Lily Palmer sat staring blankly out the window of her room. Her daughter, Clair, quietly brushed her long silver hair and wondered what thoughts she might be thinking. Her fingers deftly worked the long strands into a beautiful coiffure swept up from the sides yet falling down her mother’s back, just the way she always loved to wear it.
Clair talked with her, praying silently that she would respond. Lily hadn’t spoken at all in the weeks since her husband, Bill, had passed away. Clair rambled on about the children and their recent accomplishments, and of all the recent happenings in their small hometown.
Sitting in her chair, Lily was decades away. In her mind, she was dancing at the USO club with a handsome young G.I. named Bill. They danced the night away like young love birds often did back then.
Bill, slow down just for a moment, PLEASE! I need to catch my breath!
Okay Baby-doll, anything for you. I have something I want to talk to you about anyway. You know I am going to be heading back to the war in another week….
It was that night, so many decades ago , that Bill proposed. She replayed every detail of that blissful evening. Bill took her hand in his as he proclaimed his love for her. Even now, she felt the touch of his hand as the scene unfolded in her mind.
Lily, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?
Oh Bill, you know I will!
Lily’s mind traveled forward to their first home, some three years later. The war was over and Bill had returned home. They had just been blessed with a baby girl they named Clair.
Bill, I‘m so glad that God brought us together.
Me too Baby-doll. I can‘t picture my life without you. God was good to this old boy when He blessed me with you, and now with our little Clair.
Taking another leap forward in time, Lily remembered Clair‘s wedding day. She and Bill were walking toward their car in the old church‘s parking lot. Lily wiped a tear away as she turned to Bill.
Our nest is empty now. I’m so happy for those kids as they start their new life. But, I feel so lost now that Clair will be gone. What will I do now that she doesn’t need me anymore?
Baby-doll, Clair still needs us. Kids always need their moms and dads, even when they are all grown up. We’ll just have to learn how to be a couple again.
Bill gave her a devilish grin before grabbing her in his strong embrace. She felt the warmth of his breath on her neck and smelled his cologne as her memory played out its scenes.
Bill’s words from that day pierced through Lily’s numbness, and God began tugging at her broken heart. She felt her loss come crashing in as she remembered Bill’s last words, just before the darkness consumed her world.
I’ll be waiting next to St. Peter to welcome you through the gates of heaven, Baby-doll. You’ll see, I’ll be there with arms open wide. Now, remember what I told you after Clair‘s wedding?
Yes Bill, I remember. But, I don‘t want to go on without you. We‘ve been together for over forty years. I can‘t imagine life with you not being by my side. I don‘t think I can handle this.
This is God‘s call, and He says it‘s time for me to come up there. Now Lily, promise me you will watch over Clair and her family.
Yes dear, I will. You have my promise.
God loves you Lily and He‘s already made a way for you to go on. Just keep trusting Him like you always have…... I love you, Baby-doll, don‘t ever forget that.
Lily felt the hot tears flow down her face, the grief in her heart causing her catch her breath.
The noise startled Clair and she quickly moved to look closely at her mother’s face.
“Mom, are you all right?”
“Yes Clair, I am going to be fine.”
“Oh Mom, I missed you so much, and I was so afraid I had lost you too.” Clair couldn’t keep the tears of relief from cascading down her face.
Lily’s eyes softened as she spoke to her daughter.
“I’ll be okay, honey. I just lost my way for a spell, but I’m back now.”
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