This flash fiction piece from July 2013 seems appropriate for this time of year. It’s about the power of love, divine or otherwise. Merry Christmas!
I put that chair out at night. You know the one, the Jesus chair? The straight-backed chair from mama’s set of four that I kept after she passed? The only good chair left in the bunch? That one. I set it out next to the bed for Jesus to sit in. I read about that somewhere. Norman Vincent Peale, I think. Some woman put a chair next to the bed and asked Jesus to sit in it and watch over her at night. So that’s what I did. When things got so bad, when anxiety had me by the throat because I was waiting for those test results, those results to find out if my heart was going to keep on beating another fifty years, or ten, or five, or one, one year, maybe six months. Maybe a week. Maybe a week was all I had left, and that chair with Jesus in it would keep me safe so I could sleep through the night and leave off worrying. I was choking with the worry.
So I put out that chair, and when I woke up in the morning, Manny was sitting in it. He was sitting there in his ratty old bathrobe, snoring. My heart swelled, it overflowed seeing my man sitting there watching over me all night in case Jesus didn’t show up. That’s the kind of man he is. He’d sit in that Jesus chair all night if that’s what it took to make me happy. You can see why I married the lug.
It did my heart good, seeing Manny sitting there. All that worry just flew away, like those dark crows that gather in the tall pines and shadow the lawn when they flap over. All that worry just disappeared, and I knew that whatever the doctor told me, my heart was strong. I would be fine, just fine, no matter what those results said.