Together

After thirty-five years together, Bill died. Well into her nineties, Kathleen was long past grieving him. One night, drifting between twilight thoughts and deep sleep, she found herself picking her way carefully along the shady banks of a small turbulent stream. Making her way gingerly through gnarled roots along its mossy banks, she was keenly aware a slip could toss her headlong into the stream.

As she moved from the shade, across the way, a meadow of brilliant green grass opened up. In a patch of sunshine, atop a rail fence, sat Bill, as vibrantly young as when they’d met.

Catching her eye, he waved her on, patting the rail beside him. Despite her unsteady gait, she hurried. More than anything, she wanted to sit at his side, but how could she manage it? Gingerly, she stepped in, easily crossing the stream to make her way toward him.

She awoke with a start, mindful she’d shared a moment with Bill, foreshadowing their reunion. Before that moment, she’d always dreaded the moment of her passing, fearing the darkness of death. Now, she looked forward to joining him.

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