• Terrell Whitener

One More Hour

Early one morning, I was laying in bed, contemplating what I wanted to accomplish that day. Since I retired, I often take this time to plan my day, as I am blessed to be able to control my activities, for the most part. As a writer it also seems to be the time that inspiration for topics to write about come into existence. Like many people who follow social media, I see a lot of “if” scenarios posted. I tend to gloss over them for the most part but on this morning my own “if” thought came to my mind and for some reason it gripped me in a strong fashion. The thought was if I were given one more hour with my departed wife, what would I do?

For the first 15 minutes I would just simply tell her how much I love her. I would tell her how much I love the fact that she was so very loyal to me over the time we spent together. I would tell her that I love how much she trusted my judgement over the years and how much that stills means to me. I would tell her how I love and appreciate the life that our partnership afforded me to live, as well as the many additional blessings it allowed for others in my life. I would tell her how much I loved her laugh, her generosity and quiet strength. I would also tell her how much a better person I became because she was in my life.

In the Bible it tells us in Genesis 2:24 that “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh”. Robyn was very much a words of affirmation person. She would love it when I expressed my appreciation for her. I will never forget how she would tilt her head upward just slightly and the corners of her mouth would turn up. Seeing her happy would make my world a better place.

So, for the next 15 minutes, I hope she would tell me about her existence since she left me. Hopefully during this time, I would hear all about her reunification with her loved ones. I know she would be thrilled to be reunited with her father and her grandmother, the two people she never got over losing. I know she would tell me how happy she is to be free of pain. Most of all, I hope she would tell me that she was finally free at home in heaven.

To start our second half hour, I would tell her all the things that I miss about her. I would tell her that I miss traveling with her. I would tell her how much I miss coming home and not seeing her in the window waving with that smile on her face on the days she felt well enough to be out of bed. I would tell her I miss coming home and finding new clothes in the closet that she ‘just found’ while she was out shopping. I would tell her that I miss bringing in the morning paper for her each day. I would tell her I even miss teasing her about watching the same movie on Lifetime countless times and I even miss her calls at the office at 4:55PM each day just as I was trying to leave work and beat the traffic or catch the bus home.

When I realize that I have only fifteen minutes left, I can feel myself getting a little anxious as time is getting short. I feel panicked that I will have to let go of her hand in a short time and will have to kiss her for the last time again soon. I hope to spend that time letting her know that we were good for each other. Not without our faults and disagreements, but good for each other. I would spend no time on regrets, for I have found love is so much bigger than the inevitable regrets that come along with it.

As we start to wind down our hour together, I catch her looking at the clock that has been provided for me as I believe that eternity, she is enjoying not having a need to be concerned about time. I would ask her “Robyn why are you looking at the clock?” . Of course, she would look at me as she did countless times over the years and simply say, “ Terrell, there is a sale at my favorite store starting soon and I want to get there before the crowd!”.

Then we do what we did countless times over the years, start laughing hysterically! Because it is time to say goodbye for a while and she can see me getting a bit sad. In the wise way that she did for me countless times, she tells me “Oh Terrell, don’t be sad, even though we just have an hour today, we will have eternity in the future. Now will you let me get ready to go shopping!!!!”.

Our last few minutes would end with a repeat of one of my favorite moments, singing the last duet we would ever sing, It Had to Be You, sung so well by Frank Sinatra “It had to be you, it had to be you. Nobody else give me a thrill, after all these days I love you still. It had to be you, wonderful you. It had to be you!!!!

Having this hour would be a wonderful gift indeed. As for you, what would you do if given a similar gift. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Terrell Whitener is author, motivational speaker and coach. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365,Learning to Live After Loss. Terrell can be reached at, LinkedIn @terrellwhiteneror through the Widow Support Network.

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