Like a drowning man, reaching out towards the sunlight above him, he dragged himself from night,s clinging mire. Slowly surfacing into reality from the land of dreams, his senses gradually coming back to him.

Where was he?

Sometimes it was hard to know what country he was in, let alone the location of the room he was waking up in.

His sleep befuddled mind, like a camera zooming in on an image gradually began to focus.

Thoughts of last year rushed through his mind. Leaving his home and the county the loved. His family and friends were now many thousands of miles away. He had left all and everything he had ever known. Heading West as the people had done hundreds of years before. To start a new life in a promised land.

As with the early settlers, he had taken very little with him, leaving so many memories and dreams behind.

There had been times in those first few months, and in fact there still were, when he wanted give it all up and just crawl into a corner and hide. There were times his head would say enough is enough. The last few years of his life had been such a roller coaster ride of emotions, days and weeks filled with dark despair or heights of happiness.

Helped by faceless friends who had been there through his very darkest hours.
He gave up a silent prayer to those people.
With their help he had got through it, each day another step along the road to happiness, to the star that was his future.
He remembered some nights he had spent shrouded by curtains of tears, not sure how or if he could go on, but he had.

He glanced at the clock; it was 4:26 in the morning. The quiet of the night almost ready to welcome the sounds of the day. The first fingers of dawn's golden glow just starting to show in the East.

Sighing again, he thought about what had gone before, what had brought him to where he now was. Was he right to do all he had? To leave his home, his family, everything?
He had made many mistakes on his life's journey, was this another one?

A small sound brought him back to reality, reminding him of why he was awake at this hour.

Leaving his warm bed, his dreams scattered like ships by a storm, left stroon upon night's wings. He moved towards the sound, a pair of deep blue eyes looked up at him, reflected in the soft silver glow of the moon.

As he bent down a very small hand grasped his finger.

Yes. Yes it had all been worth it, the despair, then pain, the hardship, the worry. Looking down, he looked into the eyes of his reward, his very special gift, his daughter.

Tears filled his eyes, this time of happiness. And a warm hand reached to hold his, as he felt the warmth of her standing next to him. She was the reason he was here, the reason had gone through everything. Her scent filled his senses, and his heart skipped a beat as it always did when she was near.

Yes of course it had been worth everything.
He held her hand, and knew it was just so, so right.

He was with the woman he loved, and together they had produced the most special gift of all their daughter who now filling the nights stillness with her own sound to let them both know she was hungry.

This was the future.
This was happiness.
This was love.

To see the "Precious Gift" go to VICTORIA PAIGE

Barry Eva 2001