Author: Mark Joseph Kevlock
No one ever supposes they’ll witness a miracle. Mary Ann McBlake witnessed one when she was ten years old. And then she had to live with it for the rest of her life.
“Why do you deny it?” her granddaughter Cinthia asked her. “Why can’t you just believe?”
Granddaughters were young. Faith came easily to them.
Mary Ann had seen a man standing in the field. What harm could he be, in the middle of a summer’s day? The field was filled with flowers.
Mary Ann could still see her back door, just across the way. She had always considered these woods her playground. Nothing bad could happen to her here.
Mary Ann went up to the man. He wore a suit, all white. “What is it?” she said. “What are you waiting for?”
He didn’t answer right away. Mary Ann had only the patience of a ten-year-old and almost ran away. Then he said: “I’m waiting for you.”
Mary Ann’s mother called for her. Mary Ann left the man standing there, and never saw him again.
Except in photographs.
He was her grandfather.
And he had died before she was born.
No one believed that she had seen him. Mary Ann didn’t bother trying to convince them. She was too busy, convincing herself. After a time, she understood. Death comes for us in the form of a loved one. Mary Ann’s death came for her when she was ten years old.
But it took her seventy more years to accept it.
Talking to the deceased, even for a moment, was a miracle. No one expects to die when they’re just ten years old. So Mary Ann McBlake went on with her life. She had children. They had children. Everyone got older. No one got younger.
Finally, one day, Mary Ann went out back into the field. It was still summer.
Maybe… could her whole life have been a dream? Maybe she was still ten years old. Maybe the moment when you first learn about death… is the moment when you die. Maybe the rest is just waiting.
Mary Ann stood in the field. The man wasn’t there. But, after a time, her granddaughter, Cinthia, walked up to her. Cinthia was only ten years old. She still believed in miracles.
“What is it?” she said. “What are you waiting for?”
Mary Ann McBlake was wearing white.
“I’m waiting for you,” she said.