Together for Eternity
By Karen Treharne
"Good-bye sweetheart." Nick gave Jenny a big hug and kissed her on the cheek. "The next four weeks will go quickly, I promise. And then weíll be together again."
Jenny swiped at a tear with the side of her finger. They had never been apart before, and she felt vulnerable. Jenny waved a tenuous farewell. It wasnít forever, after all, she told herself as she returned to the car. Iím just being silly. She took a moment to pray for patience and peace before leaving the parking garage for home. As she drove into the driveway, she smiled at her earlier anxiety. "What a foolish girl Iíve been!"
* * *
The phone woke her up at 5:15 a.m.
"What is it about Ďsleeping iní that people donít understand," she muttered as she picked up the receiver. Her agitated tone betrayed her thoughts. "What do you want, whoever you are?"
"Jenny, this is Bob Jenkins, Nickís co-worker from the office." He hesitated before continuing, "Iím so sorry to call you at this hour, but Nickís been in a car accident and is in the Samuel Jackson Hospital. You need to come. Quickly."
Jenny heard his words, but they didnít register. Car accident? Hospital? Come Ė quickly? She didnít remember the blur of events that followed.
On the way to Pennsylvania, all she could think to do was to pray for Godís protection and healing. "Please, Lord. Ease his pain and bring us together soon."
But when she arrived at the hospital, it was too late. Nick had died of internal hemorrhaging during surgery. Jenny collapsed.
Two-and-a-half weeks passed. A scripture from Nickís funeral service, John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid," comforted her, and she was thankful for her church family who brought food and words of encouragement that first week. But Jenny had never felt so lonely in her entire life.
The doorbell rang, and Jennyís first inclination was to ignore it. Politeness won out and she opened the door to greet Alice, her neighbor, and invited her in.
"I have something to give you." Alice held out a small box.
Jenny hadnít noticed the small box, but as she reached out for it she recognized the gift-wrap from her own collection of paper.
"Itís from Nick."
Jenny stared hard at the box as Alice continued.
"He gave it to me a couple of days before he left and asked me to give it to you on Valentineís Day, since he was not going to be here. And Ö well Ö I decided to do as he asked, and today is February 14."
With shaking hands, Jenny opened the package. Inside the red, velvet jewel box was a gold heart-shaped locket. On the front, there was an etched rose, and inside were side-by-side pictures of the two of them on their first anniversary. Tears began to flow as she turned the necklace over and read the inscription, "Together for Eternity."
Everyday, Jenny had prayed to God for assurance that Nick was in his care. Although Nick believed in Jesus, he was always hesitant to commit to the possibility of resurrection of the dead. Jenny and he often discussed this, but Nick had remained steadfast.
As she reread the words her husband had left her, she lifted her moist eyes heavenward and spoke aloud, "Thank you Father. Thank you."
Karen Treharne lives in "Godís Country," the Pacific Northwest, with her husband and father-in-law. She devotes most of her writing to stories involving Christ in her life and memoirs for her family. Being published in a newspaper, a book, and in the FaithWriterís Magazine, has given her encouragement and joy in honoring her Fatherís inspiration. Karen can be reached via the Letters page of this magazine.
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