This morning, my husband said that he needed to go on the road to take pictures of comps, and he would be gone for most of the day. The thought of staying at home by myself, worrying and fretting, and waiting for the phone to ring, was not appealing in the least, so I asked if he wanted me to come along. He said yes.
We stopped for lunch in a small-town cafe, and I struck up a conversation with the elderly lady eating alone at the next table. She said that she’d been a school bus driver for 43 years, and was on her way home to see her dogs. She was sweet and friendly, and I got the feeling that she was quite lonely. I looked across the table at my husband, and thought about how seeing his handsome face at the end of the day is sometimes the only thing I look forward to.
Later in the day, our travels took us right by the idyllic country church where I married my first – now ex – husband. I hadn’t been there in more than 13 years, so I asked if it would be OK if we stopped. As we walked in the cool autumn light, my husband turned to me and said, “This is a much prettier setting for a wedding than an Amtrak train.” I kissed him gently, and reminded him, “I will take our wedding – and our life – over that one, any time.”
When my husband was photographing his last house, he asked me to check his phone messages, because we’d been in and out of our service area for most of the day. The first message was from the nurse at his urologist’s office. As soon as I heard her say, “….calling about your test results,” I panicked, stopped listening, and hung up.
We drove to the nearest convenience store, and I took DJ in to go potty while my husband called the doctor’s office. I stood in that dingy gas station bathroom, and I prayed like I’d never prayed before. Over and over, I begged, “Please God…please.”
While DJ wandered around, trying to decide on a snack, I looked up and saw my husband – the man I love so dearly, more than anything in the world – walking by the front windows, toward the door. I squinted through the bright sunlight, trying to read his expression, but I couldn’t see his face clearly. He walked in, looked around for me, and reluctantly I met his eye.
He gave me a thumbs up.
I promptly fell apart.
All the tension and fear of the last 3 weeks melted away, and I started sobbing hysterically. I covered my face with my hands, and he put his arms around me. I clung to his neck, shaking and crying and thanking God. Everyone was staring at us, but I didn’t care because I knew he was going to be OK, and nothing else mattered.
When I finally calmed down, and my sobs turned to sniffles and hiccups, the desk clerk asked, “Everything OK, friend?” My husband answered, “Oh yes, it’s good news…I just found out that I don’t have cancer!” A jovial, bearded man in overalls exclaimed, “Congratulations!” and shook his hand enthusiastically, as a slender blonde woman in a white sweater – a total stranger who’d been standing near the cash register- made her way over to me. She took my tear-stained face in her hands, and then she hugged me.
She said, simply, “You love him.”
“I do,” I told her. “I really do.”
“It’s a good day, sister,” she replied.
Before we left, the clerk also shook my husband’s hand, and he said quietly, “Faith in God, you know. That’s what it’s all about.”
Amen to that.