Strength to Carry On
An hour later, Abbey was still sitting on the hard ground beneath the oak tree. Right beneath the heart where JB & AB Forever was carved into the tree trunk. For the past forty minutes or so, Abbey had been sleeping. She was so exhausted, that's how she knew the prognosis was right.
Hearing the sound of leaves crumble due to footsteps, Abbey's eyes flew open. She spun around to be face to face with Jed.
Jed didn't say anything, he just crawled down onto the hard earth, next to his wife. He moved his head so that he could see the heart carved into the tree. He grabbed a hold of Abbey's hand. As their hands got closer to the trunk, Jed picked her index finger out and he traced the word forever that they had carved into the tree almost thirty-three years ago.
When Jed let go of her hand, she used it to brush her hair out of her face. Jed watched as she did so, then turned and faced the lake.
It was such a beautiful sight to see. Both her, and the lake.
Sitting next to her husband, she elected to reach her hand out and take a hold of his. As she grasped onto it, she moved around so that she was laying flat on her back, with her head in his lap.
As much as she thought she needed to be alone, by herself, what she really needed was to be alone, with him.
No President. No Fist Lady. No country to run. No staff members to bug them. Just them. The two of them, alone.
The two of them, alone. Alone off the shore of the lake. Alone next to the tree where they carved their initials like a bunch of high school teenagers. Alone, together.
No words were needed. No words were spoken.
As Abbey lay there, in his lap, he lovingly tucked her hair behind her ear. He repeated this action, over and over. It wasn't that there was any hair left to be tucked behind her ear, he just needed to touch her.
Feeling safe, feeling comfortable, Abbey was able to close her eyes and drift off to sleep.