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The Visitor--an inspirational short story series

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For The Strength of Youth

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The Visitor--an inspirational short story series
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    Ch. 44 The Wisdom of the Wise
Submitted by Steven ODell on 2 December 2010 - 1:26pm. | | | | | |

Oh, Death, Where Is Thy Sting
Steven G. O'Dell © 2010

There is the sleep of the weary...and then there is the sleep of the righteous.

“Gwampa, whewe did you meet Gwamma?”

“We met at the pier in California,” Janice answered.

“I was talking to Gwampa.” The child returned.

Janice was surprised by the answer, as her dear Harold had been gone for several years already – long before this child had been born. Her interest piqued, she decided to watch and listen closely.

The child continued in this mock conversation and Janice was amused until she heard something she never expected.

“What's a bwoach?”

A broach. Harold had given her a beautiful broach on their second date. Again she questioned the child and was told that 'Gwampa' was the source of the information. Her heart began to beat faster and her breathing was shallow and hurried now.

Janice hurriedly called her daughter at work and was told that her grandchild had never been told any of the details of how his grandparents had met. Now two adult women were puzzled. How could this young child possibly know these things...unless....

Janice listened more closely than ever now. Memory after memory came flooding back and her tears flowed profusely down her cheeks, when suddenly the boy turned and asked her, “Gwamma, Gwampa wants to know ah you happy?”

Janice now began to cry openly and great heaving sobs wracked her body as she sunk to a seat on the couch.

“Don't cwy, Gwamma.” Her grandson stood to comfort her and patted her leg. “Gwampa says don't cwy. He woves you.”

Janice got enough control now to ask, “You talk to him?”


“Do you see him, too?”

“He's wight thewe.” And he turned and pointed at what appeared only as an empty space to Janice. Janice wanted so much to see him and could not. And yet this innocent child seemed to not only see, but to carry on discussions with him. It was somehow unfair. It was her husband. Dead or not, he was her husband.

A few days passed and Janice could not stop thinking about the events of that day. Her prayers became more fervent and her emotions deepened and each day as she babysat her grandson, she felt like a spy, watching and waiting for him to again speak with Harold. Several times she wanted to force the event and could not bring herself to say anything when she opened her mouth. She could not ask, 'Do you see him now?' or 'Will you call Grandpa?' She could only wait and hurt. She hurt more than in several years. Where she had once resigned herself to his absence, she now mourned it again.

And then the day came that she had waited for.

“Gwamma, Gwampa says some men wiw come see you. Be nice to dem.”

Again Janice looked desperately around the room to see, too feel, any sign or presence of Harold. She saw nothing. She felt nothing but anxiety. She could only wait. As it turned out, she did not have to wait long.

Janice answered the knock at the door and opened it to see two young men with name tags that read, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had never heard of it before, but something beckoned to invite them in.

“The message we have to share is that of the restored gospel and Church of Jesus Christ in our day. Prophets again speak with God and share with us the answers we need to return to Him.”

“Maybe,” said Janice, “they could tell me what happens after we die. Where do we go and will we ever be together again?” Her eyes began to moisten with tears.

The Elder smiled and answered with confidence. “Those answers are very clear. God has indeed given us the answers to those questions.” And he proceeded to explain to her the Plan of Salvation.

Janice wept with joy at this news and just knew it was true. The witness of the Spirit was unmistakable to her and every fiber and cell of her being told her Harold had indeed been there and was even now. She felt a peace she had not felt in many years.

Janice awoke that night and as her eyes began to focus, she saw standing at the foot of her bed the form of her beloved Harold. He stood in the air, it seemed. And he smiled at her as he was wont to do when they were together. He looked so young and healthy.

“Harold....,” was all she could say.

He winked, as was his way with her, and he nodded his head and she knew somehow, in some unspoken way, that he was telling her to continue this path she had begun and all would be well. Janice did just that.

Three weeks later, the same Elders who knocked on her door and taught her the gospel also baptized her a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what she now knew to be the “Mormons”. Janice was as certain of the truth of the restored gospel as she was certain she would never have joined the church had it not been for the visitation of her husband to her grandson. And now she could rest assured of having her husband forever if she fulfilled the commandments of the Lord.

It was not long before Janice was sharing the gospel with her daughter and son-in-law. After all, it seems only right that the child who started it all should come into the church. And Janice now sleeps better than she ever did and knows without doubt that Harold watches over her as she does.

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