A Journey Through Time

Writer Author  Janet Seever
Christian Article : Loss  - Fiction  Yes

Christian Author Writer Glancing at her watch, Sandra knew she had exactly two hours. She grabbed a box of tissues and made herself a cup of tea. Getting out the box of old journals, she spread the contents in front of her. The passages she wanted were already marked, but now there was an urgency to her journey through time.

Taking a sip of her tea, she picked up the journal marked 1973-1975 and began to read.

October 5, 1973. Today I encountered a rude man at the checkout counter — but I was equally rude to him. (God, please forgive me.) As I was approaching the “12 items only” check out line, a man in his 30s raced in front of me and plopped his basket on the counter. Turning to me, he said, “I hope you don´t mind. I think I´m going to be late for an appointment.” “Well, I do mind,” I said. “I´m busy too. Maybe if you would organize your time better, you wouldn´t be running late.”

To top it off, he had 14 items, not 12. I didn´t mean to snap at him, but I´ve felt so exhausted and irritable lately. Being a mother and father to Robby and bread winner since Jeff died two years ago hasn´t been easy.

October 6, 1973. Today I had a teacher interview with Robby´s third grade teacher, Mr. Corrigan, who is new at the school this year. As I walked into the room for my interview, my jaw dropped. The man at the check out counter! “Mrs. Andrews,” he said, extending his hand, “I´m Paul Corrigan. It´s nice to meet you under more pleasant circumstances. Sorry about last night.” His lively blue eyes twinkled and a smile spread across his face as if he were enjoying a private joke. After my initial embarrassment, he soon put me at ease.

Sandra flipped the journal pages ahead and wiped her eyes.

November 28, 1973. Tonight I was at choir practice, the one activity I allow myself on a weekday evening. In came Paul Corrigan. Imagine that! I noticed him in church the past two Sundays.

February 16, 1974. Paul Corrigan is certainly an interesting man. Intriguing! Fascinating! What more can I say? I wonder why he is still single.

May 4, 1974. Lord, am I imagining things? As Paul and I spend more time together, it seems like You brought him into my life. I admire his vibrant faith, after all he´s been through—losing his mother at the age of 12, losing a younger brother a couple years later from an asthma attack. I think I´m falling in love. I didn´t think I could love anyone else after losing Jeff.

August 10, 1974. A full moon reflected on the glass-like surface of the lake tonight. My thumping heart was drowning out the sound of the crickets as I sat on the park bench. Then, with a dramatic flourish, Paul got down on one knee and took my hands in his (and almost lost his balance - I giggled). “Sandra Andrews,” he solemnly said, “ I love you more than I´ve dreamed possible. Will you marry me?” “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

March 18, 1975. Does anyone have a right to be this outrageously, deliriously happy? At 2 p.m. today, in front of family and a few close friends, Paul and I will say our vows. Sandra Corrigan has a nice ring to it. And Robby is delighted to have Paul for his new dad.

October 24, 1976. This is one of the hardest days of my life. Little Rebecca was born at 3:15 a.m. six weeks premature - a dusky gray, not a healthy pink. The doctors said her heart hadn´t developed correctly. I held her limp little body as life slipped away four hours later. I know I´ll see her in heaven, but letting go is hard . . . so very hard. Paul put his arms around me. “This didn´t take God by surprise,” he said gently and let me sob on his shoulder. “He understands our pain.” Our tears mingled together.

July 14, 1978. Thank you, Lord, for a beautiful, healthy baby girl. No heart problem this time. Jennifer Lynn was born at 5:30 this morning. I already know she has a healthy set of lungs. Rob, who is now 13, said he would rather have a brother, but a sister will do.

October 15, 1982. Paul and I went to the big Central High football game tonight. Rob was a starter. We were so proud of him. Then in the third quarter, a tackle on the opposing team—at least 6'4” and 230 pounds — mauled him. He didn´t have a chance. He was down on the ground so long, not moving. A doctor from the stands checked him over for a spinal cord injury and concussion. Dear Lord, I´m so scared. Will Rob ever walk again? Paul and I spent the night sitting in the waiting room by the intensive care unit, visiting Rob five minutes each hour. Friends and members of our church were praying.

October 18, 1982. Rob is now conscious and is getting feeling back into his arms and legs. Doctors feel he will eventually make a complete recovery, although the football season is over for him. Lord, I know You were there with us and brought us through this difficult time.

Sandra glanced at her watch and grabbed another tissue. Since time was passing quickly, she grabbed a recent journal.

March 18, 2000. Today is our 25th wedding anniversary — 25 wonderful years of being married to a wonderful man. I couldn´t be happier! What more could I ask for? We drove up to the mountains to enjoy the majestic scenery, and stayed in a romantic little lodge. Paul turned 60 in February and is retiring after serving as a elementary school principal the past 17 years. He still loves children, but now needs time to do all of the things he hasn´t had time to do. This summer he will be turning his job over to a new principal and working with him during a transition time. We´re starting to make plans for our future.

July 30, 2000. What a beautiful bride Jen was today. How proud Paul and I are! Of course we were happy when Rob got married eight years ago, but somehow a daughter getting married is different. She´s following in her father´s footsteps. She graduated from the university with a teaching degree and has a job starting this fall. David is a wonderful man, and I´m fully confident he will make a good husband.

October 20, 2000. Paul hasn´t been feeling well lately. He says it´s only indigestion, but I´m feeling concerned. It´s not at all like Paul to get indigestion.

November 18, 2000. Paul experienced more stomach pains and other symptoms. He had tests done two weeks ago, the results were back today. Cancer. The big C. And it´s widespread. Doctors will do surgery, but hold out no promises. I feel angry. Why this? Why now? Why us? God, why has this happened?

January 3, 2001. After removing several large tumors in December, the doctors are starting Paul on chemo. They can´t promise any miracles, only that it will buy a little time. What is time? We never give it any thought, and don´t appreciate it until it slips through our fingers. It reminds me of Psalm 135: “Our times are in Your hands.” Only God knows how much Paul has. The doctors don´t. I don´t. Only God, and He´s not telling us. Of course we´re praying for healing, but face the very real possibility that God´s answer is “no.”

February 18, 2001. Today is Paul´s 61st birthday. Jen and David came over, and so did Rob, Karen and their two children. Paul was weak but happy. He had chemo three days ago and it made him sick, so he´s had difficulty eating. But he enjoyed having his family around him. Little things mean so much now days.

April 23, 2001. I am unable to care for Paul at home any longer. What a difficult decision! Today Jen, David and I took him to the hospice where he is surrounded by caring staff. Paul motioned for me to come close to him. “I´m looking forward to a home . . . which needs no repairs . . . and has no lawn to mow.” His voice was barely audible, but the twinkle was still in his blue eyes. He is ready to meet his Lord, but am I ready to let him go?

The journal stopped on that day. Sandra dried her eyes and threw a handful of soggy tissues into a nearby waste basket. Then she got a pen from the desk drawer and in bold strokes dated a new page, leaving a few blank pages in between. She would go back and fill them in later.

May 5, 2001. Dear God, thank you for the wonderful years Paul and I had together. He was a wonderful husband and I miss him so very much. I know he is with You. I know You will be with me like You have been in all of the difficult times in the past. Even in the times when I can´t feel Your presence — there will be plenty of those in the days to come —I know You are with me. Amen.

Sandra closed the journal and put it on her desk. The older journals she stacked carefully in the storage box. Then she walked to the bathroom, washed her face and reapplied her makeup. Her two hours were up.

When the doorbell rang, she opened the door and greeted Jen with a hug.

“Are you ready?” asked Jen. Her eyes had a hint of red from crying. “David will be meeting us at the funeral home.”

“Yes,” said Sandra softly. “Now I´m ready.”

Editor's Comment: Author Notes: A Journey Through Time I've journaled since I was 13, so it was easy to imagine the kind of things Sandra would write in a journal. Although I've never lost a husband, I've lost several friends and a grandmother with cancer. Because both of my parents died in their 60s, I understand the shock and pain of losing loved ones at an early age when it seems they should still have years ahead of them. Janet

About the Writer Author
State: Alberta
Country: Canada
Email: jseever1@shaw.ca
Website: www.inscribe.org/members/janet-seever
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