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Tiding over tough times

Tiding over tough times

The day was bright and sunny, but it did nothing to pull Alice out of her gloom. Her eyes were red from crying, with frown lines etched on her forehead. Even the smile she managed to force in the presence of her children didn’t quite reach her eyes.

The last few months had been incredibly tough for her, with her husband, Ron, admitted to the hospital. It all started when he got diagnosed with a chronic illness three years back, but his pain and suffering had only increased since then.

Ron was a fighter, but of late, Alice saw her husband gradually losing hope and succumbing faster to his illness. Her heart was in pieces to see her love lying helplessly on the bed, slowly withering away. She knew she had to do something, anything, that would give Ron a will to fight, a ray of hope to hold on to.

The next day, Alice compiled 30 years of their togetherness into an album and left for the hospital. Ron, too weak to even smile stared at the album with curiosity. “Go on, open it,” said Alice.

The first picture was of their wedding, both smiling, young, and shy. The next one was from their first holiday, locked in a tight embrace. The third showed a young father beaming at his newborn son. The rest of the album was a beautiful recreation of the journey they had cruised together in the last thirty years, a solemn reminder of all that they had been through, of all the storms they had managed to sail together.

Ron’s eyes welled up as he flipped through the album. Alice slowly took his hand in hers, and said, “We promised to stay together in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. We have fought many obstacles. We can fight this too.”

Ron whispered, “Yes we will, love.” For Alice, the hopeful smile on his face was everything she wanted to see.

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