CREDOS: A new start — III

Susan Foshee

Denise’s gaze wandered through the room, but she was quiet. “Mom?” she said finally. “Do you see the angels?” I looked around. “What do they look like?” I asked. Denise’s face softened into her sweet, playful grin. “Really pretty.” It was strange to think Denise was seeing God’s glorious angels and grinning like a girl who’d just gotten her brother right smack on the cheek with a watermelon seed. Denise didn’t mention her angels again.

She got weaker and weaker over the next 24 hours. We never got to bring her home. She died in the hospital three days after her surgery. It was springtime, the perfect time to start a garden.

I got as far as spreading soil, but my heart wasn’t in the job.

One morning, I stood looking at the rich, fresh dirt. I imagined how the bed would look in full bloom. Just like that lively heaven the minister had described. I wanted to believe that place existed. I tried to picture Denise laughing and joking as she’d done on earth.

I was about to walk away when I noticed a thick green vine half hidden in the soil. Jack and the kids didn’t know what to make of it. We decided to wait and see what grew out of it. Over the next few days leaves appeared and light yellow flowers bloomed on the vine. I didn’t plant this, I thought to myself when football-shaped melons showed themselves. Not just any ordinary melons, but the biggest, brightest watermelons I had ever seen.