Live On

May 5, 2011
Hogan was a simple man, not one accustomed to do anything more venturous past his normal routine. He was a man who awoke at five a.m. every morning just as the rooster began to crow. He’d then rub his soft, brown eyes and scratch the top of his thinning grey hair. Then he’d go to the faucet and pour cool water on his face.

On this particular morning, he went through his early morning routine, then after drying off his scruffy face, he walked to his bedpost, and kissed his wife’s cheek who was serenely sleeping as if she’d slept on a bed of roses. As he looked at her, he then reminisced all the reasons he fell in love with her 36 years ago. Her blue eyes made him feel as if he could walk on clouds and her soft red lips recreated the joyous day his son was born. As he solemnly watched his wife, whose blonde hair was slowly turning white, he thought of the day he first laid eyes on her and instantly fell in love.

He had been selling potatoes at a local market home grown off his father’s farm. As he was putting some produce in a bag for a customer, he looked up and saw what he thought was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. He thought he was receiving a glimpse of Heaven as her hair majestically blew in the wind and her eyes twinkled in the sunlight. As she waltzed towards his stand, she caught his eye as if instantly knowing that fate had just announced itself.

Carl knew at that moment that she was the woman he was going to marry.

Now, almost 40 years later, Carl still feels that same magic when he looks at his wife, Elizabeth, as he did that day at the market. Carl still loves the glow in Elizabeth’s smile and the compassionate heart that would sacrifice anything for the ones she loves.

Although Carl was able to provide a humble home built from the sweat off his back, on a farm that has grown everything they ever needed to survive on, he wished he could have provided Elizabeth with more. He wished that every morning she spent milking the cows could have been spent buying luxury butter at the market. He wished that every day she’d spent sewing up holes in her old dresses, could have spent on buying the newest fashions imported from Europe. He wished most of all that he could have had enough money to pay for the medical expenses to save their son who never got to see his first year.

Elizabeth never once complained about their simple lifestyle, and always appreciated all that she’d been given gracefully and with great faith that God had and will always provide. Yet, Carl still was dismayed at what he had lacked to give his wife who he felt deserved everything the world had to offer.

As Carl continuously watched his wife sleep on the bed built from their very own oak trees, he was distraught that this would be the last time she would sleep in the home that had protected them from so many winters and had encompassed so many memories and treasures from their marriage.

The Great Depression had enveloped so many lives that had worked to the bone to find what our country has to offer. It had forced Carl to give up almost all of what he holds most dear and had worked his whole life to achieve. He had to give up his home in which he first brought his newlywed wife home. He had to give up the farm that provided so many delicious meals and had helped provide clothing and a way to live.
Carl then turned away from his wife and walked towards his dresser drawer. He picked up his Bible all worn from years of use and late nights of reading, and turned to where he had placed a picture to bookmark his place.

He looked at the black and white picture and reminisced the time in which it was taken. It was taken when they had first bought their farm at a time of great prosperity and love. The happy couple felt the world was at their hands and nothing could ever bring down the joy they were feeling that day.

Carl looked at the pride that was in his eyes that day. The joy in knowing that he had something that would provide for his wife and someday a family of his own. Now the picture only represented all that he wasn’t able to provide for his wife: a prosperous farm, a spacious home, and healthy children.

As he began to return the picture to its former place, he noticed the underlined verse touching the crease in his Bible. It read, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus”.

Carl’s eyes began to swell as he realized his lack of faith. He had forgotten that through God he could do all things and that God would provide for them and would never desert them.

He then got down on his wrinkled knees, worn with age and bowed his head and closed his eyes. He prayed that God would provide for his family and would protect them as they ventured away from the safety of their home.

After opening his eyes, he looked back on his wife who was still softly sleeping in her warm bed. He then saw that God had not left him or forsaken him but had blessed him with what was most dear to him in the world. Elizabeth.

Although, Carl knew that he would have to work in an assembly line and Elizabeth would have to work as a seamstress in a factory, he knew that God would always provide for them. As long as he had his Bible in his hand and Elizabeth in his arms, he would live on and prosper.

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