A smile escapes her lips as Hannah shakes off the doldrums that she finds herself in more often than not lately, and steals a moment to remember one of several trips to the beach. She hardly has time anymore to reflect on the days before . . . when life was good. Not that it isn’t good now, but there was a time when she was “like those who dream” (Ps 126:1 Amp). The days before . . . the disease.
“You are beautiful tonight Hannah”, said Hank as they slowly walked hand-in-hand along the sandy beach - the full moon reflecting off the water as the waves crashed against the shore. “I could do this forever, Hank. Do we have to go home tomorrow? It’s been such fun getting away from work and stuff. I love it when I can have you all to myself.”
“Oh yeah?” said Hank as he pulled Hannah closer to him and grinned that big teddy bear grin of his. “Maybe it’s time to head back then,” he said mischievously, picking up his pace a little.
Hannah loved nothing more than a moonlight walk on the beach with the love of her life, Hank. The three-day anniversary get-away to the beach, celebrating the fifteen year mark, was almost over and both of them had jobs waiting for them back home and the kids - one son, Jerry, 10 years old and one daughter, Janet, 8 years old.
But, the ring of the phone yanked Hannah back to reality as she jumped up to answer it. “Hey Mom it’s Jerry. Hope I didn’t wake you? How was your visit with Dad today?”
Jerry, their oldest, was faithful to call every day to check up on her. He was a shoulder for her to lean on in these tough times and was a regular visitor of Hank’s. Most days he could get a smile out of his father. “His spirit knows his own son,” reflected Hannah.
“Oh no” said Hannah, “I was still up and he has actually had a pretty good day today. He called my name three times today. That was nice. How are things with you?” Hannah said.
It didn’t matter that Hank didn’t know who she was now, she loved him still. That love for him had scaled many walls the last couple of years as the disease had slowly, but decidedly, been taking Hank away from her. But had she not agreed to stand by him “for richer or poorer, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, until death do you part when they got married?”
“Oh fine, I guess, I’m just a little tired but wanted to let you know me and Dad had a good visit today and to touch base with you Mom.” Jerry said.
He tried to sound cheerful, but Hannah could hear the sadness in his voice. He missed Hank too. Before the disease, he and his dad were practically inseparable.
“I know he misses you too Jerry,” Hannah said sadly. “We’ll just take each day as it comes.”
“I know, it’s just hard seeing him like that. He was so active before Mom. Anyway, hopefully tomorrow is another day. As long as there’s breath we can hope for a turnaround right?.
“That’s right. Better days are surely ahead,” said Hannah, hopefully. They said their usual “Goodnights” and “I love you” as Jerry hung up and then she was alone again.
“One more day, one more time, one more sunset Baby I’d be satisfied...” sang Diamond Rio over the radio softly as Hannah gets ready for bed. “Thank you Father, that this is not all there is. This life is just a dress rehearsal for the real life yet to come,” Hannah says encouraging herself. That song used to reduce her to a puddle of tears, but not tonight. She is aware of the strength of her heavenly Father enfolding her through the thoughts, prayers and helps of her family and church. “Has He not said that He would not allow more into my life than I could bear?” (1 Cor 10:13 KJV) With thanks Hannah gives it all to God again and climbs into their bed. “Thank you for every day that I am allowed to help him, Father. I am still his helpmate. I don’t have to, I get to. Thanks for the memories, Hank.”
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