I returned the next day and was met by an exuberant Mippy. She was almost dancing as she said “he’s coming home! He’s coming home!”
I admit that for a second, I was considering calling the men in the white coats, but I listened as she cheerfully said “my dearest Jus is coming home!”
I sat down at the kitchen table and noticed that all the petals, save one, had fallen from the rose in the little glass vase. Mippy hadn’t picked them up and put them in the little pink bowl.
A shiver went down my spine as I asked “when?” She said “today. My beloved is coming home today.”
I asked her how she knew that it was him. She said “they found his wedding ring, his dog tags and some bone fragments.”
I noticed that she had put on her wedding ring and had pushed her sleeves up, exposing the bracelet on her left arm. A sadness came over her as she looked at her arms, covered with the brown spots that are typical with age. She put her hands on her now wrinkled face and said “oh, my. I have gotten old.”
I said “but he won’t be able see you Mippy.”
She said “oh yes. He’ll be able to see me. He has seen me every day since the day he left. He lets me know that he’s near by pulling a petal off my rose and I’ve always known that when they were all gone, he would come home.”
I wasn’t sure what to think or say but I hoped that something about the rose in the little glass vase was magical. I hoped that the kind of love Mippy and Jus had for each other, wasn’t confined to the realm of what could be explained.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Mippy’s eyes filled with tears and we watched the last petal fall.