Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SURPRISE (07/25/19)
- TITLE: Down The Road
By Judith Gayle Smith
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"I have something to ask you, down the road..."
Okay. This from a man who daily plays Double Solitaire and watches Youtube westerns with me. I do not have difficulty living this lifestyle - I am starting to understand, accept and actually like country-western music. (Having spent most of my seventy-six years enjoying Elvis and his innovative style of rock, coupled with my love for jazz.)
My more-than-a-boyfriend love is a man who rarely removes his nose from his Bible. When I visit him in our Assisted Living palace, he is devouring the Book of Daniel. I love this book. Coming out of his almost coma - eyes reddened and heart beating wildly, he looks up at me like the proverbial "calf looking at the new gate."
We discuss what he has just imbibed, and the questions fly and we enmesh ourselves in the Book of Revelations. He has newspaper articles clipped and compares the ominous goings-on in our crazy world with what the Word of God has to say. Whoa.
For dessert following the above hearty meal, we recommence breathing normally, he makes me scrumptious hot cocoa, and then he asks me every question in his heart concerning what we have read and discussed. I have some answers, not all. I was a preacher's wife, so I do not assume the answers - the Scriptures literally speak for themselves, almost too clearly.
(An aside: what is the difference between a pastor and a preacher? Answer: a pastor hugs, a preacher hollers.)
We eat together in the expansive dining area, wheelchair and walker worming their way through to a table just for us two. This has been our lives, reading, eating, playing cards and watching Youtube westerns. He is a large man, insulin-dependent, having had four heart attacks, prostate cancer in remission, shingles, and major cellulitis in both his legs. I explain this to show that I love him. Claustrophobia and anxiety often overpower him, and that is when the cards help to shrug the anxiety away.
I am a large woman - but, praise God - He has helped me to shed eleven pounds by intermittent fasting. I was a basket case when we met. He has the saddest eyes and a temper that cleared areas when he expressed himself - loudly. I introduced him to me, telling him I wanted to know everything about him. I was emotionally crippled, having lost my beloved of forty-four years only a year before. I cried, escaping into sleep at the oddest times, I couldn't let go of my cherished fellow.
Bob took me under his wing. He taught me to play Double Solitaire, Pinochle, Hand and Foot, and, of all things confusing: Cribbage. I fought him about that, but I now love this crazy pegging game. He would not let me stew in my grief. I love him for that.
Bob temporarily moved to a rehab center. He has very poor blood flow to and from his leg. My late husband also had venal insufficiency and Diabetes. My hubby had to have his leg amputated above his knee. He passed away a month later, having sepsis following catheter insertion, congestive heart failure, and just plain exhaustion. I see Bob, who literally saved my sanity - and I feel this is all beginning again. So we pray - a lot. Losing Bob the same way I lost my Mike? I am on the verge of deep-ending when what I should do is start depending more upon our Lord and Savior. And we pray together, trusting God and each other.
Seems extremely personal - and it is. Trusting, believing, praying - we are getting through these difficult days. Bob asked me to itemize everything in his apartment to see what I will need after he passes. That was a rough night. Bob went into rehab the following day.
Bob called - professing love for me beyond the daily "I love you" casually tossed back and forth. He said he was glad he was in rehab because he realized how very much he truly loves me and misses me. We no longer take each other for granted but realize that God has thrown us together because we love Him.
I asked him what the question would be down the road. He replied that he wanted me to marry him. Then he asked me what my answer would be - and I said: "I'll tell you - down the road."
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