Mary slowly made her way down the long hallway, stopping once to catch her breath. It seemed to her as if each time she walked this familiar path it became longer and longer with every trip. Today Mary almost felt like one of those slow-motion cartoon characters her grandson Sam watched on television. She sighed and took a step forward, willing her legs to finish the length of the hallway. Stopping in front of Room 114, Mary reached for the handle when a voice behind her caused her to pause.
Before she turned around, Mary recognized the voice of Lori, her husband’s nurse. She turned to see the young lady briskly walking toward her with a concerned look on her face.
“Mrs. Wedding, I wonder if we could talk before you visit with your husband today,” Lori said as she reached for Mary’s hand, “there’s something you need to know.”
Fearing the worst but resolving not to jump to any conclusions, Mary simply nodded as Lori led her into the cheerful, sunny room at the end of the hall.
“You know,” Mary said softly as she glanced around the familiar room, “this was always Ed’s favorite place to be when he first came to live here. His mind was still so sharp back then and oh my goodness, what a quick wit he had!”
“That’s what I’ve heard,” said Lori, “I wasn’t here four years ago when your husband moved in, but the other nurses have told me what a brilliant man he was and how loveable and funny he was. I only wish…”
“I know,” Mary said, “I wish you had known him then too. Before that thief came to steal the wonderful man I married. Sometimes I find myself wondering when the pain will ever end and Ed will have the peace he deserves.”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about, Mrs. Wedding,” Lori said softly, “the end.” She went on, “The nurses tell me that it’s been over a year since Mr. Wedding has had any moments of lucidity. Is that true?”
“Yes, that’s about right.” Mary answered.
“That’s what I thought,” Lori continued,” that’s why what I have to tell you is so amazing. Yesterday after you left, I went in to Mr. Wedding’s room to check on him. He was staring out the window as usual. Suddenly he turned toward me, looked me straight in the eyes and spoke to me.”
“He spoke?” Mary asked, incredulously.
“Oh yes, he said to me, ‘young lady, this life is not the end.’” Lori went on, “I was so amazed that he had spoken that I simply stood there staring at him with my mouth gaping open.”
“Please, tell me everything he said,” Mary said excitedly.
“There’s not much more. Mr. Wedding went on to say that God had spoken to him in a dream and that a woman was coming to see him who needed to hear that message. I’ll tell you, Mrs. Wedding, I have no doubt in my mind that your husband was given that message for me at a time I desperately needed to hear it. Recently I had been getting involved with some things that I knew I really shouldn’t, but I just got caught up before I could stop myself. I had even begun to question God’s existence.”
Mary sat speechless, tears welling up in her eyes. “Go on, dear.”
“I told Mr. Wedding that God had used him to deliver that message of hope to a girl who was quickly becoming hopeless. Then he said one last thing to me.”
“What was that?”
“He said, “Lori, Jesus has not forgotten your commitment to Him and He wants to renew your relationship. He loves you so very much.”
“What happened next?” asked Mary.
“That’s when Mr. Wedding turned back toward the window with that same look in his eyes. I tried to get him to respond, and several of the other nurses have tried since then, but it’s almost as if it never really happened. But I know it happened. I know your Ed was sent to bring me back to my one true love, Jesus. I just thought you should know.”
By then the tears were flowing down Mary’s cheeks. Although she had much more she wanted to talk about with Lori, she couldn’t wait to visit the man she loved with all her heart.
Their love would never end.
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