Hand in hand they wait.
Hand in hand they pray.
Both work hard to keep
the worry from being revealed.
They are trying to lend each other
strength but this has been a treacherous path
and both are weary.
By now, they were accustomed to every
nuance each presented when their
emotions were at a peak. She nervously glanced
at everything in the office but not really seeing anything. When
fear griped her, she felt the gentle squeeze of his hand.
“Breathe, beloved…just breathe”, he would remind her as she had
the habit of holding her breath when afraid. It always
brought her out of her thoughts and back to him. She gave
him a weak smile.
Throughout, the last two years they had loved, lived, and
actively sought to honor God in all ways. The everyday
trivialities of married life were just that, trivial and held
no lasting importance to them. Astonishing them both,
every day brought them closer causing their love to grow
that much stronger. Their joy overflowed upon all who knew them.
They jumped when the heavy oak door swung open behind them.
This man in a white coat was going change their lives. The cordial greetings
mandated by civility annoyed her greatly in this moment. The man
opened a folder in front of him and then looked up at the couple.
A long pause before he spoke nearly caused her patience to expire but then
“The results of the tests have revealed a problem…” he said with authority.
Our lovers griped each other’s hands all the tighter.
“I am very sorry to tell you that it will impossible for you to bear a child…”
he stated with finality.
Tears streamed freely and her entire body was trembling fiercely. She
wanted to give her beloved a child. She could not look at him, it
would crush her soul to see disappointment in his eyes.
She knew it wouldn’t be there,
she knew he loved her no matter the obstacle they faced. He
squeezed her hand more firmly then softly called her name until her
eyes met his. As she expected, love and compassion washed her
anew in great torrents.
The doctor had been babbling on and on but she hadn’t heard a word
after hearing that she could not bear children. Yet, her lover was calling
her name saying there was more that the doctor had to tell them. She grabbed several
tissues from the box the doctor offered
“Due to the chronic illness you have been treated for all your life, your
immune system was not able to effectively fight off malignant cells.” he paused
allowing the words to sink in. The couple sat shell-shocked in their chairs.
“I am dreadfully sorry to inform you that the tests reveal you have
stage 4 ovarian cancer that has spread to the adjoining tissues.” he finished.
She sat there saying nothing while listening to her beloved
pose question after question to the doctor, who tried to explain. She knew
the doctor could not give him the answer he or she wanted. It
was the silence in the room that brought her back to them when she felt their
eyes studying her intently.
She cleared her throat, “How long?”
Her husband was looking from her to the doctor and back again.
He had been asking about treatments and cures not being able to cope
with the reality of the situation.
“My best guess, six months to a year
unless it becomes more aggressive”, he stated
flatly using an over practiced empathy. “I am very sorry
for both of you and please, call my office if you need anything. “
She could feel her husband trembling
through the hand she held.
He fell to his knees, embracing her fiercely
as if he would lose her if he dared to let go.
He laid his head upon her breasts and
she enveloped him in her embrace allowing
the sobs to claim their sorrow.