Reviews for All Grace Abounds
Jennygeee chapter 7 . 4/13/2007
I’m so sorry I didn’t review this chapter – I didn’t realise I hadn’t until I received your beautifully written reply to my last review! Thank you so much – I truly wish I had your way with words. When I was in church this Sunday the vicar who took the service was retired but because it was Easter we had an extra communion (usually it’s once a month), so our own vicar was busy at our sister church. The point of this little bit of info is that the sermon this retired vicar gave actually brought me to tears, it was so powerful and honestly said from the heart about how a newspaper article had described God as a sadist sending his own Son to death etc, when in fact it was actually us who had done that and that God had brought Jesus to new life. I know it doesn’t sound much or any different from what we have heard before but it was just the way he spoke- I actually couldn’t sing the next hymn and would have gladly gone outside and cried my eyes out! (I know it doesn’t sound very dramatic but honestly, it was the best sermon I have ever listened to).

I don’t know why I’m telling you all this other than the fact that your fic here had a similar effect on me, full of hope and the way you saw Matthew 11:28 twice was surely a message. ‘Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’ That was so perfect for your fic and for life itself!

I’m sorry I’m not able to give you a detailed review or put in quotes (it is a while since I read it),and I so wish I had your way with words, I am just able to let you know how I ‘feel’ about your fic and I really hope you write more like this. Thank you CherylW - I've put it in my favourite list.
cHoCoLaTe-cHiHuAhUa chapter 7 . 4/7/2007
Awesome story!
l'ananaquiparle chapter 7 . 4/5/2007
this is a wonderful story. i love how you incorporated matt 11:28...it's one of my favorites. keep on writing! god bless.
EagleGirl6 chapter 7 . 4/1/2007
Cheryl, beautiful ending to a great story:) You always have a wonderful way of wrapping things up. It's not quite my cup of tea, but you always have such an uplifting message in your stories and I hope you never stop sharing:)

Thanks,

Kelly
Pretender68 chapter 7 . 3/31/2007
I loved this story! So well written and touching. Nice job!
pandora jazz chapter 7 . 3/31/2007
There is so much I loved about your story and the final chapter was a perfect ending.

I enjoyed the opening scene with the brothers sitting on the bed as Sam wrapped Dean's hands and than the flashback to when they were kids.

Favorite lines - When Sam checked on Dean as a child, 'to reassure himself that Dean hadn't slipped away from him, hadn't gone somewhere he couldn't follow.' Than when Dean thought about what Sam is to him, 'his protector, his right hand man, his fiercest supporter and his best friend' So true!

Loved the moment of rough housing between the brothers and Sam taking the lead to open the door over Dean's objections. It was nice that Ethan came to check on Sam and Sam could say thanks.

I can just imagine the 'discussion' Sam had with Dean as he worried about staying another night. Though I think Sam would figure a way to break Dean out of jail.

What a sweet visit with Kyle, Dean is always so good with little kids. I'm glad that Kyle recognized Sam was one of the good guys too.

You picked the perfect verse for Dean. I loved Sam's concern for his brother and 'for Dean's pain that always hurt Sam as if it were his own.'

Dean opening up to Sam about their mother, beautiful scene, it made me cry the first time I read it. I loved how Mary taught Dean to pray.

I'm glad that Sam shared some of what he felt and did while Dean was in the hospital. If Dean remembered, he would see how torn up Sam was not being able to help him.

The ending was perfect, 'Hey God, its Dean...' 'Hey God, its Sam'

My parents watch 'Supernatural', well the first season, the second season got too depressing and angry. Which I can understand, I love Jensen and Jared, their acting is awesome, yet only really liked a few episodes before "The Usual Suspects", since than the season has been why I love the show. The point of my rambling is I'm going to have my mom read your story, she loved your Christmas prayer.

Thanks for sharing your faith and story with us.

Take care.
mtee1958 chapter 7 . 3/30/2007
Cheryl - you do such a wonderful job. That was a great touching story.

I always say - you just have to take the journey - no matter how hard it may seem - there's a destination ahead that will make everything worthwhile.
Sera and Tails chapter 7 . 3/29/2007
It took ages to get the chapter to load! It was very frustrating having your update sitting in my inbox for days, unable to read it. Finally!

Lovely ending chapter. "Cop hugger" made me laugh out loud, as did a milliom other little things. ("I half expect to pass Michael Landon hitchhiking on our way out of town, doing his whole “highway to heaven” gig,”"ROFL!)I did like the verse you chose (I'm hardly devout enough to even be called Christian, so I guess you can say I'm Christian by association LMAO!)and the words were absolutely beautiful and meaningful.

Nice parallel to some great moments in "The Benders" How great was that Michael Jackson line and of course Dean and his adorable-ness with the "Godzilla boy."

As for the concrit; There were one or two teeny little errors, but I'm not in my usual anal editor mode tonight. You might want to look it over for a few spacing issues as well.

Thanks for a great read!

Cheers,

Sera
Foxy-Pancho chapter 7 . 3/29/2007
Oh my Gosh...this was one of the most touching stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading! You are such a talented writer, and you have such a knack for catching Dean and Sam's beautiful, I-want-to-tell-you-that-I-care-but-I-don't-do-chick-flick-moments relationship! I enjoyed every single chapter...you even managed to pull a few tears out of me in the end! Thank you for sharing such a inspirational story...I absolutely loved the end, with Mary and the scripture and the final lines...oh, I'm tearing up again! Fantastic job!
Rhesa chapter 7 . 3/29/2007
Thankyou so much for your beautiful, powerful, moving and encouraging story. I really needed it! God bless and please write another story soon.
purehalo chapter 7 . 3/29/2007
So beautiful. The brother moments and the moment with Dean and Kyle and the bookmark had me reading with tears in my eyes.

You write emotion so very very well and it seems to ooze from the page into the eyes of the reader

Thank you so much for sharing this

X
dutchtulips chapter 7 . 3/29/2007
Oh, this was such an amazing fic. You did such a wonderful job on it. I loved every bit of it. ;-) The brotherness of it was just so brilliantly executed, and the amounts of drama, tension, and emotion were perfectly blended. I could picture everything so clearly. Major kudos!
mcatB chapter 7 . 3/29/2007
Great story, Cheryl! I thought the characterizations were spot on! Loved how this last chapter went - with the flashbacks to Sam taking care of Dean, to Dean remembering his mom's handkerchief... And if Dean wants to hug another cop, I'm available!
Poppyflake chapter 7 . 3/29/2007
Loved it - thanks for posting.
SophieSaulie chapter 7 . 3/29/2007
Cheryl,

LOVELY CONCLUSION to a very lovely and moving story. I LOVED that you included Mary and her faith in the story. The mention of it was so brief in Houses of the Holy, but so revealing and it was so appropriate that there as in your story, it's Dean who relates that faith because Sam was too young or not born. I LOVED IT! You did a great job of turning this story into a very uplifting one.

As always, my fav. parts:

“Dean, you had pneumonia. Were in the hospital three days,” Sam pointed out, shaking his head. ‘Leave it up to Dean to forget such details.’ Putting his focus back on his brother’s current hurts, Sam wound the bandage around Dean’s palm. But the memories weren’t so readily banished. Sharply he recalled the weight that had settled on his ten year old shoulders, the terrifying worry that he would fail in his duty to protect Dean, to take care of him as well as Dean had always taken care of him. Remembered waking up in the middle of the night, sprinting from his bedroom, practically running to his brother’s room, needing to hear the still marginally strenuous breathes of his brother, to touch Dean’s forehead to ensure that his fever hadn’t climbed, to reassure himself that Dean hadn’t slipped away from him, hadn’t gone somewhere he couldn’t follow. - LOVE this memory. Sounds like Dean.

“Well, you only look a little worse for the wear. Your brother was really worried about you,” Ethan supplied, unaware that his words caused Sam’s own cheeks to go pink, made the younger man gladly bend over and retrieve the bandage from the floor because it offered him a momentary reprieve from his brother’s eye contact. Sam didn’t have to look at his brother to know Dean would be wearing a cocky smile.

“I appreciate that you gave him a lift to the hospital. I was glad he was there,” Dean sincerely admitted, his eyes straying from Ethan’s to land on Sam’s stunned but pleased expression. - I LOVED Dean's courtesy and gratitude for both of them here.

Sam fought hard to keep the smile from his lips at his brother’s worried expression. “Well I…I crawled into the bed with you…” At Dean’s horrified look, Sam’s laughter broke free, ruining his deception. He was laughing so hard he could barely choke out the rest of his joke, “Yeah I put your head on my shoulders.”

“Ah shut up!” Dean ordered, chuckling, as he turned his back on Sam and walked toward the table. But to his surprise, the bandage on his right hand inexplicably tightened. Turning, Dean tracked the bandage from his hand across the distance that stretched out between himself and his still laughing brother. - CUTE and FUNNY moment between brothers!

“Hey, I don’t need any thank you gifts, Kyle,” Dean gently protested, as the boy held out the box to him.

“It’s not really a thank you gift it’s more …” Shooting an uncomfortable look from Dean to Sam and back to Dean, Kyle swallowed down his fear. “Well, I just wanted to give this to you…so you’d…you know, remember me.”

Blindsided by the boy’s desire to connect with him, to be remembered by him, Dean had to clear his suddenly thick throat before he could vow, “I won’t forget you, Kyle.”

“I really want you to have this. My grandfather gave it to me,” Kyle persisted, still offering the box to Dean.

“No, really, Kyle. If it was from your grandfather…” Dean contested, raising his hands but the boy’s unflappable words overrode his own.

“My Dad said I could give it to you and I want to, Dean.” His eyes fleetingly skipping to Sam, Kyle again focused on Dean, knew that he couldn’t say all he wanted to in the presence of Dean’s brother but wanted to say something, to convey that he kept his promises too. “Dad and I talked last night…about a lot of things and it went OK, better than I ever thought it would.”

Dean understood what the boy was saying, what he didn’t want to spell out with Sam in the room. The pact they had made, Kyle was upholding it, was letting his father really get to know him. “That’s good and I’m…” Dean wanted to let Kyle know he hadn’t forgotten his own pledge but it was hard with Sam there, watching him, hanging on his every word. Settling on vagueness, Dean offered, “I’m trying to do my part too,” feeling a burning need to look at Sam but didn’t, couldn’t.

Easily reading the pride for him in Dean’s eyes, Kyle felt his desire to give the older man the gift burn even brighter in him. Looking down at the box in his hand, Kyle shyly revealed, “It’s nothing much really. But it always meant something to me.” Raising his eyes to meet Dean’s, the boy said with more conviction, “I think it’ll mean something to you. Please take it,” he entreated, holding the box out to Dean again.

With measured care, Dean reached out and took the small box from the boy. He opened the lid slowly, revealing an engraved brass bookmarker. Reaching inside, Dean picked up the bookmarker and tilted it in his palm so the etched words were discernible against the polished metal.

‘Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’ –Matthew 11:28

- LOVE THIS SCENE!

“I’m sorry…it was a dumb thing to give you. You don’t have to take it..” Kyle stammered, fighting tears of frustration and embarrassment.

At the boy’s words, Dean shook his head and hoarsely said, “No.” Raising his head, he met Kyle’s fearful expression. “No, I ….I want to keep it.”

“But it….” Kyle didn’t know how to label the other man’s response to his gift.

Sam had no such problem. “It hurts you,” he breathed out, his voice cracking, his hold tightening on Dean’s arm.

Dean’s look settled back onto the bookmarker. Running his thumb reverently over the etched words, he nodded before meeting his brother’s eyes. “Yeah, but in a good way, Sam.” Turning to Kyle, Dean rallied himself to open up to the boy, to open up to Sam, to let someone know him, even some part of him that he had tucked away even from himself. Between the boy’s fearful expression and Sam’s anxious presence at his side, Dean found the strength to step free of his barriers.

-THIS ONE TOO! Sigh!

“Kyle, my mom…she had a handkerchief with this verse on it. She …she was going to give it to me when I…” Dean broke off, looked down again at the engraved words on the bookmaker as he scrambled to not let his voice shatter, to not let his soul splinter apart. It had been so long ago, another lifetime ago, felt as if it were someone else, someone else’s memories that he was recalling, someone else’s mother who had sat on another boy’s bed, an embroidered handkerchief in her hand.

Tears sprang to Sam’s eyes, not for the mother that he had never really known but for his brother, for Dean’s pain that always hurt Sam as if it were his own. Forgetting that Kyle even existed, Sam gave Dean’s arm a reassuring squeeze, felt as if a spear pierced his heart when Dean’s pain hued eyes met his.

“She never got the chance,” Dean forced out the words, surprised that they came out merely a breath of air, barely any strength to them, any volume. By Sam’s flinch, he knew they had reached his brother’s ears, had sailed straight into Sam’s ever vulnerable heart. Ashamed that he had hurt Sam, Dean turned to Kyle, smiled an emotional smile, “You’ve given me something I’ve been looking for Kyle. Thank you,” and then Dean stepped forward and gently pulled the boy into a hug, felt the small arms tighten around him before he pulled back. “I won’t forget you, kiddo. Now we’ve got to hit the road but I want your word that you’ll take care of yourself.”

“I will, Dean,” Kyle promised. “And you take care of yourself too.”

- SOB! SO TOUCHING!

Meeting Sam’s inquiring look, Dean revealed, “Mom’s parents died in a car accident when she was twelve. That’s why mom was raised by her aunt and uncle.”

“I knew they died but I never knew how they died,” Sam stated, without accusation.

- I LOVED this little inside story. We know so little about Mary.

“I asked her if she missed her parents, if she was sad they had gone. And she told me the truth,” Dean quietly explained, turning back to face Sam. “She was packing away her parents things when she found the handkerchief and it…” He swallowed, cleared his throat. “She said she read the verse and she didn’t feel alone anymore, understood that although bad things happened in life, God still loved her, that He would help her to be happy again, even though her parents were gone.”

And Dean remembered the way his mother had smiled then, a smile that lit up the room, ‘And you know what? God did it. I was happy again when I met your father, and then He blessed me with you and then with little Sammy. He kept His promise, Dean. He made things better when I didn’t think they ever would be again.’

- THIS WAS SO WONDERFUL! I JUST CRIED!

If anyone was weary, was burdened, Dean was. If anyone deserved rest, had earned a respite against the harshness of life, was worthy of shelter, Sam knew it was his brother, above anyone else he had ever known. “Dean…” he said brokenly, looking up at his brother, a tear slipping down his cheek, finding Dean’s eyes were swimming too. - SOB!

“Like you taught me to,” Sam correlated, his tone soft, gentle and his eyes drawn to Dean, felt reassured, strengthened as he met Dean’s tender green gaze.

“Yeah,” Dean agreed, surprised and touched that Sam remembered that he had taught him that and not their father.

A moment laterSam tentatively called, “ Dean,” shooting a look to Dean, rewarded with his brother’s full attention.

“Hm?”

“You know you asked…..wanted to know about …how it was…with you in the hospital…” Sam struggled to get the words out, to bravely revisit those terrifying hours when Dean was slipping away from him, was going where he couldn’t follow. But Sam knew that whatever his admission would cost his pride, would exact on his heart, it would be a small price to pay.

“Sam, don’t,” Dean warned, recognizing the intensity in his brother’s eyes, knew that this time Sam would tell the truth, would rip open his soul, would make himself vulnerable, for him, because he cared for him. - GREAT!

But Sam refused to be swayed. For once the truth would not hurt but heal, would not condemn, but save, would irrefutably proclaim that he loved Dean, needed him, not just as his protector but as his brother, as the other half of his soul. “I might have held your hand for awhile…” Sam shot Dean a look full of pain and embarrassment and love, “I might have blubbered…for a little while.”

“Please tell me there was some hot nurse you wanted to impress with your sensitive side? You know, show that you cared about your brother so you didn’t come off as a jerk,” Dean retorted, but his tone was too low, too unsteady to effectively conceal the fact that Sam’s words had made his eyes tear up, had sent a pang through his heart.

Beautifully done!
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