A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas, Texas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her, bracing themselves for the latest news. That afternoon, March 10, 1991, complications forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to undergo emergency surgery. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound, 9 ounces, Danae Lu arrived by cesarean delivery. 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% chance she will live through the night. If by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae could face if she survived. She would never walk, nor talk--- probably be blind; prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on. Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of drugged sleep, growing more and more determined their daughter would live to be a happy, healthy young girl. Fully awake, David knew he must confront his wife with inevitable. David walked in and said that they needed to talk about making funeral arrangements. Diana remembers saying, "No, that is not going to happen. 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. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana because Danae's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially "raw."

Kisses or caresses only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby against their chest. All they could do as Danae struggled beneath the ultra violet light was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

At last when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her for the very first time. Two months later, Danae went home from the hospital just as her mother predicted, even though doctors grimly warned that her chances of surviving, much less a normal life,were almost zero.

Today, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs whatever of any mental or physical impairments. Danae is everything a little girl can be and more - but that happy ending is far from the end of the story.

One blistering summer afternoon in 1996 in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap at the ballpark where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always Danae was busy chattering when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked her mother, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting a thunderstorm approaching, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

Danae closed her eyes again and asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet - it smells like rain." Caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders and loudly announced, "No, it smells like HIM. It smells like God when you lay your head on HIS chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with other children before the rain came. Her daughter's words confirmed, at least in their hearts, what Diana and all the members of the Blessing family had known 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 remembers well.., the smell of rain.

Author Anonymous