John reached out his hand toward the back of her brown matted hair, observing the faint spirals of wire spattered throughout her crown, and then he stopped. No point in frightening her, she may not remember who he is.
She turned and gave him a strange look, he still wasn't sure if she recognized him yet.
"Please Jesus, let her recognize me today."
Her face looked slightly zig zag, she started to cry and then chortled and then with a deep breath was calm.
"Remember, John, when we went to that crazy tent meeting?"
"Oh, the one in Duncan?"
"Yes, and the kids didn't want to go, but you were so crazed enthused we went anyway?"
He was startled by her coherence, it was like having his girl back.
"Yes, it had Jesus is Lord in big letters and I was so excited I almost hit another car on my way in!"
"The kids were terrified and I was very skeptical, but it turned out to be a wonderful event."
"Well, I guess, but remember how the evangelist tried to get me to fall down in the spirit and I just stood there?!"
John could feel the excitement of the day pulsing in his fingertips. He wanted to reach towards her and dance with her.
"Yes John, that was fantastic and is so true of you, sometimes caught up foolishly in the moment...but always ready to defend your own beliefs...except... later you invited the evangelist home with us. He told us about his wife who had a form of dementia. He was so discouraged because here he was praying over others to be healed and his own wife was dying."
"Yes, I wish I had really listened to him then, I had no idea how hard it was for him."
"But you spoke to him, you opened up the Bible and read to him......later you decided to become a pastor and quit your job as an accountant!"
"Yes, I remember." John felt slightly colder, his eyes became a slate gray and his wife seemed a bit hazier to focus on at the other end of the table.
"What happened John?" she whispered.
"Well, you got sick honey, and then, well, I got old..."
He started to wring his hands the initial excitement of the memory was starting to awaken something else in him.
"John, you are only 67 and you can take care of yourself and others!"
He longed so desperately to reach out and hug her. He wanted to hold her closer than he had ever held her before.
"I know honey... but I always took care of you."
"Please John you have to let me go."
He smiled, looked towards the pasty glass window leading to outside of this sterile place and to beyond.
Just then an orderly poked his head into the room. "Who are you talking to John?"
"Oh, no one..."
"Ahh, OK, well, I will get your dinner then, looks like some of your favorite TV shows are playing tonight."
John turned toward the orderly and his face looked brighter than it had been in six months.
"You know, forget dinner! I think I will head downtown and help out making dinner at the center tonight....You know, I won't be staying past tomorrow, I've got things to do still...yep, I still have things to do....."
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