Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: MAP (01/31/19)
- TITLE: Travels with Tom
By Donna Powers
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A foreign honeymoon would have been a wonderful beginning, but back then we were both in college and had to make do with a weekend at a local bed and breakfast.
I know he’d tried to keep that promise. So many times, we planned and saved. We’d even made reservations- more than once. But something had always come up, and our plans never got off the ground.
I always told him, “we’ll go someday.”
We’ve been married for fifty years now, but that "someday" never came. And now, Tom’s lying in bed; in what will probably be the last place he'll ever see on earth. The doctors say he doesn’t have much more time.
He says he’s ready to meet the Lord, but he also says he regrets not being able to keep his promise of world travel. I can see his heart is broken over it. I tried to tell him it didn’t matter, but I couldn’t convince him.
I wanted to find a way to show him how much he’s meant to me. I wanted to show him how his love had brought the world to me.
So when I came to visit this morning, I was carrying a large piece of construction paper. In my purse, I had some small pictures I'd downloaded and a roll of tape. I sat next to him and told him I wanted to show him “a record of our worldwide travels together.”
“But, sweetheart," he protested. "I ’ve never been able to take you around the world. What do you mean?”
I opened the piece of construction paper. On it was a map of our neighborhood. First, I pointed to our favorite restaurant. On it, I taped a picture of London’s Big Ben. I said, “I dreamed of going to London because I’m fascinated by stories of royalty. But whenever you took me to this restaurant, you always made me feel like a Queen. For me, this was as good as going to England.”
I smiled tenderly and gestured for me to continue. I traced my finger across the map until it reached a park with a spectacular view. On the park, I taped a picture of Paris. “I dreamed of going with you to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower. But whenever we went to this park, you always made me feel like I was on top of the world.”
"Oh, sweetheart," he breathed. He gestured again. I continued.
My fingers traced the other sites on the map: the lake at that same park, where riding in a paddle boat had been my “Venice gondola”; our garden, where we’d planted tulips, where I taped a picture of wooden Dutch shoes; and a sushi place where we’d gotten a taste of Japan.
He just reached for her hand, with tears in his eyes. “Thank you, darling, “ he whispered and kissed one of my hands.
“There’s one more place,” I told him. “It’s the best place of all.” I picked up the last picture. It was Jesus. I took a piece of tape and pasted it on the map, right over our church.
I told him, “Of all the places you’ve taken me, the most important place we'll ever visit together will be heaven. By going with me to church, you’ve helped us both prepare for that trip. And although it seems you'll go there before I do, I'll meet you there someday. I look forward to that more than any place you could have taken me, here on earth."
I taped the map to the wall of his room. He smiled and gathered me into his arms. Together we rejoiced in our lives together, and in the places, God had allowed us to visit, and in the one we will someday visit together.
"For this world is not our permanant home; we are looking for a home yet to come." Hebrews 13:14
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