His flight was delayed, he didn’t made it to the house in time. “You were missed, but you weren’t needed,” they assured him, “The movers were great.”
He insisted on going by anyway, he had never seen it when it wasn’t his home. And goodbyes have value.
“You haven’t aged at all,” he thought. The door was locked. He rang the bell on reflex. A simple greeting that faded to silence. He replied with a quiet “goodbye.”
On the brick path he saw it, his dad’s stationary folded into a card. He lifted it up, turned it over, “Joannie” written in a familiar hand.
Teary eyes make for difficult reading, but the message was simple enough:
He wanted to keep it for himself. He didn’t have enough to remember her by, some pictures and a Christmas Tree pin he gave her when he was 9. And besides, he thought, “I never had the chance to say goodbye.”
But he looked up at the house that they made into a home. And he thought about them, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. In sickness.
It wasn’t his note to keep. He’d give it to his dad. Gladly. Tearfully, more than likely, but gladly. She was mom and he missed her dearly. But she was his wife. She was his Joannie. She was his everything.