Retold by Joyce Jacobo
[Author’s Note: This story is based on an actual event that happened to one of my relatives, who lost her husband many years ago. They shared a special connection. Enjoy. ^_^]
In the months after losing her husband, Margie Caroline often drove to crowded places like the local town mall just to walk around. She could never explain why it comforted her so much, or at least took an edge off the pain that ebbed to a dull ache at the best of times.
Maybe it was the voices. The sounds of people speaking, laughing, and having fun together. They were much nicer than the emptiness that had filled the void her husband had left at home. They even felt nicer—sometimes—than the phone calls from concerned family members who lived in other states and kept checking on her, static against the emptiness. Always, her relations would stress how sorry they were for her loss, offer to help with any final expenses and paperwork (numerous and confusing), and beg Margie to take care of herself.
The knowledge that she had loved ones who cared so much about her was a comfort.
But . . .
Unfortunately . . .
Margie kept listening for the voice of love and comfort she knew was lost to her forever—which could only realistically exist in her memory. In addition, there was another regret that kept her from finding any peace of mind, especially as the holidays approached. “I wish I could have let him know how much I loved him, right before I lost him,” she would whisper to no one in particular. “If only I could have known for sure that he knew how much I loved him, even while he was so sick.”
December arrived. Her favorite holiday crept closer and closer. Decorations were up and shining everywhere she went, celebrating family and miracles. Temperatures dropped and the world gained an extra frosty layer.
“I wish I could have let him know how much I loved him,” Margie whispered as she walked around the mall, noting the couples who were arm-in-arm. Then, as she returned to the parking lot for her car, she murmured, “If only I knew that he understood how much I loved—”
Margie froze. The final words of her well-worn thoughts drifted away on a cool breeze. She stared at the back window of her car, cloudy with frost, where words stood out in plain view:
“I love you too.”