She opened the wardrobe door and ran her fingers across the fabric. She pulled out a jumper at first, holding it tightly in her hands before drawing it to her face. As she inhaled deeply and took in the familiar scent, tears fell from her eyes and landed on the soft garment in her hand. She placed the jumper on the bed next to her pillow and then walked back to the wardrobe and pulled out a suit. This time the familiar scent wasn’t there. She had picked it up from the drycleaners only yesterday, under strict orders from her husband. My suit will need to be dry cleaned he had said, it’s what I want to be buried in. The thought of such a thing had seemed so absurd to her at the time. She had felt cross at him for talking like he was on his death bed, little had she known, he was.
He had known though. Despite been given months by the doctors he had spent the last three days planning everything, even choosing hymns and readings, which had surprised her somewhat, as like her, he wasn’t religious in the slightest.
Although, this past few days he had mentioned God on several occasions and at first she had assumed it was the vast amount of medication that he was on, but the more he had talked about God the more she convinced herself that maybe he knew something she didn’t.
He won’t go yet she had told her two sons, he’s got months left, the doctors said so. Despite this her sons had arrived at the house that very day, smiling at her comfortingly as she uttered the same words again and again.
‘How do you know God is talking to you?’ her husband had asked that evening as the family sat around his bed.
Nobody had an answer to this question and her eldest son broke the uneasy silence by muttering the words, ‘I imagine you just know.’ He’d seemed content with this and had fallen asleep smiling. The next morning he had asked for a bible, she had managed to find one in the back of a cupboard. Wiping the dust off, she handed it to him, slightly perturbed by his sudden interest in scripture. Much to her amazement, he’d spent the rest of that morning absorbed in the bible.
Their last hours together had been spent hand in hand. Even though he was weakening by the minute he had gripped onto her tightly, like he had saved his remaining strength for this moment. She couldn’t remember the rest of that day, it was like she had voluntarily etched it from her memory, but now, as she stood with the clean suit in her hands the realisation that he had gone suddenly hit her.
She lay on the bed hugging his jumper, absorbing every bit of his scent before it would be gone forever.
It was when she placed her hand under the pillow that she found it. Poking out of the leather bound bible was a piece of note paper; she recognised the handwriting straight away. Her hands shook as she started to read;
‘My darling wife,
Every morning for thirty years I have woken up, looked across at you sleeping and fallen in love with you all over again. Every night for thirty years I have thanked God for you.
This morning I asked God how I would ever be able to leave you behind. This was His answer.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
I am going now to prepare a place for you and one day I will come back and take you with me so that you may also be where I am and I will fall in love with you all over again.’
As tears fell from her eyes she nestled in his jumper and holding the bible close to her heart, thanked God for the gift of her husband.
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