There it laid. Folded, and worn, each corner lovingly bent with creases from frequent use. Her pen was inserted in it where she had left it the night before. Her beautiful smile, that usually greets me when I walk into this room is gone. The creases in the sheets and the imprints in our bed are all that are left to show she had been their this morning. Tears flow down my cheeks, as I choke down the emotion overflowing me. Walking over to the table I grab that book, and thrust it into a drawer. Stomping out of the room I slam the door on a part of my life I never want to look at again.
I rip the biblical pictures off the wall. I throw the tender loving verses across the room rejoicing in each crack and break of glass. Anger at the world overtakes me as I start running through the house, tearing everything God related off of the wall. I find my bible laying on the kitchen table and throw it unceremoniously into the garbage. I find myself shouting,“Why have you deserted me? How can you be real? You who take away the one person in my life who made a real difference.
“ Nancy, whose sweet eyes and tender smile loved you unconditionally. She would hear nothing against you. Yet, you deserted her!!!!”
Stomping from the kitchen, I run up the stairs to my son’s bedroom. I rip off all the verses from his wall. I run into my daughters room and throw her bible away. Ripping pictures of Jesus from her dresser. Spitting on the last supper as it ends up torn to shreds in the bottom of a rubbish can. Glass angels smash to the floor and all this time I hear a howling in my ear. The anger makes me deaf to anything but my rage!!! As I smash another nativity scene found on my daughters dresser, I hear something louder then the howl of anger, a distinct moan of remorse.
Turning I see my mother holding out my wife’s book. The one I distinctly remember putting in her night stand. “What are you doing with that?” I walk over to her and attempt to snatch it from her grasp. She had no right to touch it. No right to hold those sacred pages.
My mom holds firmly to the book, her blue eyes filling with tears as she looks around the room that once was a picture of serenity. Now it looked like no less then a war zone in Iraq. Pictures, pillows, clothes all strewn around the room. Pages ripped unceremoniously from the bible. Mom tries to put things right but soon gives up.
Instead she looks at me with sadness and says, “Nancy would never have wanted you to act like this.” With that she walks away setting my wife’s book on the dresser in my daughters room and pats my shoulder gently before leaving.
There is that book again, staring at me. Almost like it has a life of it’s own. Slowly I take it, caressing the well worn cover, bringing the book up to my nose, I smell her perfume faintly wavering from the pages. Huge sobs escape and I feel my feet sliding out from underneath me. Then to my surprise the book falls from my grasp and opens to the last entry Nancy ever wrote. Here I lay on my daughter’s floor my eyes flitting over the words in front of me.
I know Dan blames you for my suffering. He looks at the pictures I have of you with accusing eyes. But I know for a fact that your love has always been around me. From the first day I picked up this dreadful disease you have never deserted me. You have given me such peace in my heart that I have never wanted anything else.
When the doctors said it was hopeless it was your voice in my heart that said nothing is hopeless. When Dan gave into dispair and anger you came to me with love and hope. When I started attending church and cherishing your words it was Dan who tried to stop it.
Without those few verses I read every night I would have broken down along time ago. Without the loving church family you found us I would have died of loneliness for Dan never understood the true meaning of fellowship, and without Pastor Bill’s generous offer of time I would never have committed my whole life to you.
Lord, tell Dan I love him....tell him to be strong for the children. Help him to find forgiveness for both himself and you. Let him realize the strength in which you gave me and help comfort him through his sorrow.
Staring at the page, I wipe at the tears and feel ashamed. What had I done? Bowing my head I feel my heart cry out for understanding and I pray I am not too late to ask for forgiveness. Nancy had it right, and I had it wrong. I tried to rip hope away from her because I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand how much relief and happiness God gave her. So now I sit here on my daughter’s floor realizing for the first time who the real villain is.
Taking the pen from it’s page with my right hand trembling I begin to write:
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