“Concentration! Hmm... What does it actually mean Dave? Oh I do hate crosswords!” Dave glanced up from the Evening News, and fixed Mel with one of those long, incredulous, can’t believe you said that, sort of looks.
“Mel,” he began, “Here’s a small clue to help you. It’s something that you’re very bad at!”
“Thanks Dave,” smiled Mel. “It’s OK. Encarta’s told me. It’s the amount of a substance dissolved in another.”
“Hmph! snorted Dave retreating behind his newspaper. “One up to you this time!”
Dave had been concerned for some time about Mel. The little oddities and nuances were becoming more regular and disconcerting. At forty five Mel could still pass for ten years younger, with her slender figure and sprightly gait. And busy! Mel always had a deadline to meet. In fact, thought Dave, it’s Tuesday night, and here’s Mel pouring over a stuffy puzzle book, when she’s due down at the swimming club in ten minutes.
“Is it time you were off Mel,” Dave asked hesitantly.
“It’s only 7pm Dave. Bit early for bed.”
“The Brownies Mel. It’s splash night for the kids. Forgotten?” Mel’s mouth fell open.
“Oh gosh! Dave I had forgotten. I thought today was Monday. What am I like! I’ll have to stop concentrating so hard on concentration,” she giggled as she pulled on the trainers by the door. And picking up the car keys she was gone.
Dave’s heart was heavy as he watched his pretty little spouse of twenty years reverse out of the driveway. How long had it been now, coming up two years? A book was lying open on the table where Mel had abandoned it. Dave turned the pages to reveal the cover. ‘Tips to improve your memory. ’ Despair and anger welled up inside as he fought to hold back the tears.
“Why God Why? Why my beautiful, innocent soul mate? She’s trusted you with all her heart for as long as she remembers. She’s refused treatment because she believes in your healing power. You promised that anything she asked in faith, believing....and....well, she almost had me believing it too.” Bitterness gave way to hopelessness and the tears began to roll, just as they had when the doctor had given them the results of the brain scan almost two summers ago.
“This is an aggressive tumour with a poor prognosis.” he’d said, “But with a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude life expectancy could be longer than the average two years.” He’d pulled no punches, but offered surgery and chemo to give Mel a fighting chance.
“No thank you doctor,” she’d said politely as though being offered a cup of tea. “I’ll leave it in the Lords hands.” Such faith, remembered Dave. Such total, absolute, all out genuine faith in the power of God to heal. He saw reserves of strength in this little lady than he had never imagined.
But now, sometimes, just here and there, the cracks were beginning to show. Mel forgot to light the oven before the roast, carefully wrapped in foil, surrounded by potatoes was placed inside. Sunday lunch turned into a Big Mac and fries which made Mel chuckle for days.
“Oh Dave, I’m losing my marbles” she laughed. “Wait while I tell Doctor Elliot that one.” The doctor smiled too and suggested she may find word puzzles useful. To help with concentration, he’d said. Use it or lose it! Well, as far as Dave could see, she was using it and losing it, and the pace was speeding up.
In the days before Mel succumbed to her bed, she and Dave were sitting on the patio watching sparrows pecking at the ants.
“Mel; why didn’t God make this thing go away?” whispered Dave.
“Dave, didn’t Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? He could just as easily have zapped my brain tumour had it been in His purpose for my life. I left it with Him Dave. I asked for nothing but that I could leave all the worry and care in his hands. He took it from me and held me close. That’s all I needed. I trusted Him Dave. He hasn’t failed me.” With frail fingers Mel chased a tear down Dave’s cheek.
“Didn’t Jesus say that in His father’s house were many mansions? Well, I’m just going on ahead of you to pop a roast in the oven!
Dave.... It’s time now. Let go and Let God. There’s no other way! And I love you.”
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