Andrew – One of the ‘St. Valentines’
by S.A. Gibbins, Volunteer Staff
Andrew slumped into the same lounge chair that he had occupied for the past eight weeks. The IV dripped a miracle concoction that would supposedly kill his cancer while somewhere in the background, a CD reeled off one more verse of “All you need is Love.” It echoed through the depressed recesses of his mind.
The seat opposite him was empty again today. The old woman that usually sat there always nudged him for cheerful conversation. He barely noticed when she thanked the workers profusely and ambled down the hall with her walker.
“The old bag’s probably dead. She must’ve known she was gonna die.”
Her voice intruded on his mind. “You should smile, Andrew. It’d do you a world of good.”
Smile? Why should he? Since his wife left and the kids quit visiting, there was nothing to smile about. All You Need is Love hummed a happy tune in empty ears and he yearned to hear something else.
He peered around, feeling like a permanent fixture in the sterile room, and then heard a familiar squeaky voice behind him.
“Will you be my Valentine, Sir?”
There stood the old woman, holding a handmade Valentine Card in her age-spotted hands. As she pressed the card into his palm, it jolted a 50-year old memory. Andrew was in the first grade again, absent from school because of an eye operation. The teacher came to visit and delivered dozens of homemade Valentine cards from his schoolmates. They looked a lot like this one. A slow smile erupted as he shook her hand.
“You’re not dead!”
“Of course I ain’t. You ain’t either,” she said as she took her seat. “I missed you, too.”
Some say it was the card that healed Andrew that day. Some say it was the love that broke down his barrier. Whatever it was – it worked!
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