Fan Fiction - Written by Doug Fowler - Television Universe

Three Prayers
Written by: Doug Fowler

As our family learned recently, sometimes when you haven't thought about prayer for a while, you suddenly remember when things get really tough. The Tanners seem much like ours, in my mind - saying grace at the first Thanksgiving episode, uttering some short prayers, Jesse wearing the cross necklace. They aren't that heavily involved in thinking about spiritual matters, though, until...


D.J. Tanner sat, stoic but concerned, as she observed the ambulance zooming out of the gate. The horse jumping contest was being delayed, because nobody could find Michelle. Or another rider, a girl she'd never seen, named Elizabeth.

Suddenly, one of the horses came galloping up to them. Is that Elizabeth, she wondered as the rider, about ten, hurried breathlessly toward them. She determined that the other rider had gone elsewhere - perhaps with the ambulance. She hadn't been able to make out features, the horses had been too distant.

To her mother's nervous query, Elizabeth answered, "Michelle fell off her horse." She told them that Michelle was breathing, but was otherwise motionless.

As others gasped in shock, D.J. instinctively recalled the lessons taught by her mother, who'd passed away nearly eight years ago. With the warm, sweet, and tender matriarch gone, though she was only ten, D.J. had felt a longing to fill her shoes. She'd not always done the right thing, and thankfully her father, Danny Tanner, had always encouraged her to be a kid. He'd never pressured her to fill in for her mother. That was the job of her Uncle Jesse, her dad's friend Joey, and later her Aunt Becky. Sure, she would do some things - take Stephanie to a mother-daughter slumber party, perhaps, or babysit Michelle when everyone had the chilcken pox. But, she didn't have to be the mother.

Still, from the craziness of that first Thanksgiving without Mom - after which she always remembered to thaw the turkey first - until now, she'd always felt a sort of emptiness, and pondered that her sisters likely felt even worse, even more in need. She wanted to be the best. And, while she couldn't solve every crisis, she tried to help with some, and for really bad ones, she remembered her mother teaching her who could.

So it was that D.J. ordered everyone to hold hands. "We need to pray right now," she commanded with authority. D.J., Stephanie, Becky, and Becky's three year old boys Nicky and Alex did something they didn't do often - probably not since last Thanksgiving - but yet something they knew was crucial.

"Lord," she began, thinking of how she and Stephanie would teach Michelle to freeze on command lest she run into a busy street, "our hearts go out to you right now, as we hear of Michelle's injury. She could have been out five minutes or twenty-five, we don't know. But Lord, You who kept us together after Mom's death, You who hold our lives in the palm of Your hand, You know how she is, and how scared we are right now. You know how without a mom we have sought to help and protect her from when she was a baby. We're scared, but yet we know You will take care of her." Stephanie sniffled. D.J. struggled to sound confident so Stephanie wouldn't be too scared.

"Lord, You have protected us from disaster before, such as when Michelle wandered off at Disneyworld," she prayed, trying hard to remember something positive, to give herself hope. "Even when we weren't following closely, which sadly was often, You gave us hope, and allowed us to get through our many problems. Even when others entered my life, like Steve, I always held such love for my sisters, sought to guide them, to be at least something of a role model to them. And though I've failed you at times with my selfsihness - what role model would sneak her little sisters into a PG-13 movie, for instance - You've kept bugging my conscience until I returned to you, kept giving me more chances, and letting me continue to grow."

Several around them, including Elizabeth on her horse, had begun praying, too. "Lord, we are so worried, especially with what happened with Mom. But, we know Michelle is in Your hands, and we pray that she not be hurt. We pray that there be no broken bones, that there be no bleeding or other injuries. We pray, that if there is anything wrong, that the paramedics and doctors discover it immediately, and that she be healed. You truly are in charge of this situation. You work all things together for good, to them that love God."

She sniffled. She couldn't bring herself to even silently pray that God's will would be done, or for peace and comfort if there were problems. She couldn't handle thinking about the possibility that God might mean, in His perfect wisdom, for there to be problems, or that this might be Michelle's time to go home just as it had been her mom's eight years ago. She merely said, "And if there are any problems, we pray right now for them to be healed, for Your wonderful mercies as she recovers."

She finished the prayer, and she ran to get her dad's car - Stepahnie had insisted on going with Elizabeth to see Michelle. She tried hard to get her mom's death out of her mind. And, to stop thinking about how scared Stphanie might be.

D.J. glanced, frustrated, at her clock - it read 4:23 AM. Michelle had regained consciousness, but had amnesia. Stephanie had had a nightmare, and awakened D.J. for comfort. And now, D.J. still couldn't get back to sleep.

She rose, pondering the hospital where Michelle, her dad, and Joey were. She wandered over to the room Stephanie, thirteen, shared with Michelle. She grinned slightly. Stephanie was asleep and clutching Mr. Bear, a prized stuffed animal given by their mom when Michelle was born.

She stood beside Stephanie's bed and lowered her head in a more pensive prayer, rather than the hurried plea for help earlier. "Thank you again that Michelle seems to be on her way to recovery except for her amnesia, which I pray will be healed quickly. And, I pray that the headaches she has continue to decrease.

"It was so hard helping Stephanie realize that she hadn't committed the unpardonable sin when she told Michelle she'd never forgive her after their figtht. But, she's always had trouble with forgiveness. I still remember when she put Joey's car through the kitchen. She ran away first. Then, she figured that Dad and everyone else hated her. Dad would never hit any of us, but she may have feared that he would. She certainly felt he should never hug or kiss her again. I remember taking her upstairs and comforting her while Dad thought about what to do to her. I told her to show him how remorseful she was, and she did. I think that's what she was doing tonight, too. Showing how badly she felt about that fight.

"I told her tonight, she just got too excited. And, she's always done that. I've had to be careful with her. I remember when Dad was real busy, a few months after Mom died. But, I knew if I let on how sad I was that he wasn't with us, it would make Stephanie cry. And, there were other times, when she's just been so hard on herself, dear Lord.

"But, it's like I told her that night, she didn't have to understand how Dad could forgive her for doing that, just accept it. And, I said it was the same way with Christ, and what He did for her on the cross. It was such a thrill watching her pray that night after she'd wrecked the car, asking that her sins be forgiven, trusting Jesus to save her and take her to heaven someday. We're all only a single, sincere prayer from eternal life, in the peace You meant for us to have.

"But now, she doesn't feel peace. And, as much as I yearn to give her mine, I can't. It's like when she called me out to the mound during that big baseball game. I couldn't tell her which was more important, throwing an easy pitch to please a boy she liked, or striking him out to win for her team. It hurt that I could only tell her to go with her heart. Did Mom hurt like that sometimes, when she couldn't help me?

"I don't know. All I can ask is that Your peace be with her. Help her to make the committments she needs to in her heart - to be more patient, forgiving, understanding. I so wish I could do it for her, just like when she was going to go joyriding with those boys she met. I'm so thankful I was there, to stop her. Because she can get so charged soemtimes. Don't let her be too hard on herself, but let her just go to the altar. Help her to lay it all at Your feet, Lord, so she - like the rest of us - can let go and help Michelle recover.

"But, most importantly, help her to be a great big sister. And to realize she's been a good one. I worry she doesn't think she has, and that she's going to stay mad at herself. Maybe, Lord, You can do something special to help her. Maybe there's soemthing special that Michelle can remember of her first, before any of us. I don't know where that came from, but it just popped into my head.

"I can see so many areas where I've helped Stephanie. And, I've made mistakes - like being so mad at Stephanie for spying on Steve and me. I just accept I blew it, and move on - I try hard to keep a really even keel, maybe even to be a little more serious than I might. I've tried extra hard for Stepahnie, because she has all of Mom's excitability. And, I'm just worried Stephanie can't see the good parts of herself.

"Thanks for listening and helping. And please, help Michelle get her memory back."

D.J. and Steve hugged on the best day of D.J. Tanner's life. Not only had the prom - complete with surprise date in her old boyfriend - been incredibly romantic, but Michelle had regained her memory shortly before she left. And, as if that wasn't enough, there was that other answered prayer...

After answering her weary dad's queries, she nearly floated upstairs, she was so happy - only to be met by more questions from Stephanie and Michelle.

D.J. knew she wouldn't sleep for a while, so she simply knelt beside her bed and prayed. "I'm so thankful that Michelle's not only home, but now fully recovered. Thank you, oh Lord, that Michelle not only remembers us all, but that there was a hint of something she remembered of Stephanie before any of us.

"Of course, she may have even remembered the men singing her bedtime song, as she did feel sleepy right after that. But, the first real sign, in her room right before her nap today, when she remembered looking for Stephanie for comfort around a bunch of strangers, that first day of Kindergarten, that was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes when I heard. And to Stephanie's. I'd told her she was a much better sister than she'd given herself credit for, and now she sees that. Of course, she might have gone on only remembering things from years past, or relying Stephanie like Dad said head injury victims sometimes relied on one person for everything, so I thank you, too, that the rest of her memory came together and that she has no further problems.

"Ord, I'm so thankful for my great family. But, it wouldn't be the same without these two precious sisters of mine.

"It's going to be tougher, as I go off to college. Please don't let them fly to Auckland this time, but help Stephanie and Michelle continue to grow closer, as they seem to be doing. In a way, I feel like my work has been done - and yet, I know also that they will always be coming to me in some way. Maybe to have me plan their weddings, or to just sit and talk about how to be a good mom.

"I do remember some things about Mom. But most importantly, I remember how I've always loved my sisters. Even the playful times when they'd be bugging me, it's been so wonderful. I've tried to be such an encouragement for Stephnie, let her help me to teach Michelle things - how to freeze, how to count, her alphabet, all sorts of neat things. And most importantly, how t6o just be the best young lady she can be.

"Who knows what will come of all that I've done. I know the important thing, though. My teen years might have seemed a little more awkward because of dealing with two younger sisters. But, I tried to keep giving away smiles, and fun, just like Mom would have done. I didn't always. But the world's hopefully a better place because of the work I did with them. And, I'm so thankful I did. Amen."