boy who fit Kirk’s description. He had been wandering the street, severely bruised and only semiconscious. Cindy was right! The rainbow had brought Kirk home. Cindy’s family immediately drove the three hours to the hospital where the boy was staying.

That night on the TV news, we found out that the boy the police had found was not Kirk. Although his face was swollen purple, the minute the Plumptons entered his hospital room, they knewhe was not their son. The news report said that the boy was still unidentified and in a coma.

Even though the boy in the coma wasn’t Kirk, the Plumptons stayed by his bedside every day. They did not want him to be alone when he awoke from his coma, which he did five days later. It turned out the boy was a runaway. The Plumptons notified his parents, who lived in another state and had no idea that their missing boy had been found. The parents were overjoyed, and the Plumptons left only after a tearful reunion between the boy and his parents.

When Cindy finally returned home, I was afraid to visit her. I was afraid because I didn’t want to see the disappointment that I knew would be on her face. When I finally went to her house and entered her room, she was staring out the window.

“I’m sorry it wasn’t Kirk.” The words barely got past the lump in my throat.

“Me too,” she said. “But there’ll be another rainbow. I just know it.”

“How can you still believe in rainbows? It didn’t bring your brother home.”

“The boy they found is my brother’s age. His name is Paul, and he has a sister, too. I knew the rainbow would bring a miracle. It just wasn’t our miracle this time. But I’ll see another rainbow. I just know it.”

Together, we stared out the window, with hope in our hearts.

Korina L. Moss

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