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Perpertual Care
Perpetual Care
By Jocelyn Beard


(This angel has been sent to earth to observe the death of James Delacroix. In human guise, the angel has rented a room from James and has become quite friendly with him. When they share a cup of tea, James confesses his disappointment that his late wife never had an opportunity to know their grandchildren. Here, the angel does her best to provide him with some soul comfort.)


ANGEL: What is a kiss, after all, but a gentle pressure here. (Touches lips) It's the love behind the kiss that makes it special, and Emma Mae's love cannot die. It lives in you and in every part of this house. It's in the purple paint and the creaky stair--third from the bottom--that she was always after you to fix. It's in the annuals that you plant year because that's what she did. It's in that worn spot on the floor in front of the sink where she spent so many hours standing...standing and talking to you as you sat right where you are now. It's everwhere, James, but best of all: it lives in the hearts of your grandchildren. Emma Mae didn't need to meet Davey and Tisha. She dreamed them as a young girl. She'd lie on her back in that big field of wild flowers behind her father's barn and imagine her life while the clouds passed overhead. She dreamed all of you, and it was her amazing capacity for love that brought you all into being. She knew Davey and Tisha years before your old Ford broke down on Country Road 44 and you had to ask the prettiest girl you'd ever seen if you could use her telephone. Do you remember, James? Do you remember what she said when you knocked at her door for the very first time?
[JAMES: She said, "Well, it took you long enough."]
ANGEL: Yes. She'd been waiting for you, James. Waiting her whole life long.


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