She was tough. She was the glue on the frame, held together by years of pain, experience and love. He was the gentle bear. He was hard working. He had a caring heart. Together, they made a promise to love, honor and cherish.
Four children were born from nights split with crying hearts, of moving one step forward and two back, and nights filled with love and promise of good things to come. Comfort in each others arms brought together the family who resided on 20 acres of a well-trod wilderness, surrounded by magnificent greens and when the earth stood silent, the sounds of the stream could rock you into a gentle peace.
Early morning smells of biscuits and steaming coffee, were received as words of thanks were given to the one above for the sun shining down upon them. Requests made for their bodies to be used for the purpose of good works.
On Sundays a basket with stained, thread-bare cloth covered the food that was made the day before. With excitement the children did their chores eagerly, knowing that after Sunday church had ended; a walk to the creek was in store.
Taking their worn shoes and holy socks off, wading in ankle-deep, cool water was just as good as father bringing home a penny candy for each of them after a long trip to town selling the crop for the highest dollar.
It was this particular Sunday that God had a plan. He needed father. The children were skipping stones. Giggles could be heard bouncing from branch to branch. Mother sat next to father, who was resting on the checkered blanket.
One eye on the children, the other shared with the view of the white, puffy clouds; she thought about how life couldn’t be better than this. Thoughts were interrupted as father quickly scooted off the blanket.
He grabbed at his leg and when she looked where he was holding it, the trickle of blood seeped through the trousers and colored his hands. The sounds that escaped her mouth brought running children and they stood around amazed and quiet at what they were seeing.
Weakness took over and the gentle heart beat softly and then silence fell upon all. The eldest child ran for help and soon strong hands helped carry him to his bed. The doctor came and with unspoken words told each the thoughts already known.
Neighbors near and far gathered for comfort. Songs of hope were sung. Food was brought over daily. Hugs, handshakes and words were spoken of anything that needed to be done, please call on them.
She sat in the candle light watching the sun set. The children were snuggled in bed. Their sleep came with difficulty. Everyone in the house missed the figure at the head of the table.
She thought about the day that lay ahead and the decisions that would be made by her alone. She lowered her head and asked God for strength. She cried tears of missing her man, and she knew in that moment she was not alone.
On one shoulder she felt the warmth of God letting her know he would not leave her side. The other side brought a familiar touch that was firm, yet with love. It flowed deep through the veins and deep within her heart. He was with her. She could almost smell the scent of his clothes. She could faintly see the mist of his smile.
She lifted her head and looked out the window. The sun had set, darkness came upon her, but far above through her paned window, she saw the star. The twinkling star of hope and realization that tomorrow would be alright.