Friday, October 23, 2009


Jerry was, of course, devastated. Thinking for sure that she would reappear over the next weeks and months he kept thinking that he spied her in a crowd or heard her voice across the room. With every door knock he was convinced it would be her on the other side of the door and every time the phone rang he answered with the question, “Mary?” But Mary had thoroughly disappeared. Nobody had seen hide nor hair of her.

Many friends stopped by to console Jerry. Even Mary’s friends would drop in but often made things worse by reminding him, “Well, Mary was different after all.” One girl in particular made it her mission to heal his love sick heart and one day; one long day afterward Jerry realized that he had come to love her. Not in the same way that he loved Mary, but he loved her none-the-less and so asked her to marry him. She gladly accepted and the a year later at the stately Sacred Heart Parish church a wedding was once again staged with twice as many people in attendance (for who knew what might happen this time) and a new priest just for luck.

Nothing out of the ordinary occurred however and the guests were not entirely truthful in their stated relief that the day went about as well as such days can for each of them had been secretly awaiting a new development in the whole drama. So whole wedding day, the honeymoon, and even the settling into their new home went pretty much without a hitch.

Another year passed and Jerry was home alone when the doorbell rang. He felt a familiar tingling sensation in his stomach though he was not sure why. His heart raced. He opened the door and there on the stoop was Mary, (still?) in her wedding gown, still radiant and hopeful looking. Next to her was the priest who was to marry them. “I’m ready now Jerry. I’m ready to say my half of the vows.”

Later he could only imaging how he must have looked; mouth agape, eyes bugged out, arms hanging limply. “B – b – b – but Mary! You left me at the altar.”

“That was the test silly! I warned you it would happen before I said, ‘I do.’ And now I am ready to forsake all and give my love to you fully for the rest of our lives!”

“Oh gee Mary. I don’t know how to . . . you see . . . well gosh Mary, I’m married now.”

“I don’t understand.” She said it though with a wry smile as if she really did understand. “You promised publically to love me, and honor me, in good times and in bad forsaking all others for the rest of your lives. Did you falter in that so quickly?”

“But Mary! What was I supposed to do? I didn’t know!”

“But you said you were sick in love with me. That no matter what you had to have me and I told you that I would say ‘I do’ did I not? Can your true love only last a year and half?”

He opened his mouth but nothing came out.

She laughed. “Don’t worry my sweet Jerry. I knew you wouldn’t wait. You didn’t really love me like you thought you did. You wanted love from me, your new desire is to love your wife. You are going to be happier now than you know as long as you choose to love your wife in good times and bad, sickness and health, all the days of your life. I would have (and did!) eventually disappointed you and your dream would have been ruined, but with her you are building a dream together.” With that she stepped backwards into the yard – really walking this time not just fading away. When she reached the middle of the yard she lifted her hands and as she did so she was transformed into a giant magnolia tree that over the years always seemed to be in blossom. Though people would comment on its beauty nobody ever questioned its blossoms. And on occasion when Jerry was standing out on his front stoop eyeing a pretty young lady passing by a branch might fall from the tree and clunk him on the head at which point he would remember that he was happy, turn back into the house where was his wife and he would love her.


Carol said...

I love it!

You made my day!

Adoro said...

Fr. V., this is a great story! You should publish it! (I mean somewhere other than your blog!) :-)

Mikki said...

Pretty darn cute. Every woman loves a happy ending.

Foxie said...

beautiful story:)