I cut my teeth writing on Hubpages back in 2009. I've written 17 novels, numerous songs, and short stories since. I love to write love.
68-year-old Amos Fording was about to climb up on his John Deere tractor when he grabbed his chest with his right hand and dropped to his knees. He clenched the middle of his shirt and put his left hand on the tractor tire. Sharp pains were shooting across his chest and down his left side. Amos cried out, "No Lord... not yet. Please don't let me die!" He felt dizzy for a moment and sat on the newly disked ground.
He looked far away to the farmhouse where his wife Rindy was busy in the kitchen making their supper. Their only child, daughter Millie was away in college. Amos looked at the clear blue sky and talked to God. He said, "Please let me live. There's so much to get done here, crops to plant, fences to mend and most of all, my wonderful Rindy needs me. Please, Lord?" Amos felt the pain ease a little as sweat dripped from the brim of his hat. He remained still until the pain was gone. After half an hour had passed, he felt as if he could get on the tractor and he slowly did. He sat down, grabbed the steering wheel, and said, "Thank you, Lord."
Amos finished his disking in the south field and saw Rindy waving a white towel for him to come to eat supper. He looked at his pocket watch and saw the time was 6:47. They usually had their meals at 6:30. He raised the disk and slowly drove on the edge of the field by the fence row. Amos couldn't get what had happened off his mind. He was sure he had a heart attack. The left side of his chest was still sore but there were no more sharp pains.
As he parked the tractor in the barnyard, Rindy shouted at him, "Amos Leroy Fording! You know supper is at 6:30. You're just gonna have to eat warm Meatloaf and cold corn!" Amos smiled as he got down from the tractor. He shouted back, "Coming darlin'...I still get to sit across from the prettiest woman on this side of Earth." She laughed as he walked up to her. She said, "Well that flattery just got you a heated-up supper. Wash up and I'll put it in the oven." He patted her butt, grinned, and said, "Rindy Beatrice Fording...I love you."
As Amos walked into the kitchen and back to the bathroom, Rindy was a little concerned. He usually wouldn't say, "I love you" except on special occasions like her birthdays and their anniversaries. The last time he playfully patted her butt was when he drank a little too much wine last year at the VFW Fish Fry. When they sat down to have supper, Rindy asked, "Are you okay?" Amos took a bite of meatloaf, chewed, swallowed, smiled, and answered, "Fit as a fiddle." Rindy had a doubtful look in her eyes looking over her glasses as she said, "I heard that same tone when you skirted around the price of that new tractor."
Amos chuckled and said, "All is fine my dear. I'm just in a good mood because the south field is done and ready for planting." I plan on finishing the fence back by the woods tomorrow so we can let the cows in the meadow again. He took another bite of Meatloaf as Rindy said, "Well...I am glad you're feeling good. You are nearly 70 years old and you do need to pace yourself when working the farm." Amos sipped his coffee, grinned, and said, "For you my love...I will do just that."
Amos became more attentive and even romantic at times that summer. He often brought Rindy wildflowers from the edges of the woods. Rindy was still suspicious of his changes. Fall was turning the leaves in the woods a thousand colors and every farmer meeting up at the Hart County Grain Elevator, including Amos, was cussing the weather. Rain was keeping them out of the fields and bitching in the barns. It was a Wednesday when the rain finally let up. On Friday, Amos walked in the fields and decided to combine the soybeans.
He'd run a couple of rounds in the south field and suddenly the machine jammed. Amos cussed as he climbed down from the cab and saw a thick weed had jammed near the left side of the reel. The root of the weed was protruding. Amos tried pulling the weed out by hand but couldn't. He got back in the cab and reversed the machine but the weed remained stuck. He climbed back down and felt a twinge in his chest. He leaned against the combine and felt a sharp pain in his chest. It was just like the one he'd had in the spring.
The pain shot deeper and faster this time as he held his chest and cried out, "Please Lord, at least let me finish the harvest!" Rindy had been out digging potatoes from her garden. She noticed the combine wasn't moving for quite a while. It was at the end of the south field and Amos was on the other side of the combine. A worried feeling swirled in her heart as she dropped the potato fork, climbed on her Farmall Cub tractor, and drove toward the combine. She gasped when she pulled to the other side of the combine. Amos was still holding his heart with tear-filled eyes.
Rindy rushed to him as he cried out, "It's my heart again. It's my heart." Petersime Road was just a few yards away. Rindy saw a white truck coming down the road and ran to the fence to wave it down. She was glad to see it was Granville Koontz. She shouted for him to call for an ambulance on his CB Radio and asked if he had any aspirin. He had just come from the store and had a full bottle in a grocery sack. Granville handed her the aspirins as he called on the radio for help. Rindy had Amos swallow seven aspirins and drink some water. She took off his hat, brushed his gray hair back with her fingers, and said, "Amos Leroy Fording, I caught you saying, your heart...again?" He struggled to speak but she hushed him. Rindy kissed him on the forehead and said, "You stay calm. Help will come." Within a half-hour, an Emergency Squad came and took Amos to the Hospital. Rindy rode with him and held his hand.
Two weeks later, Amos left the hospital after triple bypass surgery. Neighbors had pitched in and harvested the crops and helped Rindy with the cattle. It was mid-November when Rindy went into town to shop. It was a dreary cloud-covered day. Amos walked out to the middle of the south field and spoke to God. He said, "I begged you to let me live until chores were finished. My wonderful neighbors and my sweet Rindy finished for me this year. I have learned lessons, Lord. I learned that you would have taken good care of Rindy even had I died back in the spring. I learned that the value of life is measured with love.
Amos wiped a tear and said, "My greatest lesson learned Lord is that you love us far more than we can even imagine. Thank you." Amos walked slowly back across the field toward the house. A divide in the thick grey clouds opened, casting a warm ray of sunshine on Amos. He stopped, smiled, and said, "Guess I'm welcome."
© 2022 Tom Cornett