Wednesday, January 31, 2007



Will's wife was very ill. Sue knew she was dying. Will never saw her shed a tear, never heard her crying. He knew she'd given up. But in the quiet of the night he heard his dear wife sighing. In the days near the end she mentioned a friend who talked to God and she did, too.

Sue would nod and say God's name and claim she was waiting for a ship to take her on a trip to heaven. In her sleep, she'd melt into Will's arms and say, "I found a way we can live and love forever and a day."

That night, after Will had gone to sleep, she awoke, lay peacefully by his side and died. In her last request, Sue stated: "Dear Will, I wish to be cremated. Put my ashes in an urn and when it comes your turn to die have your ashes mixed with mine, add a little glass of wine, then we'll be together for all time."

Will vowed to do what Sue said and when he went to bed he placed the urn on his pillow next to his head, kissed it goodnight and cried, "I am not yet dead, but when I die I'll be with you." Then he'd take the nightgown she wore when she began eternal sleep, keep it at his side, hold it in his nightly dreams. The memory of Sue responded lovingly.

Friday was Sue's day to clean house. She had this tattered, faded blouse. It was silk, powder blue, had been through many a wash. "Oh my gosh." Will would say, "why don't you throw that rag away?"

Sue would smile. "No, I'll keep this 'rag' a while. I wore it the day we eloped. We had so many hopes and dreams. Most did not come true but..."

And Will replied, "Our love saw us through. But what has that got to do with this old blouse?"

"I use it when I clean house. It's filled with all our memories, good and bad, happy and sad, that got us through this life as man and wife. When I lay down to rest I hold the blouse to my chest. It talks to me. Perhaps you'll think me odd, but I know it is the voice of God."

When Sue told him this he kissed her lovingly, told her he understood. Sue placed the blouse to his ear. He could not hear the voice of God, but nodded and said with tear-filled eyes, "Yes, I do! God blesses me for loving you, and assures me He loves you, too, and waits for you."

What Will said was not true but it was not what God would call a lie, especially when He heard Sue cry and shed tears of gladness, not of sadness. She whispered, "God bless" and closed her eyes. Will heard her sighs, wondered if her time had come. God talked to Will, assured him this was not the end. "Do not fret, my friend. Her time will come, but not yet," God said. Finally, Sue died, ventured to the other side. Before she left to Will she said, "I'll wait for you;"

When he cleaned house as Sue used to do, her faded blouse was his dusting cloth. Each day he wiped her urn, said a prayer of grace, then returned it to its resting space. One day Will shut his eyes to pray, He reached for the urn. His grip slipped. The urn crashed to the flooShards of glass and Sue's remains scattered here, there and everywhere. Will knew he would soon be dead. Sue also knew and to Will she said. "No problem. Just sweep it up, glass and all, and leave it in a pile on the floor. Pour on a glass of wine and God will do the rest. I'll be just fine."

God mixed the ashes of Will and Sue. "And the urn too," she reminded God. He nodded and it was done. Sue and Will again were one. The love they made that night on the floor was better than it had ever been before.


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