“I stood at the photo kiosk in our local drugstore completely numb as a beloved memory filled the screen: last Fourth of July, two months before Dominic, my husband of 25 years, passed from a sudden heart attack. In the photo, we were at the festival downtown holding sparklers, snuggling and smiling. A banner behind us read WE LOVE OUR FREEDOM.
“It had always been one of our favorite holidays since we had many military members in our family, but this year I barely knew how to survive it. As I pressed the buttons to print a 5 x 7, my aching heart filled with silent prayer. Every day was a gift with Dominic, my grieving spirit cried. Father, how do I go on?
“The machine hummed for several minutes until the photo slid into the tray. Immediately, I saw something had gone wrong with the printer. For some reason, the banner behind us was blurry and blotted out except for a few letters. All I could read was the word ‘LOVE’ and the last three letters of FREEDOM.
“I blinked in shock as all my blood drained to my feet. I carefully read the words on the banner again…and again. It said, ‘LOVE DOM.’ That was always how he signed birthday cards he’d give to me, notes, labels on presents. My eyes misted as I held the photo closer, mesmerized by God’s work. Not only did He answer my prayer by showing me my husband was still with me, but God reminded me of something I’d forgotten…each day is still a gift and love is the one miracle that never truly ends.”
—Natalie Bleau, 46, Atlanta