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 she miscarried.

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.

After 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.

The mover 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.

Eleven 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.

Randy drove 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.