Mrs. Libbey came by today for a cup of tea and a chat. We sat together on the porch in white wicker chairs, laughing and carrying on like two adolescent schoolgirls. Then suddenly, copious teardrops rolled down her antique face. Slowly, she began to unfold the pain of her husband’s death one year ago before their 60th wedding anniversary. I offered her a comforting shoulder to cry on, but deep down, I knew that I couldn’t wipe away the sorrow of this lonely widow. So instead, I did something else for her that would make her world a little happier.

During our conversation, I found out the name of her son, a renowned photographer in town and decided to contact him directly. After explaining my idea to him in greater detail, he was more than willing to accommodate my request. On the day of their anniversary, Mrs. Libbey did not come by to visit me. When I knocked on her front door, there was no answer. After waiting a few minutes, I started to walk down down the steps. Before I knew it, my ears perked to the sound of intense chuckles coming from her backyard.

When I walked past the gate, there sitting on the wooden bench was Mrs. Libbey with an enormous grin on her face. Tears of joy streamed down her coral cheeks as she sat mesmerized in front of a television screen. Old photographs and home movies of her husband played continuously on a videotape, showcasing special occasions and events which they shared together. At that miraculous moment, it was as if he was actually here with Mrs. Libbey. Near the end of the tape, her husband made a cameo appearance by saying a few final words:

“Honey, although I’m not physically there to celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary, I want you to know that I will always love you.
No matter where we are, I am with you in mind, body, and spirit.
Thank you for a lifetime of beautiful memories.
You shall always be my shining star.”

When the videotape ended, Mrs. Libbey turned around and spotted me standing in the background. For a moment, she was utterly speechless. Then, finally, she spoke softly:
“I never thought he would return so suddenly. This is an anniversary I shall always cherish.”

I replied in agreement “It most definitely is.”
Without hesitation, she looked up to heaven
And spoke with a reverent voice:
“Thank you for bringing him back just in time.”

Every year since his death, Mrs. Libbey plays this videotape on their 60th wedding anniversary with anticipated delight.

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