Reorganized Priorities by Ariel Driskell

Reorganized Priorities is the story of young woman who has been estranged from her father for several years, only to be reunited with him when she agrees to donate one of her kidneys to save his life.

Reorganized Priorities is a story about heart break, forgiveness, and unconditional love between a daughter and her estranged father. When they realize that life is all too fleeting, they reunite, creating a bond strong than ever, because in the end, family is all anyone really has. This is a story about the importance of family, and realizing that no matter what differences you may have, you have to stick together. Also, I do understand that I will not be paid if my short story is used, and that is fine with me.

The story begins...
Journey inhaled deeply trying to calm herself as she walked up the steps of the hospital. Three weeks ago, she received a call from her brother Tommy, informing her that their father needed a kidney transplant, and unfortunately, Tommy wasn’t a match. Without giving it a second thought, Journey was tested to see if she would be a match, and as fate would have it, she was.

As she entered the lobby, she was surprised to find Tommy waiting for her. “It’s so good to see you,” Journey said as she and her brother embraced. “Where’s Mom?” she asked hoping to have a moment alone with them both. She was still close to the two of them, despite what happened between her and her father. “Upstairs, I needed a break,” Tommy said, intertwining her arm inside his, and leading her into the cafeteria. “So, how is he?” “He’s Dad, still bossing people around,” Tommy replied shrugging his shoulders and laughing a little. But when he saw the concerned look on Journey’s face he knew now was not the time for jokes. 

“I have a confession to make, J,” Tommy said, pausing and taking a sip of his coffee. “The day I found out I wasn’t a match, I was relieved.”  He wiped away his tears that had unexpectedly begun to fall.Journey knew what he’d shared was hard for him. She reached across the table and took his hands into hers. “It’s okay. Surgery can be scary for anyone.” Being a nurse had its advantages and she knew her family would be looking to her for answers to their many questions about the surgery. “Daddy is going to be fine,” Journey said in her most authoritative voice. She wasn’t sure who she was trying to convince more, Tommy or herself. “That’s my J, always the pillar of strength.”

Tommy admired her a great deal and often wished he’d made more of his own decisions in life. Because according to his father, there had never been a question of whether Tommy was going to be a lawyer. And Tommy questioned if he had made the right decision after seeing how happy Journey was with her life. Journey hoped that their heart to heart had brought him some comfort.

But unfortunately, it hadn’t brought her much, and her thoughts returned to what type of welcome she would receive from her father. She said a silent prayer as she walked into the lion’s den, wearing her heart on her sleeve. Her mother was sitting beside his bed, listening to her husband complaining about one thing after the other. He stopped speaking once he saw Journey enter the room and looked at her with a blank stare.

“Journey, you’re here.” Her mother was happy to see her and embraced her ever so tightly. She hadn’t seen Journey since her last visit out West almost two years ago. And she hated that they were seeing one another again under these circumstances.            

James made a grumbling sound before speaking. “I wasn’t sure you would come.” “Of course I came.” Journey wanted to go to him, but her feet felt as heavy as concrete. Sensing her daughter’s hesitation, Ella walked over to James, and kissed him on the cheek. “Be nice,” she whispered in his ear. “She is about to save your life.” “And we gave her life, how ironic is that?” James replied, looking up at his wife. She squeezed his hand, and kissed him goodbye once more. “Despite what he says, he is happy to see you,” Ella said, hugging her daughter again. She was the glue that held them all together, and they loved her for it.  “Don’t let him break you,” Tommy whispered to Journey before opening the door for his mother. And then they were gone, and Journey was alone with her father.             

“How are you feeling, are you comfortable?” Journey asked as she slowly approached his bed.  “You look so much like your mother,” James said with a half hearted smile.  “You should see Elizabeth .  She has Momma’s smile.” Journey’s spirits were lifted by the thought of her daughter. “Why did you stay away so long?”Journey thought for a moment before answering. “You told me there was no place for me here. What was I supposed to do?” 

“You were going to be a doctor. The next thing I knew you were dropping out of medical school and getting married to a man your mother and I barely knew.”Journey could hear the pain in his voice as though it had all happened yesterday. “Daddy, Bruce is a good man, but you never gave him a chance. Once you heard I didn’t want to be a doctor that was the end of our conversation. ”

“I didn’t understand why you were in such a rush to get married. It wasn’t like you to be so impetuous.” “We were and still are very much in love, Daddy. I have a wonderful life that you know nothing about.” She instantly regretted thinking this was the time or the place to discuss their issues. 

“You need your rest. I’ll be back tomorrow.” She squeezed his hand afraid to show him any other signs of affection.As James watched Journey walk away, he knew he needed to make things right between them. “Motherhood has changed you,” he called out to her, as she opened the door. “You have always been strong, but now, you have grace. I love you, Journey.” 

“Oh, Daddy!” Journey dropped her purse and ran back to his bed. “I love you too,” she said, unable to hold back her tears any longer. For seven years that was all she wanted to hear. It was as though a weight had been lifted from her shoulders, and her world was whole again.The surgery went well and James embraced his second chance at life that God had given him. And he vowed to be a better man for his family.

Ariel Driskell holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Psychology from Florida A & M University. Her first romance novel, A Life Less Interrupted, is scheduled to be released in mid to late 2011.  You can reach her at  or check out her blog