Short Stories

Validity of a Vow

photo credit: Philippe_ <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/12346585@N02/36815099536″>Alliances</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

“I Adam, take you Eve, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do us part.”

The groom swooned over his bride and tried not to reveal his confusion about the vows he had made.

How could it get any better than this? What is worse?

I live in paradise and every day is sublime!

God provided all his needs: he walked in the midst of riches, fruits and even gold was easily gathered. He never even gave a thought to being poor. He enjoyed perfect health and had never been a witness to death.

“Eve, I take you as my bride.”

Eve remembered that commitment and wondered how she could have been so naive as to believe the serpents lies. Eve would experience worse than she could have imagined. God banished them from the garden, Adam toiled endlessly, food was scarce, and labor pains in birth for two sons were nearly unbearable.

She craved more of Adam’s love.

The love for Adam, Cain and Abel sustained her. As both wife and mother, she felt needed. God had promised death for disobedience; what was death?

She learned death was the cruelty of Cain, the victimization of Abel, blood crying out from the ground and an emptiness even the love of Adam could not fill.

Eva placed a bookmark in the Genesis chapter, closed the Bible and placed it on the nightstand next to her bed in the cramped Nursing Home room. She had been daydreaming again.

The characters in scripture were as real to her as the nurses who kindly cared for her. The Bible was not merely history; writers shared details of lives of real people. She had empathy for Eve.

Her own heart had felt the joy of becoming a bride and the wedding vows still rung in her ears though she could hardly hear a rap at her door.

Eva slowly turned her head to the left and saw her mate of over 65 years with his head slumped over on his chest. He was asleep setting up in his wheel chair, in front of the window, where the nurse left him. .

He had paid no attention to birds outside and little to Eva during the last three years. The doctors diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s disease and he slipped away to a world of his own. To Eva, the walls of separation were formidable. She felt the heartache of death long before any preacher would share a eulogy.

Preacher Gray knocked on the open door, entered and greeted Eva with a smile, saying, “Good morning Eva. What have you been up to?”

“I’ve just been reading from Genesis, thinking about Adam and Eve, the vows a man and wife make to each other during their wedding service and how little they understand what they mean. It seems like just yesterday… “I, Eva take thee Charles.”

Her vow trailed off across space and time.

The squeaking of a small movement of a wheel chair broke the silence and preceded Charles’ faltering voice declaring, “Till death do us part.”

Christian Growth, Devotionals, Marriage, Relationships

Knows Best How to Bless

Is it a match made in heaven?

When love walks in, we hope and pray it is the till death do us part kind of courtship.

As love grows,SEPTEMBER 2014 002 we seek assurance of lasting commitments.

Is God in the picture, do we seek his blessing or do we issue demands outside his perfect will?

God knew precisely what and whom Adam needed.

“And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him (Genesis 2:18 NKJ).”

Father knows best how to bless.

“Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:22-24 NKJ).”

God brought the first man and woman together; he still directs singles to mates of fulfillment. It is worth the wait.

Grief, Marriage, Relationships, Short Stories

Heart of Hearing

 

PAM CROPPED 2013

2-14 BLOG

My heart throbbing in my ears, pounds out the message…

They have taken her away.

Emptiness in my stomach is not due to lack of food, but the absence of my bride of sixty-five years. Memories carry me back across decades to that first encounter,   hearing her teaching a Sunday school class in a city mission. Her abiding faith anchors our family in storms of life.

Old age, an uninvited guest invades their lives. When did the falls and bruises begin? As aging issues progress, her health deteriorates to the point of not being able to turn over in bed. The contentious caregiver daughter-in-law is not able to lift her rigid body; bedsores develop confirming her need for professional care.

Will she be okay at the nursing home? What if she falls out of bed? Can they get her to eat?

Anxiety and bitter loneliness overwhelm him.

For more than half a century, we have lived, worked and aged side-by-side. Now, I stand alone in fear and deafening silence. I should be there if she wakes up. She’ll be confused.

He feels helpless, unable to turn back the clock, or restore her health. She once tenderly ministered to others as a home nurse;  now with signs of dementia, depends totally upon strangers. Family members try to console him, with explanations that she rests in a safe place; she receives the attention she needs.

Stooping with weakened bones and a heavy heart, I walk the rooms of the house we shared.

Wish we never left the old home-place.

Several years earlier, they sold their family home, accepting the generous offer of a son and daughter-in-law to live with them. Paying their way, they willingly share social security money from a rubber-band bound black billfold.

He longs to rush to her side, hold her frail hand in his once more. Things he once took for granted, he now cherishes.

If only I could… pass my tea bag along to her for a second dunking, tussle her braided hair, rub her clammy brow and kiss her once rosy cheek…

Nursing home staff curtails visits; she needs undisturbed rest.

Does she even know I come? Lord, are you taking her home?

The facility promises to call if there is any change in her condition. A small table in the formal dining room holds the cold, indifferent black telephone. They vowed to call; he must not miss it when they did.

Waiting becomes an obsession; hour-by-hour, day-by-day, he stands watch and strains to hear the phone ring. Nothing else matters; he must know about his precious Belle.

He feels closed off from the world around him. Family members know the seriousness of his plight. Nearly deaf  for years, his desire to hear the ringing of the phone seems unlikely. Hearing and understanding simple conversations are difficult under the best of circumstances.

It is amazing; during his vigil, he can hear the phone ring! He is heart of hearing. He hears with his heart what his ears no longer can. He deals with the loss of his love.  Life goes on.

Dear granddaughter,
I am rocking on the back porch. Grandma enjoyed rocking out here so much. I miss her. I’m 90 years old, and hope to join her soon. Your aunt is addressing the envelope for me
. [Letter that I received in 1968]

At age 91,  he stumbles into my aunt and uncles bedroom telling them about a visit from an angel. Digitalis no longer strengthens his weary heart. It stops and he slips into eternity.

Hearing aids are beneficial to those who experience hearing loss. The heart is a hearing aid that does not require batteries;  it keeps a steady beat powered by love.