My True Life Love Story – Elizabeth Cook

I had been widowed for 3 1/2 years, when my dearest friend arrived for a visit with her latest husband of 6 years. She wanted so much for us to meet before her death, as she was facing her last days here on this earth. Well, he was a very nice looking man, a cowboy really, and a long haul truck driver. So, we struck up a nice friendly relationship that made my dear friend very happy. She said to me, “when my time comes, please do not let him be alone.” I made her this promise, never realizing that he would, after a period of grieving for her, ask me to come and live with him.

The way he approached me was by telling me he had a big surprise for me, as his late wife had planned this vacation of a sort for the two of us to be taken after her death. Shocked beyond belief I accepted his invitation, as this was one of her last wishes. But he was not to tell me where we were to go… just pack a bag for a week and trust him to do as she had requested. So, with some skepticism I packed my bag and waited for him to pick me up and off we went, taking over five hours to arrive at out destination… the Horse Shoe Casino. Well, let me tell you, I was like a child set loose in a candy store. I had never been in a casino before, and all of the excitement made all of the adrenaline flow like magic… and I became very at ease with the situation.

We spent a lovely week together and talked of many things, one of which he said he was not going to be alone – he had chosen me as his companion for the balance of our live,s if I would but accept him. I told him I had to give this a lot of consideration, as I had never planned on marrying again. So, he let me know what was ahead for me and would wait for my reply.

We wrote back and forth and talked on the phone almost every night. He was out on his trips across the country and would relate to me all of the things he was seeing so I could feel as if I was there with him to enjoy them as well. Knowing I was so fascinated and intrigued by his stories, he asked if I would like to take a trip on his next run out West with him. So, I accepted… and much to my delight, I found I loved the open road as he would take extra pains to see I could enjoy a new and exciting place each morning and night as we traveled together. He was so sweet and caring I could not help but fall madly in love with him and accepted his marriage proposal when he got down on one knee and asked to take his name and be his wife. Granted, as he had said to me, she will always hold a special place in my heart, but I have found my long awaited soul mate .

We made a number of trips over the country and I had moved to his home where we shared so many wonderful dreams and plans of our future together. After we both felt that enough time had elapsed, we set the date for our marriage and set about making all of the final little details of a glorious wedding. On the night just, 3 hours before his untimely death, we had sat and said to one another, “well, neither of us will leave this world alone, unloved or unwanted, as we have one another.” So, as he gently touched my face and said, “I do love you with all of my heart, now and forever more… so never leave me.” I promised him I would always be here for him and he went in and tried to sleep.

After two hours of fretful rest, he arose and headed to the bathroom only to collapse in respiratory arrest where I administered CPR and was able to have him up and coherent when the medics arrived. But he still was in need of oxygen, so he was placed in the ambulance with me at his side and, once he was in route to the hospital, he said to me as his last words ever spoken alive… ” I love you babe, everything is going to be alright, so don’t worry.” But once said that, he went into cardiac arrest never to come out again and, with being placed on life support for 25 minutes, he completely flat lined, leaving me behind to ride the roads all alone once more.

As I was placing him in the ground, I felt this flutter about me and glanced around to see this golden butterfly wing towards heaven, letting me know he was on the road again… but to God’s highway this time. When he would awaken on the road, he would always say to me, “come on babe, it’s time to be on the road again,” and off we would go. So, I know in my heart when he awakens from this trip he will once again call out to me in his usual manner, “okay babe, time to be on the road again”… and I will meet him at the gate and we will forever ride the golden streets of heaven as we had planned.

He had passed to the other side just three weeks before our scheduled date of earthly marriage, but, in my heart of hearts, I was married to him in the eyes of God… for we had made out vows on a mountain top to each other before God. And even if we had never stood before man and made this vow, on the eve of his passing he had announced to all of his friends our date to be forever more together.

So, on this day, which was to be the date of our proposed marriage, I went to the cemetery, where he is at rest, and made my vows once more to him in a prayer to God. So I know our marriage is approved by God, for as I said my prayer, another butterfly joined with another and they both flew towards heaven side by side.

Thankful for a true love of a life time…

Elizabeth Cook ( Sackett ) – or at least in my heart it is so.

Miracle at the Parking Lot

I never thought I would be writing about a trip to the convenient store, but this trip was like no other. It seemed like a typical November day, two years ago, as I walked out of Walgreens. It was just a month after my grandmother had passed away and I spent my days running useless errands hoping to fill the void in my heart and distract me from the pain.

As I attempted to walk out of the store, I was frustrated by everything that was going on around me which was a very common feeling during this time. I was angry because I couldn’t even remember what I went there to buy so I ended up spending over $20 on nonsense just to waste time and money, both of which I didn’t have.

I was mad and confused at everyone. Especially, the young girl walking through the store holding her grandmother’s hand. The little girl was begging her grandmother for ice cream just like I use to when I was little, before I was old enough to know that there are bigger problems than a lack of sugar. There is heartache and pain in this world. Before I was old enough to understand that one day my grandmother wouldn’t be here with me. “Here is $20 my sweetie,” the woman said, “Keep it for later and well get you some Mr. Softy.”

As I carried on, I remembered all of the times my cousins and I would play outside of my grandma’s house, waiting patiently to hear the sounds of the Mr. Softy truck. The minute we heard it, no matter how far it may have been, we would run inside smothering my grandma with hugs and kisses while begging for some money. No matter how many times she would say, “Remember kids, no ice cream today,” everyday we would ask and every time she would always end up giving each of us exactly $20. Obviously, we all know that ice cream doesn’t cost this much, but that was my grandma, always giving more than she ever had to give.

Who knew that I, an 18 year old, could be jealous of a three-year-old little girl wearing pink slippers and a Dora the Explorer backpack,
but I was, because at the end of the day she had something I didn’t have anymore. A grandmother by her side.

I had to force myself to ignore the little girl who others kept calling “cute” and “adorable” when I simply thought she was nothing but obnoxious. She was just too happy for me and that was unacceptable, at this time, in my world.

I continued to the register to pay for my things, none of which I even remembered picking until I placed them on the counter. It was than that my anger quickly shifted from the little girl who seemed to have everything to the cashier who didn’t have anything, not even my change. She had to bring my things to another register which just felt like a waste of time. Everything felt like a waste of my time. When the cashier gave me my change I didn’t say thank you. I didn’t say have a good day. I simply took my change and left.

Feeling exhausted and hopeless, I began walking to my car. Every step seemed draining, and every step was another to survive. As I looked up into the sky I thought about how my grandmother had left me, and my anger began to return. I was outraged by the loss, and my belief in God was beginning to diminish. I couldn’t understand why these things happened. So as I stood in a public parking lot a million questions formed in my mind. Why did this happen to me? Aren’t we supposed to get signs from the people that pass on? Why did I not feel her presence anymore? Is there a heaven?

Suddenly, a woman driving right by my side rolled down her window and distracted my unanswered thoughts. “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,” she said loudly. Thinking she was going to ask for my parking spot, I simply pointed to my car. The thought of having to verbalize where my car was seemed like too much to bear. “No, excuse me,” she said again.

At this point, I felt I had no choice but to see what this annoying lady wanted. As I got closer though I was startled-was this my grandmother’s nurse, Adu, who lived with her during her final months? I soon realized that she wasn’t, although the resemblance was uncanny. Then, I realized that this Adu look a like was searching for something in her bag. Surprisingly, I was overcome by a sense a relief that lead me to be patient the entire time the lady was searching. Others would be nervous by a stranger reaching in their bag unanimously, but I wasn’t. Under a clutter of makeup, money, pens, and other belongings, she finally reached to the very bottom of her bag and handed me a three page booklet. “It looks like you need this,” she said calmly with a warm smile on her face.

I looked down at the mysterious and obviously used pamphlet and on the front cover in big bold letters read “What Hope for Dead Loved Ones?”

It took me only a few seconds to comprehend the exchange with this woman, but by the time I looked up, she was gone.

I walked slowly into my car gripping the tiny little book that was given to me with fear that it would fly away in the wind. I didn’t know what it was exactly, but I knew that if my grandmother had anything to do with this that I didn’t want to let it go.

I felt a sense of relaxation as I opened the first page. It explained how people pass on, but their spirit remains with us. This was the first time since my grandma had passed that I felt her with me, just like I had wanted. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I did
know that I finally felt happiness from the surprising change in events.

I couldn’t, and still can’t, believe what had happened to me on that day. I don’t remember the specific details that you usually hear about like what the person was wearing, the time of day, or even the weather, but it doesn’t matter. It was a random day in November when my life turned back around and I began to feel hope again. It was real. It was a miracle. And, I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.

(Jessica Correale)