Sylvia’s face brightened at the sight of her husband. “Come,” he said, “Look who’s here!”
It was Sylvia’s birthday and Norbert was showing her around. Everyone was there -- her sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, children, and grandchildren.
She hugged little Katie close, as if she’d never let her go -- and Katie’s mother, too. She couldn’t stop looking at her daughter. She hadn’t seen her in so many long years. So much time and distance… She’d been a world away. I can’t believe we’re all really together again.
And then she caught sight of her son, in uniform, looking all grown up -- and yet so young, too young. She broke down then. When he’d gone off to war, she feared she’d never see him again. She’d been waiting so long to see his face again, to see him whole. And here he is.
Carl hugged his mom. “I’ve missed you Mom,” he said.
Sylvia was so overcome, she couldn’t speak. She just held her son, as she had when he was just a babe. It was as if her life was passing before her eyes.
She saw her parents approaching her. Then it was Sylvia’s turn to feel like a babe in their arms.
Norbert came over to her. “May I have this dance?” he asked as he whisked her away.
He always was such a great dancer. And he knows me so well. Knows I needed this -- his arms around me. I needed a break. It’s just so much: so much to absorb, so many people, so much love… But there’s time, all the time in the world… This is one party I’ll never forget.
Sylvia even joined the band on a few of her favorite hymns. Norbert had always said she sang like an angel.
Sylvia’s eyes were moist with tears. She was just so happy to see them all again. She was surprised to find them all there -- and at the same time, not surprised at all. Why wouldn’t they be here?
It was a very special day. The hall was so beautiful. There was so much to see, so many loved ones to catch up with. The music was heavenly. It’s all so perfect. She had never felt so at home, so at peace.
Sylvia and Norbert had been married for 62 years. As they danced she thought, I still can’t believe he’s here with me. At last... I’d almost forgotten the look of his face. How could I forget those blue eyes?
She finally found her voice. “I missed you so terribly those last 18 years.”
“Aye, but you knew where I was, didn’t ye? I was here waitin’ for ye, all this time. I never left ye, not really.”
“Yes, I know. Sometimes I swore you were right there in the room with me.”
“And I was Sylvie; that I was. I’m sorry we were separated for so long. I should’ve listened to ye, about the drink, and the diet and all. My Sylvie always did know best.” He winked at her as their dance came to an end.
“I had friends at the nursing home and my needs were looked after well enough. I kept active, mentally and physically, till the very end. I kept busy...”
“Always,” laughed Norbert.
“But all of my closest family and friends went before me -- every single one of you. It was hard. Yes, my life went on. I had no choice but to carry on. But I never forgot you all. I never stopped missing you, thinking about you, loving you, praying for you...”
“And now, finally, 'tis ye’re turn,” said Norbert.
“Ah,” he said as he led her in yet another direction, “Last but not least.”
Suddenly Sylvia felt a bit shy -- and one thing she had never been was shy. She was almost afraid to look. She felt His presence before she saw Him.
And All of a sudden, there He was. She saw, and felt, the love and compassion His eyes. She was complete.
At 98, she had finally gone on to meet her Maker. She saw the face of God, for her reunion with Norbert and the others took place in heaven.
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