Dedicated to My husband of 25 years – Tom
Submitted by Rynthia
Pulling onto the graveled road, the car he was driving seemed to know where to go. When he came to a stop, beside the angel bench and the Weeping Willow, where the creek spilled over the rocks, he unloaded his chair, newspaper, and thermos. These trips were a daily journey now, down from his twice daily pilgrimages of several years. Since his son and grandchildren had moved back to town there was more to do. Little League and impromptu fishing trips gave him something to look forward to.
Today, though, he had brought something extra in his satchel. It was a picture. Their picture. He had been a soldier and she was a nurse. Stationed at Hickam Field, they met sixty-seven years ago. Their eyes locked across dinner tables, laughing soldiers, shy, home-sick nurses, and martinis. The band struck a lively tune, and he dodged the crowd to invite her to dance. At first she declined, but seeing the disappointment in his eyes, she reconsidered. He swept her effortlessly across the floor. A photographer worked the room, capturing romantic couples in his lens. The blaring trumpet soon softened to a crooning sax, the music requiring their bodies to flow smoothly with the tender beat.
The gentle breeze of Hawaii invited them outside the crowded room. Waves crashing across the rocks, palm trees leaning gently away from Oahu’s shore, and the moon – a Hawaiian moon beaming an illustrious white, creating shadows on the beach – made the evening magical. He turned to her, tucking a wisp of hair behind her ear. Pausing, taking her hand in his, surveying the Eden scene set before him, he whispered to her, “Tell me about this picture.”
She hesitated. This was one night and life was uncertain. Her smile told him all he needed to know.
Soon after, they were separated. She was needed in Germany – he was sent to Guadalcanal. Though the miles separated the two, their love bound them. She wrote faithfully and he responded when war allowed. Their commitment deepened with each letter, both of them understanding they would soon marry.
That date came in August of ’44. She returned Stateside and waited the seven long months until he arrived home. They married, had four children, and lived life. Money was scarce but love was plentiful. Their children grew up understanding that things weren’t important, people were. They were happy. Even when her health declined and her body began to fail, they felt the serenity of joy and peace – both fruits of living well and loving much.