Holding his back with his left hand while pushing his other hand on his right thigh, Lester rose from the couch. "Gettin' old sure is hard on these tired bones," he said to his son.
"Dad, it doesn't help that you stay locked up in this farmhouse day after day. Mom died nine months ago, please let her go," Michael replied. "Think about what I said. It's time to sell this place and move into one of those assisted-living facilities. The house and farm are too much for you."
Using his cane, Lester walked his son to the door. "I know, what you're sayin' makes sense. But I've lived in this house my entire life; your ma and me had 65 good years in this house. I ain't quite ready to walk away just yet. Give me a little more time."
After Michael left, Lester looked around the living room which had also become his bedroom. Dust laid thick over the entire room and cobwebs hung from the corners. The once yellow and green couch had long since faded. Old newspapers and magazines competed for floor space. He knew that if he went into the kitchen, he would be met with the same disarray.
"Lord, you know this old man's heart. You know how much I loved Letty and how my heart broke when she died. Michael's right, I can't let her go. I don't think I can go another day without my sweets sittin' in her easy chair next to mine. You promised You wouldn't give me more than I can bear. Please help. Show me You haven't forsaken me. In Jesus' name, Amen."
A lonely week passed while Lester continued living in his misery. His only human contact was when the mail arrived.
"Here's your mail, Les. Have a great day," the postman said while waving good-by. Lester appreciated the fact his friend willingly brought the mail to his door daily even though it was mostly junk.
Reading the store flyer, Lester noticed ground beef on sale. The next advertisement was for a heating service. "I suppose it's time to turn the heater on, better give 'em a call. What the…?" he asked as an envelope fell to the floor.
He bent toward the floor. Realizing his body wouldn't allow him too much flexibility, he scooted a straight-back chair toward where the letter lay. Sitting in the chair and moving the letter closer with his cane, he was able to scoop it up without too much pain in his back.
"At least the noggin's still working after all these years," he chuckled.
Once Lester took a good look at the letter, his hands began to tremble even more than usual. He couldn't believe what he was reading. The date circled on the canceled three-cent-stamp read "1945." It had been mailed from a military base in England. Grabbing a letter opener, he ripped into the envelope. It was a letter he had written to Letty during World War II.
My precious sweets, how I miss you and love you. It's hard to believe we've been married four months already. I wish we had more than two weeks together before I was shipped out. I'm glad you are staying with my folks on the farm where it's safe.
I can't wait for this war to end so I can hold you in my arms again. I keep telling myself that this is temporary. It is what it is. Soon enough we'll be together and have our entire future in front of us, together forever. Us and the Lord, that is.
Hang tight, my love. Until I see your beautiful smile again, know I love you.
Now and forever,
Of all the dozens of letters he wrote during the war, this one didn't reach its destination until the moment it was needed most. The God of miracles began to minister to Lester. He understood completely he had not been forsaken by the Lord. He also knew his separation from Letty was temporary. It was what it was. Soon enough they would indeed be together forever in the presence of their Lord and Savior.
Finding strength from deep within, something which had been missing for nine months, Lester did a little shuffle-jig. "Where is the phone book?" he asked while sifting through the piles of debris. "I need to call a realtor to see what needs to be done to put this ol' farm up for sale."
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