[Editor’s note: This story arrived in my mailbox—on actual paper!—and it warmed my heart. It is printed here with the author’s permission.]
Here I am, 85 years old and during those years never once thought that a miracle would happen to me. But, IT DID!
During my life, a miracle was slowly heading my way. But why me? I’m just an ordinary Joe, having lived a life similar to many millions of other people. It may have taken form years before it happened. Twenty eight years ago, when I was fifty-seven, I underwent a quadruple heart by-pass. Maybe then is when it took blossom. Who knows?
Having recuperated from the heart surgery, I often wondered why God didn’t take me at that time. I was ready, just lying on the table. The local Catholic priest performed the Last Rites with me the evening before. I was ready!
It was thirteen years later in 2006 that my brother Pat held a reunion at Indian Lake, Ohio. He invited me and a few of his college and Air Force buddies to his lakeside cottage. Well, who showed up but my high-school sweetheart, Norma Johnson. We had not seen each other for fifty-two years! During that period Norma had gotten married, had two girls and been divorced. Me? My wife of forty years had passed away the year before.
Norma and I spent our initial three hours in a rubber life raft stocked with a few beers, happily reminiscing about our earlier lives. After a few suds I proudly announced my marrying again was definitely OFF the table. Upon which she smuggly stated, “Don’t worry ! I definitely won’t put it ON the table”!!
You guessed it. We were married March 7th, 2008 in Reno, Nevada.
Things went along quite well, both of us being retired and enjoying each other, but dementia entered the scene around our eighth year together. Slowly Norma began to lose her memory. Her speech and physical abilities did not seem to slow down to much degree, but Norma definitely needed special personal care, and I relished this opportunity. Life went on for the next four years this way, but then she started to refuse her medicines, ate very little and needed assistance in many respects. Again, I loved taking care of her and I often told her that we would spend the next eight to ten years together living just as we were. But that changed when I needed assistance helping her to the bathroom, to bed and even getting in the car. Needless to say, we were “home bound”. But that didn’t bother me in the least.
Soon even with assistance from Always Best Care, I realized I could no longer help her as she needed, and she entered home hospice care. The next day, while taking my daily walk. I said to God, “I believe it is time Norma goes up to Heaven to be with her mother.” I had now, painfully, released my wonderful Norma. This was very hard to do, but it had to be done.
Thirty minutes later, when I arrived home, the caretaker said Norma was fine and was sound asleep. I walked in, bent down and softly kissed her on the forehead. Norma immediately opened her eyes wide, looked straight at me, smiled the biggest smile I had ever seen, then reached down, took my hand, and brought it to her lips.
That was the miracle! During those short seconds I knew exactly what Norma was saying to me, ”Thank you Bud for releasing me and thank you for taking care of me. I love you”.
Soon after It dawned on me why God did not take me when I was on the operating table. I had a job to do. I just didn’t know what, when, or how.
Yes. Miracles, they do happen!
Bud Sweeney writes from California. He wrote: “Norma passed within 7 days of kissing my hand. I relive that moment daily.”