They’d been married for thirty years. And each of those years was nothing but perfect. She couldn’t bring herself to fathom why the universe was blessing her as much as it.
Then, her husband suddenly passed, bringing a shroud of darkness over everything she held dear. She was almost losing her mind when she looked under his workbench one day. What she found made her tears double.
Amanda McIntyre married John when she was twenty-five years old. Their marriage was unlike anything Amanda ever knew. It was happiness, purpose, and companionship bundled into one.
As a young wife, she’d done everything to make her husband happy. She’d also been delighted when he constantly went out of his way to reciprocate the energy. So when disaster came knocking, she couldn’t understand why it chose her door.
John was everything Amanda ever wanted in a man. He was kind, sensitive, and intelligent, with a sense of humor that would make anyone laugh. He was also hard-working, with a body meant for a Greek god.
For Amanda, John was the perfect soulmate. Their minds had connected since their first conversation, and as the decades blurred by, this connection had only gotten stronger. Then one day, it all came crashing down.
The day had begun nicely enough for Amanda and John. Now in their fifties, the couple was blessed with a son, Aaron, who was away in grad school.
Amanda was at work when she got a call from the hospital. John had been involved in a hit and run. Would she be open to rushing to the hospital as soon as possible?
Amanda, a professor in the local college, cut short her class, jumping into the car straight to the hospital. Her heart pounded within her chest, and she prayed that the universe wouldn’t take away the love of her life.
The hospital came into view, and Amanda stormed out of her car, running into the building, hoping for the best. But when she reached the reception, her thumping heart broke.
Amanda let out a bitter moan, falling to her knees. The hospital had declared John dead on arrival. The days after that melded into one dark blob. Soon, winter came, then spring and summer. Fall followed swiftly, then back to winter.
Amanda didn’t know where to go. She rarely left home, only going out to teach a class or two and returning to her bed. Seemingly scared for his mom’s mental health, her son did the unthinkable.
Aaron deferred from grad school to stay with her, a decision that shook Amanda back to reality. She’d been lost in her mind for months, and she, alongside her home, had deteriorated.
Amanda looked at herself in the mirror. She’d lost weight, and her hair had grown out wildly. Her house was also in disarray, with Aaron barely keeping everything afloat. What would John say if he saw her like this?
Although it was painful, Amanda picked herself up piece by piece. Weeks went by with her trying her best to acclimate to living without her soulmate.
She still couldn’t understand fate’s cruelty. She couldn’t wrap her head around its finality or the fact that she didn’t even bid John goodbye. She wondered if she could survive another year without him by her side.
Normalcy, although strained, was returning to the McIntyre home. Six months had passed since Amanda decided to push forward with life. Aaron was back in school, and everything was falling back to what it once was.
But Amanda couldn’t deny that there was this gaping hole in both her heart and the house. She was unsure of what to do about it until one Saturday morning, she looked under John’s carpentry workbench.
Amanda was cleaning the garage when she came across the workbench. It’d been John’s favorite station since he took up carpentry as a hobby.
Although she’d always teased him about it, now she ran her fingers across its side with a wistful smile, wishing he could be here with her. She knelt to clean its underside, and that’s when she saw it.
Penned in a red marker was a paragraph addressed to Amanda. She immediately recognized John’s handwriting, gasping as joy flooded her veins.
“I love you, Amanda,” the message began. “Whatever day this is, I hope it’s a good one. God truly answered my prayers the day he gave me you.” Amanda clutched her chest as her eyes grew wet. But there was more.
“God truly answered my prayers the day he gave me you,” the message continued. “I know that these days are the best I’ll ever have, and I’m glad you’re in them.”
“I’m not sure if you’ll ever see this, but if you do, just know that I love you very much.” Amanda sat on her haunches, smiling through her tears. Was this the closure she’d been searching for all this while? She continued reading.
“If there is one thing I want in life, it’s to be as good to you as you are to me. If I can do that, I’ll be the happiest man alive.” “You were always good to me,” Amanda said mid-sob. “Always.”
John made her the happiest woman while he was alive. He was still making her heart flutter even after he’d passed on. Amanda’s sight fell on the message’s last line, and her lips curled.
“I love you, beautiful wife,” the last line read, a perfect finish to a beautiful surprise. Amanda wiped her eyes, her smile broadening into a mixture of a grin and a blush.
“I love you too,” she uttered, feeling an enormous weight lift away from her shoulders. She called Aaron and explained everything. What he told her made her lips part.
“I hope when I find someone, mom, our bond will be like you and dad’s,” Aaron said over the phone. He also suggested cutting out the planks with John’s message and framing them.
Amanda listened attentively, thanking the world that although she’d lost the love of her life, she still had their son and this beautiful message. It was enough to help her face every new day.