In “The Unraveling of Reverend G,” readers are introduced to Jacob and Jessie. But what’s the back story on those two? How did they get together, long before Reverend G’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis?
“Oh, Mom – what if she says ‘No’?”
“Impossible, Jacob. That girl is head-over-heels-and-heart-pounding in love with you. She’s been waiting two years to become your bride.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“Of course, I’m sure. Don’t you know that old saying, ‘Mama’s always right’?”
A slight pause on the other end of the telephone. Reverend G knew her son. He was looking at the ring he had picked out for his lovely Jessie and weighing his options. She actually heard the ring case snap shut over the phone line. Yep…she knew her son well.
“Okay, Mom. I’m going to do it tonight. I’ll call you later and tell you everything.”
“I love you, Jacob. She’s going to say, ‘Yes.’”
From the time Jacob was just a tot with his plastic baseball and a tiny glove, Reverend G had prayed for this moment – for the day when Jacob would ask his girlfriend to become his wife and then later – to wait at the end of the aisle for her to walk toward him in a beautiful white gown.
“Just make sure, God, that her faith is strong. Marriages need strong folks these days and special grace to make it through. Let their love be grounded in your love, secure in that everlasting power that keeps them together through all the trials of life.”
Now her prayer was about to be answered. Reverend G fell to her knees once again and dedicated her beloved son to the love of her life – Jesus Christ.
Although she was certain of the outcome, she spent the evening off and on, studying for Sunday’s sermon and then praying for Jacob and his beloved Jessie. Such a beautiful girl – tall and slender with long auburn hair that accented her green eyes. A school teacher who loved little kids. Second graders. A woman with a sense of humor and spontaneity – qualities that would offset Jacob’s type-A personality and his compulsion to work hard and be as efficient as possible. They met at a Chamber event – something about Jacob’s bank helping the school district buy supplies for the new year.
“She’ll bring fun into his life,” Reverend G prayed. “Please, God. Let her be the other half my Jacob needs to complete him. I believe this is good and right, but of course – you know best.”
Reverend G sat close to the phone, so that she would hear its ring. She knew Jacob would surely call and report Jessie’s answer as soon as possible, but he might also want to spend the evening with his bride-to-be – making plans and holding each other close.
She slipped into her Tweety Bird nightshirt and stared at the phone, willing it to ring. Stupid machine. Hurry up, Jacob.
Reverend G needed plenty of sleep before she preached tomorrow’s sermon from James chapter one. Her sermon topic: patience.
She laughed out loud. All prepared to teach about patience and still working on it herself.
The doorbell’s squeak surprised her, and she remembered she needed to get that thing fixed. It used to have a lovely little bell, but lately – it only squeaked like a bird whose beak was stuck in a feeder.
Who could be at her door past nine o’clock? Maybe one of her parishioners had a problem and needed prayer. Or a neighbor with a spiritual struggle. Whatever. Ministers were always on call.
Reverend G shuffled into her winter jacket to hide her nightshirt and pulled on a pair of sweats. Then she ran toward the front door and opened it wide.
There stood Jacob, with a silly grin on his face and Jessie leaning on his shoulder. “Come in, come in. What a nice surprise! I was expecting a phone call, but this is better. Tell me all about it, and I can tell by the expressions on your faces – it’s good news.”
“Oh, Reverend G,” began Jessie. “He had such a beautiful plan. We drove out to Conway Lake, after a wonderful dinner at Paisano’s. Jacob knows I love lasagna.” She pecked him on the cheek.
Jacob grinned like a love-sick puppy.
“He taped twinkle lights all over the biggest gazebo and set up a little bench with a satin cover on it. A CD player in the corner with a recording of Elvis and “Love Me Tender.” A bucket of red roses next to the bench smelled heavenly.
“He asked me to sit on the bench and then he reached for one of the roses and handed it to me. My heart was pounding so hard, I just knew he could hear it.”
“Me, too.” Jacob finally spoke, and Reverend G grinned.
“I expected him to read something…maybe a poem or a verse from the Bible. You know, Jacob is always prepared.”
Jacob blushed. “I had the paper in my pocket, just in case I forgot what to say. And then I forgot about the paper.”
Jessie giggled, then tears filmed over her beautiful green eyes. “Jacob knelt on both knees and took my hands. He held my hands so tightly, the rose was almost crumpled between us. Then he said, ‘I’ve waited for you all my life. I love you so much, it hurts. Please marry me. Please say, ‘Yes.’
They hugged each other as Reverend G wiped tears from her own cheeks. “Well, this is a moment for celebration. How about some Chunky Monkey ice cream? Then you can tell me all about your plans. I hope, of course, that you’ll let me officiate at the ceremony. Oh, my – I’ll have to find something nice to wear, won’t I?”
Jacob peeked out from around Jessie’s hug and smiled at his mother. “Sure, Mom. I’ll take some ice cream. By the way, why are you wearing your winter coat?”
©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/11QATC1