George had promised to never leave her alone and he had always been a man of his word…
Hannah and George had married in the springtime of their years and each year that passed had always found them happier than the one before. As the time had passed they had aged but their love had stayed forever fresh.
George died one early morning from a heart attack, just before their sixtieth wedding anniversary. Hannah was crushed but she went on with her broken heart and did the things that needed to be done.
His funeral was a well-attended affair with a moving tribute; lovely music and more flowers than could be imagined gathered in one place for one person.
That was because George was so well liked because everyone knew what a loving person he had been and because everyone had known that he was a man of his word.
George and Hannah had picked out their headstone years ago. It was a double heart with their names carved in and all that remained was for the death dates to be added. Their plot was in a beautiful peaceful cemetery with large shade trees and little stone benches along the paths here and there.
Hannah waited for the Reverend to motion for her to step to the coffin for her last good-bye. In her hand was a single yellow rose. George would know what it meant. It had come from one of his favorite rose bushes back at home.
With tears streaming down her face, she allowed herself to be lead away, to the car that would carry her away from George forever. How could she ever bear this?
Arriving home she noticed a man sitting on the front porch. He must have been a friend of George’s who hadn’t made it to the funeral. Her friends led her from the car into her living room, ignoring the man sitting on the porch swing as though he wasn’t even there.
How rude… Hannah asked someone to go and ask him to join them. Soon they came back, announcing that whoever it had been must have left, as there was no one out there now on the porch.
Though there were volunteers to spend the night with her, Hannah declined, wishing to be alone. When everyone had gone she stepped out on the porch and sat down on the glider swing. A figure came up the steps from the shadowy side lawn and sat down beside her.
Hannah had known he would be along. She and George talked into the wee hours of the night mulling over the funeral and burial, even touching upon her sister, Bessie’s, newly gray-blue dyed hair. Soon they were smiling and laughing like they had never been apart these last three days, like the last three days had never even happened.
Hannah stayed home and Mr. Mac, the grocer, delivered what she needed weekly. Her lawn and flowers were beautifully kept as they always had been.
Autumn fell to winter and spring followed and, as always, brought her sister, fresh from her yearly winter jaunt to Florida.
She arrived at Hannah’s house looking worried. Bessie said it wasn’t healthy for Hannah to stay home grieving, as she knew she was, staying in the house day after day, all alone.
Hannah smiled and told Bessie that she was well beyond grieving and doing just fine. She assured her sister that there was no reasons, whatever, for her concerns.
Hannah was as happy as she could possibly be, and still smiling brightly, she glanced over Bessie’s shoulder to the border by the side of the porch, where she could see George, down on his knees, busily pulling weeds from around the yellow rose bushes.
George had always told Hannah that he would never leave her and he had always been a man of his word…
©Copyright March 22, 2006 by Faye Sizemore