His family gathered around him and he could feel the sadness. After all these years his time had finally come and he was at peace. He had so much he wanted to say to them but he could not form the words. Age and illness had taken speech from him but his mind formed the words even if his mouth could not release them.
He had waited so many years for this day. The day he would fulfill his promise to her. A promise made twenty five years ago when it was she who laid upon a bed similar to this and slowly passed from his life. That day of profound pain that brought tears with every thought of her had lingered all these years.
His eyes closed and he felt his life slip away. His children saw his mouth form a smile as he passed. His first smile in years.
The fog had a soft quality to it. But with the coming sun rise he was having problems adjusting his eyes to the light of the coming day. He could hear music filling the air from some where. A love song. Nat King Cole's 'When I fall in love'. Their song.
Then he saw her. Coming out of the fog. Like a ghost at first. Fog swirling around her. Softening her look. As she walked toward him it seemed she was floating above the fog. The sun rising behind her sending light in his direction.
“Was I meeting an angel? Am I dreaming? Is this the next life we had talked about?” So many questions invading his mind. And yet there she was, walking toward him. That smile. That glorious smile.
As she moved closer the fog parted exposing a path behind her. She stopped, and
without saying a word he knew that this path was there for him to follow. She reached out her hand and he took it. Her touch so soft and gentle. She was smiling, That smile that brings me pleasure and a sense of safety.
Slowly they moved down the path. Not a word passing between them. But the look that came over her face spoke volumes of her love for him. He felt tears on his cheeks.
A love that does not need words. Affection and love passed between them through their eyes. As they moved down the path the fog was slowly lifting. On each side of the path flowers came into view. Their beloved tulips. So many colors. They seemed to be lighting their way with a warm glow.
The path meandered through fields of these brightly lit tulips. He could not see where it was leading them. He did not care where it lead him as long as they were together. He was being drawn along by the hand of his angel. That is the only reality that mattered.
After a short walk they came to a hill over looking the ocean. It seemed they floated on air down to the beach. At the waters edge lay the flowers they had passed to each other over the tides in their first lives. They still had the bright colors that were present the day that they had sent them to each other over the waves.
They stopped walking and faced each other. Their arms reaching for an embrace. A soft kiss passing between them. The words "I love you" being spoken.
They both realized. They both felt it. The promise they had made to each other. It was here. It had come into their lives at last.
They lived their First Lives. They shared their Second Lives together. And now! Yes now! They had found their next lives. Their Third Lives.
And the song kept playing. When I fall in love. I will love forever. The promise fulfilled.