| Word Count 1010
Simon’s hand trembled as he clenched his teeth in pain when he tried to steady his last brush stroke of blue colored tinges to the painting. He leaned forward and pushed the reverse lever on his motorized wheelchair as he backed up to look at his masterpiece.
“It’s finished,” he declared out loud. “Katherine, come and see my work of art. After all these years of struggling to get the right textures and composition, it’s finally completed,” he smiled laying the brush down by the pallet. A gentle hand touched his arm. He turned and looked into his devoted wife’s face surrounded with sunlit auburn hair and warm brown eyes.
“Oh! Simon, it’s beautiful." Katherine’s eyes lit up as she looked at the painting. "It’s so life like. You can almost hear the waves crashing against the shore.”
“I… it better be, I put so much time and effort into this work. I… I…. I," Simon’s blue eyes bulged as he grabbed his chest and fell forward. His face grew pale, and he started to shake uncontrollably.
“Simon, what’s wrong?” Katherine screamed.
"No, not now God. Please, give me a little more time. Don’t take me!" “Simon begged.
"I’m calling 911." Katherine flipped her cell phone open and started to dial the number.
“No, Katherine! No paramedics or hospital. I can’t go through all the medical routines again. Help me get undressed and into bed. If I lie down, I think my strength might come back, and I'll be all right.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to call an ambulance?” Katherine asked, pulling off his last item of clothing while she wrestled him out of the chair into the bed.
“Yes, no medical help. Katherine, I want you to wheel the painting in my room so I can look at it. Will you please do that?” Simon squeezed her hand and smiled weakly at her.
“Yes, I'll be right back. Simon, I’m afraid to leave you alone.” Katherine replied as she bent down and brushed her lips across his forehead.
“I don’t know how much time I have left, but I want you by my side as much as possible, and I want to enjoy viewing my ocean. You know why I painted it Katherine. It was my dream to see the ocean. When I became ill the doctors said it would be impossible for me to travel to the coast. So, I did the next best thing I could do, I painted a picture of it. How ironic, after all these years the painting is finally finished, and I am dying,” Simon pushed back tears falling down his cheeks.
“Quit talking like that. I’m going to go get the painting.” Katherine patted his hand and left to get the picture.
Simon lay there staring up at the ceiling and then he called out to God. “Lord, you know that I have been a faithful follower of yours, and I love you with all my heart. I’m asking you for a little more time, but if you say no and take me that’s okay because I trust you, and my life is in your hands.” Simon’s voice quivered as he spoke.
Katherine returned and set up the seascape on the easel in Simon’s room. Suddenly, sunlight burst through the windowpane casting a radiant glow on the ocean waves in the picture.
“Look at the ocean Simon,” Katherine pointed her finger. Simon didn’t answer. She turned around, and his eyes were closed and he had stopped breathing.
“No! No!” Katherine cried as she pulled his body to her chest and wrapped her arms around him rocking him back and forth. "Simon you can't be gone! Why God? Why? He was such a good man and a wonderful husband. It's not fair. Why did he have to die?" Katherine wept bitterly, crying out to God. Letting go of her husband, she laid him back on the bed and sat next to him holding his hand.
"Come Simon." A man appeared in a glittering light like millions of diamonds. He was dressed in a white transparent robe and had long golden hair that blew around his face and fire that danced in his blue eyes. "Take my hand," he commanded stretching it towards him.
“Lord, is that you? Where am I?”
Simon’s spirit left his body. He grabbed the man’s hand, and they began to move up through the roof from one stage to the next. Like a drifting wind, they passed over mountains with green valleys dotted with colored flowers that sparkled like jewels in the sunlight. Moving swiftly he looked down at the breathtaking landscape beneath him, of a crystal faceted city that emitted gold and white glowing rays above the buildings.
Simon looked at his body, it was transparent, and he could see through it. “Where are we going Lord?” He asked, holding the man's hand tightly.
“You’ll see Simon. Trust me, we're almost there.”
“I hear the sound of water, It sounds like waves. I can see them, the light is so bright, and the water sparkles like faceted shades of blue diamonds.” Simon laughed when he felt the mist on his face.
“That’s right Simon. You're at the ocean, in Heaven." The man let go of his hand and smiled as white doves fluttered above and then landed gently on Simon’s shoulders. "Go my faithful good servant, immerse yourself in the eternal waters of Glory. You are well deserving of this reward."
Simon rushed forward into the ocean splashing and jumping in the water as two angels with gold pitchers approached him. One lifted him up and the other poured water over his head that crystallized into an eternal crown. Then a heavenly choir of angels sang "Halleujah" to the sound of harps playing ethereal music.
Simon turned towards the man and his face glowed as he spoke. "Thank you Lord, I not only received my wish, but I also got to be in the ocean of eternity.”