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This Fortune Cookie’s Special Message

A visit to her late husband’s favorite Chinese restaurant led to a comforting sign from heaven.

Fortune cookie

I got into the car and pulled the door shut behind me, letting out a deep breath. Another name off my checklist.

I was visiting each member of my late husband John’s medical team. They had all worked so hard to keep him as healthy as possible as he battled lung cancer over the past five years. They deserved to hear straight from me that he’d passed away. The process was helping me too. Each time I thanked one of them for all they had done, I felt myself gaining closure.

I put my hands on the steering wheel. If I hurried, I could make it to John’s favorite fast-casual Chinese restaurant before the dinner rush. It was near the medical plaza, and we’d gone there after so many of John’s treatments. I wanted to talk to the manager, who knew about our situation and had always been kind to us. I turned the key in the ignition, then paused. I could hear John’s voice echoing in my ears. The words John said every time I got behind the wheel.

“Drive safely.”

My husband had been a man of few words, and this phrase was one of the ways he showed his love. I knew when he said it, he was also saying, “I care about you.” I never took it for granted. How I missed actually hearing it now.

When I arrived at the restaurant, I took the manager aside.

“I want you to know that John has gone to be with the Lord.”

She started to cry. I gave her a hug, grateful that John and I had so many people in our life who cared. She wiped her eyes and asked, “Would you like to stay for dinner?” I ordered the orange chicken—John’s go-to. As I ate, I told the manager about John’s last four months in the hospital. We swapped funny memories of him and shared a few laughs.

As I finished up my meal and reached for my purse, I spotted a fortune cookie left by the waiter. Should I open it? I didn’t need a fortune to tell me that life without John would still be full. I had my kids and our community. I had God. Still, just for fun, I snapped open the cookie and unfolded the small piece of paper inside.

The road ahead is long, my fortune read. Drive safely.

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