Hearing her husband’s moans the old man’s wife dropped the plate she was washing, breaking it to shards. She rushed to the cupboard in which his medicine resided. Grabbing the nitro-glycerin she ran to the back patio as quickly as she could. It hurt her knees badly when she rushed but she paid it no mind as she dashed to his side.
“Wake up, wake up!” she shouted. “I have your medicine!” her voice rising with her concern. “That’s it, good, now, open your mouth and lift up your tongue.” As he slowly complied she placed the nitro under his tongue. For a moment he sat there, pale as plaster. The wife thought she had been too late. This wasn’t the first time but now it was becoming much more critical. How long did he have?
“Is it working? How are you feeling now?” Her questions were jumbled together as her voice quaked to force the sound out. The old man nodded after a minute.
“I think I’m Ok now.” He was taking in huge gulps of air. Gradually, his color started to come back as the nitro-glycerin worked its magic: once again. Within three minutes he had returned enough to consciousness to gasp, haltingly, “It’s the dreams.” “Why do I have these dreams,” he implored his wife with a face which was strained trying to understand and looking at her with eyes which begged for answers.
“I saw a place, a desert or wilderness of black. It was so hot! I’m thirsty,” he whined. Dutifully, still overwhelmed with concern, his wife went to the kitchen, cursed herself for the broken dish, and brought a glass of water back to her husband.
“I don’t know what causes them,” she said. “They came on so sudden. Maybe it’s just stuff and nonsense a tired old mind comes up with.”
She couldn’t say more than this. Who could? Dreams. What are dreams in reality? Stuff and nonsense might have been the best answer anyone could have given. As she watched him she pulled up another patio chair and sat down close to him. “Are you feeling better now?”
Looking at her he nodded, muttering, “OK. I’m OK. Guess I dropped off to sleep for a minute.” Smiling at him she prayed to herself, Don’t take him from me Lord. Please, I know we both have to go but let us go at the same time…or, me first. I don’t want to live without him.
“I need to go clean up the kitchen. Just sit here and take it very easy for me, OK? I’ll be right back.”