Dedicated to Rob
Submitted by SusanJezzie was cold. Cold winters were nothing new in Wyoming, but this was a different. It was a bone deep lack of all warmth. She was also alone. She stared over her small farm, over the snowdrifts, and wondered what it would be like to walk in sunshine. She wanted someone to hold her hand as she walked on a beach and felt sand between her toes.
She was lonely. She considered driving into town and asking her best friend Kyle to lunch, only to shake her head. As the only doctor in the area, Kyle was always busy. She had seen him just yesterday for a check up. Thirty-five years old and her best friend was still the boy who had pulled her ponytails in kindergarten. She smiled sadly to herself and wandered inside.
In town, Dr. Kyle Marchant felt tears fill his eyes as he studied the chart on desk. He had thought Jezzie looked smaller than usual with her frail structure and her wild mop of pecan curls. She was the most stubborn woman he knew, and the most giving. She would never ask for anything but let someone in town need help and she was the first one there.
When his own wife had died, it had been Jezzie who held his hand through the ordeal. When old Mrs. Withers had broken her hip, it had been Jezzie who stopped by twice a day to check on her and bring her meals. For every bake sale, every fund raiser, every charity dance, Jezzie was the first in line to contribute, and the last to ask for any thanks.
She was sick, and he suspected she knew. He needed a miracle and didn’t know how to find one. Grabbing his coat, he left the office with the intention of driving up to her farm. That was before he passed by the only travel agency in town and found his eye caught by pictures of deep blue waters and sandy white beaches.
Jezzie had never even been out of Wyoming. She had never seen the ocean. He opened the door and strode inside, his mind made up. Fifteen minutes later he left with a handful of brochures and a head full of plans. Marjorie Anderson watched him walk out, her eyes filling with tears as she reached for the phone and called her husband.
“Hi honey,” she said softly. “You know that new washing machine we’ve been saving up for? I’ve decided I like the old one, and I have an idea.”
Word spread like wildfire through the small town. Phones rang in all the houses and all the shops. People stopped on the streets to talk and assign tasks. Summer clothes were bought in Jezzie’s size, swim suits and sun dresses, shorts and sandals, things the practical woman would never purchase for herself.
Kyle was standing on Jezzie’s porch, holding her close, when he saw the cars pulling up to her ranch. He recognized the cars. It appeared as if the entire town was coming for a visit. He turned Jezzie in his arms, refusing to let her go, and watched as the cars parked and people unloaded.
The first person to reach them was a tall, elderly man, the local Minister. His smile was mischievous as he waved a piece of paper at them. Then Marjorie and her husband joined them, handing Jezzie a bouquet of wild flowers.
“We’re tired of the two of you dragging things out,” Minister Jones teased. “You two have been in love with each other your entire lives. Today is your wedding day, compliments of a special license.” Jezzie sputtered, her face growing hot, but Kyle smiled down at her. In his deep blue eyes she saw all the love she had waited for, echoing all the love in her heart for him, and she said yes.
And so there was a wedding on Jezzie’s battered porch. Old Mrs. Withers stood as a witness and offered her own wedding band to seal their vows. Then, as the stunned couple accepted congratulations, they were presented with more gifts.
“You’re going to walk on the beach for your honeymoon,” Mrs. Withers patted Jezzie’s cheek with an age-gnarled hand. “You’re going to see the ocean,” she handed Kyle a set of plane tickets.
“You’re going to dine in the moonlight on your own balcony,” Marjorie kissed Jezzie’s cheek and handed her hotel reservations.
“You’re going to have all Hawaii laid at your feet,” Minister Jones set down a suitcase at her feet. “And when the sun sets on you in Hawaii, you’re going to know how loved you are.”
Which is just what happened. The newlyweds danced, dined, and laughed in Hawaii. They went sailing and whale-watching, snorkeling and body-surfing. And when Jezzie walked on the beach at sunset, she had someone to hold her hand.
Kyle had his miracle.
And fifty years later, when her grandkids asked her what had healed her, she told them the truth. It was love, laughter, and Hawaii.
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