by W.P. Gerace
A widower is given hope after going through a harsh winter and losing his wife.
| " The Spring Reunion"|
by W. P. Gerace
Waking up to the clamorous chirp of his bird alarm sixty-two-year-old John Martins was thrilled to see that the harsh bitter days of winter were long behind him. Illuminating his room in a whitish yellow hue the sparkle of Spring’s long-awaited sunshine basked his skin a sign that more pleasant days were ahead finally after a tedious winter that left the tiny town of Harkins, Pennsylvania in a shut down status for most of the season. Stretching his arms sitting up he could not help but notice the space next to him in his bed once occupied by his wife Millie was empty. Only three months since her sudden passing from a major heart attack another catastrophe of treacherous conditions. If the roads were not iced up and closed off, she would still be here with him cackling and telling crazy jokes.
Shaking his head, not wanting the overwhelming sensation of sadness to overtake him again, he had to move on and do something productive. Out in the yard he could hear the neighbor’s barking dogs, also probably excited to be a part of the new beginning. Those dogs were very hyper and energetic, to say the least both white haired Labrador Retriever’s had enough energy for a whole community. They sure were excited for Spring he could hear it in the boisterous barking ecstatic to be out in the warm air.
Out in the distance a little further down the walkway from his place John could hear the festive tweeting of Robins, their petite brown bodies hanging out in the towering oaks that lined the street. They too were glad to be back home after a long winter’s nap. Millie loved this time of year a Spring baby herself her birthday always fell on the first day of Spring. Tears began to trickle down his cheeks, he sure wished she could be here, why did things have to be this way he wondered. Never able to have children and just about all their family gone now he had a sister Trish, but she was all the way in Phoenix, Arizona and she barely kept in touch with anyone. He felt totally alone now. As he looked out down the street, he thought he saw something out of the corner of his eye.
Clenching onto the tip of the windowsill the callous surface rubbing against his rough hands he could not help but see a woman standing on the edge of the grass illuminated by a white glow. Squinting he was curious who this could be. She looked at him directly with those crystal sea blue eyes of hers. Her long flowing golden blonde hair swirled about her shoulders in a carefree manner. She had no shoes on or anything to protect her feet. She just stood there as his neighbors came out of their homes talking to each other grateful that winter has finally come to an end. As quickly as she appeared she departed into thin air. Curious John just had to know who she was.
Grabbing his jeans and plaid shirt off the black chair at the end of his bed, he quickly put on his maroon jacket. Even though the calendar said it was April 9th, 2023, Easter Sunday he knew darn well there would be a remaining morning chill in the air. He could not afford to get sick since he had a bad bout with pneumonia back in 2022 and almost lost his own life. John can still recall how horrible he felt his lungs felt as if they were filled with gallons of water he could barely breathe as if he was breathing through a straw. Walking down the steps he hoped he could find that strange woman part of him felt he knew her but from where.
Briskly taking a walk down his walkway, he saw all his neighbors bustling about once again dressed in their Sunday’s best. The Peterson’s long-time neighbors of 20 years both dressed in their finest waved him over. Annie a scrawny woman well into her late sixties now was done up in her pale blue dress, her glistening pearl earrings dazzling in the warmth of the early Spring sun, wearing a light amount of make up her normally pale skin looked as if she had spent her winters in Florida. Donald, her husband was wearing his black suit, white shirt, and blue tie smiling.
“Hey there how you guys doing? I am glad this winter is over with it was so long and harsh.” John said, hoping this wouldn’t be a long conversation.
“Honey how are you holding up?” Annie asked in that quivering tone of hers signs her Parkinson’s was getting worse.
Before he could answer the woman appeared again. He could see her clearer now she was down by the duck pond, it was Millie. His heart leaped for joy. This was the first time he had seen her since her passing. He often heard of people seeing their loved ones after death but never really believed in it.
“Is that you Millie? “John asked.
“It is me honey. I have come for you. It is your time. We will be together forever. I miss you so much.” Millie put out her hands, they were so dainty as they always had been.
John grabbed her hands, they felt so warm, so full of life. He was ready to be with his high school sweetheart. Glancing back, he could see everyone coming out now from their homes from miles away. Surrounding him were others whom he hadn’t seen in years. Finally, after a long winter of sadness he will be happy. No more tears. For the first time in months John smiled.