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24. Love Hurts
The old house was sold. A new house
yet to be purchased, so Randy was going
rent for a while. He was moving from
to California. The move would put some memories
him. He was looking forward to a fresh
Randy and Nora got married six years ago.
was the first marriage for both of them.
months after the marriage, Nora found out she
pregnant. That was good. When she started getting
, they figured it was the new baby. But
The stomachaches, however, continued. In fact,
got worse. It wasn’t a simple stomachache. It
liver cancer. Then it was stomach cancer, lymph
cancer, breast cancer, and brain cancer. It never
spreading. There was little hope, but Nora battled
daily pain with smiles and few complaints.
years of doctors, hospitals, chemotherapy, and surgery, Nora
the battle. More than one million dollars was
on medical bills, more than ten thousand prayers
said by family and friends—all to no avail.
only time that Randy asked the doctor for
honest opinion, the doctor said, “She might have
months.” Nora died seven days later. Just before
died, she silently squeezed Randy’s hand.
six hours longer to load the moving van
he had estimated originally. Randy wondered how much
this was going to cost him. After the
and his crew had departed for California, Randy
a 3-foot scar in his new hardwood floor.
looked like the crew had dragged his heavy
bed frame. Randy hoped the new homeowner wouldn’t
about it too much. He wondered how many
goods were in the moving van right now.
phone rang. It was the California-bound car transporter.
told Randy that his truck was at the
of Fifth and Main, and he would wait
Randy there. Randy walked out to his car.
five minutes, he was at Fifth and Main.
gave the transporter the ignition key and watched
drive his car up the ramp onto the
. There were five other cars already on the
. The transporter said, “I’ll call you in nine
,” and drove off. Randy hailed a cab.
later, Randy got the call. The transporter said
would be in Milroy, Randy’s new town, in
hours. Five hours later, the transporter arrived. Randy
as the transporter backed his car down the
. The car was filthy. The transporter explained that
weather had slowed him down—tornadoes, rain, and dust
. “No locusts?” Randy wondered to himself.
car to the carwash. While sitting in a
waiting for the car to be finished, he
a young pretty woman introduce herself to an
TV reporter. She proceeded to laugh at his
word, touching him occasionally on the hand and
. Randy wondered if a woman would ever come
to him like that. Then he thought about
squeezing his hand.