An Evening in Paris

The vibrant young couple one day became old. It wasn’t sudden, but it seemed sudden.

The years between the young and the old seemed to have passed quickly – sometimes in a moment’s time. The memories were sweet and good, yet sometimes sad. It was the sad memories that caused the aging, as is true of most.

The couple had rejoiced when he came home from war. He brought gifts for his mother and little brothers. But he gave her, his sweetheart, a lovely bottle of Evening in Paris – one he had probably purchased in New York on his long way home between ship and train. He told her he had thought of her – missed her so – during those years overseas. The beautiful blue bottle filled with the balm of love, restored to him the hope that some day they might spend an Evening in Paris together – a future Paris, one of peace, not of war. 

He had mailed the parachute to her from France. She took it to a dressmaker in Battle Creek. The gown was simple and stunning – light as a feather. They married in the country church in which they had met before the war that separated them.

And as the years passed, their faithfulness to each other could never be questioned. Their hearts and eyes resonated love throughout every moment of their sixty-six years together. 

The son and daughters had learned about love and God and faithfulness from the couple. Now they wished they could do more to change things – to go back – but of course, that could never happen. So they sat with the old couple and comforted them as much as they could.  They shared pleasant memories from the past. Hoping to brighten her mother’s days, the daughter sent for a vintage blue bottle of Evening in Paris and gave it to the mother. The father, impaired by dementia, had no memory of the gift from many years ago, but of course, the mother did. A slight but potent fragrance of perfume remained in the old bottle. She lifted it to her face. The daughter watched with anticipation, but her mother’s once-bright blue eyes didn’t sparkle any longer. Today, they watered. The trace of their special fragrance in that blue bottle of the past was not enough to renew or even to sustain them in the present. 

Their hearts were the same but both of their bodies were broken from age and disease.  She sat beside him, holding his hand, when the eyes of his old body closed for the last time – never to open again. His soul went up, high above the trees, through the sunlight of the early March morning and into the presence of his Maker. A month later, on an April day, she lay, yearning to follow her beloved. She raised her aged  forearms toward the heavens, and then she followed him. 

The fragrance of their past here was gone. But in its place would be a better one – one of renewal and restoration of youth and vibrancy – one of which he had dreamed. They were together in a place of peace, not of war or of aging or of sadness.

Click here to read more of Kathi’s writing about this couple: 

I hear the Master whisper . . .

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