For many years, George and Ida had talked about “crossing the bridge.” George’s dad “crossed the bridge” eighteen years ago; his mom eight years later. Friends were almost all over eighty and the time had come for them to cross the bridge.
But it was only six months ago that they knew they had to prepare for Ida to leave – to cross the bridge. They remembered songs about the great divide; they recalled that Jesus was sometimes referred to as “The Bridge” between life and death. They began trying to make the bridge look attractive. They sanded out the splinters and polished it with symbols of gold and silver, precious gems, and hallowed memories of those who had gone before. But it never could really look appealing. She didn’t want to go and he didn’t want her to. But now she had crossed. She was gone – gone forever.
One man crossed the bridge and returned after three days. He gave hope about the other side. That was some of the polishing they had done, recalling his story. But Ida still did not want to go. As she was leaving, George wanted to go with her. What would he do with Ida gone? What would he do left all alone? But he couldn’t go; it was not his time.
So now he sat thinking. She was gone; he was left. He would do what he had to do. He got up to call 911. Someone had to take care of the body lying in the bed. Ida had left it.