He wanted to forget, but knew that was an impossible mission—because it was seared into his brain—the sight of his beautiful wife of twenty years, disintegrating, as her body was slowly consumed, and eaten away, by a hideous monster. The cancer was a five-year battle, yet there were moments of joy when it seemed she’d won the war. But, the insidious disease would always find its way back, as the corrosive agents, once again, would feed on his lovely wife, zapping her strength, but never her vitality or Zest for life.
“Sweetheart, promise me that you’ll go on with your life, be happy…” Her voice, barely above a whisper, as the rattles competed for his attention, “I love you…” That was it, her final words, before she took her last breath, and left him all alone, and in abject misery. He sat by her side, holding her hand for hours, until the doctor explained, they needed to take her away.
She was all he had ever wanted. He knew the moment he had seen her, that she was the one. He was sitting with his college buddies when she walked into the popular hang-out by the dorm. She looked at him, and smiled, before taking a seat with three other students. He couldn’t stop staring at her. She’d meet his gaze intermittently, followed by her incredible smile.
Her dancer’s legs were crossed, and she threw back her head when she laughed in such care-free abandon, truly enjoying the moment, and her friends. He was taken in by her natural beauty, but more so by her inner light that he detected the instant she strolled into that hang-out and into his life. He asked her out that same day, and the rest as they say, is history. They were married three years later, and were the envy of all their friends. Although they were a power couple, their love superseded their financial success and wealth.
She was the kindest and most gentle woman he’d ever known, and she loved him unconditionally, no matter what. He’d never known love, until he met Diana. Everything she did was purposeful, and altruistic. She was the vice president of nursing, specializing in pediatrics. She loved kids, ironic— because she never could carry to full-term. After five miscarriages, they decided it was God’s will…they’d become intermittent foster parents, for children of special needs. He loved watching her with the children, and how she managed to bring about miraculous changes, for each child she cared for.
Her rich cinnamon-brown hair, with her doe-brown eyes, completed the exotic look that John loved so much. She was a lady through and through. Her faith, and love of God, was number one in her life, and of course her husband, and her “kids.” She was outstanding in all aspects, and there’d never be another Diana.
He couldn’t believe it was six years since her death. So much had transpired since then. There were times that he thought he’d never make it. He placed the long-stem pink rose on her headstone, and touched the smooth marble that she’d picked out, two weeks before she passed. She insisted on doing that, so it would be easier for him, when she was “called home.” She took care of all the arrangements, from her dress, to the passages of the Bible she wanted read at her service, and even wrote the eulogy, from her perspective, imploring people, “please don’t cry for me, I’ve gone on to my eternal home with my Father. I’m no longer in pain, and look forward to seeing you all again, one day in the future. John, be happy my love…”
“John? Is that really you?” He heard a voice behind him. He turned to see Diana’s close friend Carol, her mouth agape, as she stared in disbelief. “Where’ve you been? We’ve been so concerned and worried. You’ve no idea how many people were wondering what had happened, and if you were okay! What happened to you?”
John answered, “It’s a long story…”