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Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption

Copyright 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 12: Suffering

THIS STORY IS COPYRIGHT 2018-2019 BY SNOWBLIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTION FOR COMMERCIAL GAIN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, POSTING ON SITES OR NEWSGROUPS, DISTRIBUTION AS PARTS OR IN BOOK FORM (EITHER AS A WHOLE OR PART OF A COMPILATION) WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, OR DISTRIBUTION ON CD, DVD, OR ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDIA WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. YOU MAY DOWNLOAD ONE (1) COPY OF THIS STORY FOR PERSONAL USE; ANY AND ALL COMMERCIAL USE EXCEPTING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS REQUIRES THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. THE AUTHOR MAY BE CONTACTED AT: snowblind94@yahoo.ca

Tyler, Troy, Jesse, and Zane had gone for a run using the trails around the village.  They had taken the long trail with the route which led up the back of the escarpment.  From this point, the road into the village was visible as was the main gates, but not the houses.  The four men slowed down and sat on the granite boulders which provided a breathtaking view.

Jesse put his arm over Zane's shoulder.  "It's fantastic up here.  The view is impressive."

"Are you talking about the valley or your boyfriend's ass bouncing while he's running?" asked Tyler with a smart-ass smirk.

"My ass doesn't bounce."  Zane stood up and grabbed a handful, "Prime grade-A beef, no fat."

Tyler and Troy were laughing, "Touched a nerve, did I?" asked Tyler innocently.  "Your ass is fantastic for someone your age."

"I agree with Tyler," added Troy.  "It is in incredible shape for someone his age."

Zane stuck his lip out and crossed his arms.  "You're both assholes."

"You've been hanging around Liam too long, Zane. You're even beginning to act like him," said Tyler laughing.

"Besides that, it wiggles.  Like gelatin..." suggested Tyler.

"You are such a bitch," Zane retorted.

Jesse moved behind his boyfriend and grabbed both ass cheeks.  "They feel just fine to me."

The group laughed at the antics for a moment, and then Jesse got serious.  "I want to talk to you guys about a couple of things.  One of which happened at work."

Tyler looked at him, "You lost a case?"

"Dipshit," Jesse retorted.  "Not a chance.  But, Judge Reinhart called me into chambers for a discussion after the trial."

"Oh shit, you got called into the principal's office.  Did you get the strap for being a bad boy?" asked Tyler.

"Is it unusual for a judge to do that?" asked Troy.  "If it was for being a bad boy, you must spend a lot of time there, Tyler."

Tyler twisted and slapped Troy's ass.

"No, he called me in to ask me if I would consider becoming a Provincial Court Judge."

The three men all froze on the spot and looked at their friend.

Very carefully, Zane took Jesse's hand into his and asked, "How do you feel about that?"

"I don't know.  I really don't know.  I asked for time to meditate and discuss it with you, Zane.  How do you feel about it?"

"I'll support anything you do..."

Jesse looked at Zane with interest, and then asked, "You didn't finish your thought."

"I don't have the right to finish my thought, or even ask the questions."

"You have every right to ask any question of me. We are together; our spirits have blended."

"I'm sorry Jesse, I know."

"Please ask me."

"Jesse, would it change anything between us?" Both Troy and Tyler loudly drew in their breath.

"Never.  I would never allow anything to change what we have, Zane."

"I'm sorry Jesse, I know that in my heart; but my memory is strong too."

Jesse took him into his arms and held him tightly and kissed his boyfriend.  "I do understand, but I need to talk to you and everyone about this.  It's a big decision, and I want help to make it.  Especially yours, lover boy."

They kissed again.

Tyler approached, "Enough kissy shit already. You said a couple of things, counsellor."

"You and Troy have been around Liam longer than I have. Is something going on with him?"

Troy looked to Tyler before speaking, "I thought it was just me.  I don't know what it is."

"I've caught him sitting alone in the rec complex, and just staring into space," added Tyler.  "As soon as he knew I was there, he was back to normal.  It was the look in his eyes which caught my attention."

"I've seen it too guys.  I can't describe the look except... emptiness... or trying to think something through.  Not a blank look, not a pensive look but more... I don't know what to describe it as," said Jesse in a frustrated tone.  "He's the Liam we love one minute, and then he ends up at the other end of the scale."

"Jess, I've seen it too," added Zane.  "But I thought it would pass.  His aura was dark, and his energy was pulling into him. When he saw me, just like Jesse said, the aura was normal and the energy flow around was outwards as usual.  But, is it me or is he not quite the smart ass we love anymore."

"He is the smartass at times, but it's different. So we agree something is bothering our brother," asked Jesse.  The men all agreed.

"What do we do about it?" asked Tyler.  There was dead silence for a moment.

Zane stated the obvious, "Now that we know it's not just what we think as individuals but we all see something similar, I guess someone should talk to Jared?"

Tyler and Troy patted Zane on the shoulders.  "Good idea," Tyler gushed.  "Let us know how it goes."  The two of them started running down the trail.

Jesse looked at Zane, "You realize we're the ones with all the education and you just got outmanoeuvred by someone who thinks donuts are a food group."

"What do you mean me soulmate?" Zane asked as he turned to look back at Jesse.  "Oh, shit..." he exclaimed as he realized he had been left behind by his boyfriend.  "Hey wait up!  We're supposed to stick together through thick and thin."

Tyler yelled over his shoulder, "Well that describes you and Jesse's asses in shorts; thick and thin."

"You two are gonna pay for that!" Zane yelled back as he began to catch up.  When the burst of speed was done, the four men ran as a group.  No more words needed to be spoken between them as they ran, but they knew they needed to help a brother.  They didn't want to or couldn't stand to lose another one from their family. 



The man got up from the bed carefully after releasing his wife's hand.  He made sure she was both tucked in and comfortable before leaving the bedroom.  Jim went out to the kitchen, filled the electric kettle to make a pot of tea.  He quietly plugged it in and turned it on.  While waiting for the water, Jim put away the dry dishes from the meal he had shared with his wife last night.  He noticed the table still had a few crumbs on it, so Jim grabbed a damp dishcloth to wipe them up.  Finally, the tea kettle whistled a low pitch which grew louder and steadier indicating the water was boiling.  Jim retrieved two bags from the tea canister on the cupboard.  He was about to drop them into the pot when he realized he wouldn't need a second tea bag anymore.  He returned one tea bag back to the canister, placing the single remaining bag into the teapot.  Jim thought to himself, "One bag, now 1/2 the water."  The man sighed at the stark reality of the sudden revelation as he stared at the tea bag sinking into the hot water.

His mind floated to the beautiful memories he had of his life.  He had met Ida at age 14 in Jr. High School; it was love at first sight.  The very first time they had looked into each other's eyes both had realized it was a match given to them by God.  It wasn't long before both of their parents were referring to them as 'an old married couple' the way they preferred quiet evenings together as opposed to the party circuit of the young.  It was no surprise to anyone when they were still together for their grade 12 graduation.  They were both average young people in their looks and their abilities but with hearts larger than life.  Both followed high school by going to university, completing their teaching degrees in complementary core subjects.  Following their graduation, they easily obtained teaching positions at a high school in a neighbouring city to the one they had grown up in.  That meant they could easily return to visit later to help both sets of parents.  The final thing they did before leaving for their new home and jobs was to have a small wedding ceremony in Ida's parent's backyard.  Ida's mom was someone who worked in her garden from April until the first snow covered it in the fall.  The flowers, the waterfall, and the pond were beautiful backdrops as they said their vows to each other in front of 50 friends.  They honeymooned by staying in Drumheller and spending the days hiking the trails through the badlands or visiting the numerous dinosaur museums in the area.

Jim came back to the present, realizing he had zoned out for a few minutes.  He poured his cup of tea, took a couple of sips before placing it back onto the table.  On the table was a letter written by Ida.  She had carefully worked on the letter for the past month, ensuring everything in it was absolutely crystal clear in its meaning.  She had signed and dated it last night before they went to bed.  Jim didn't touch it as he already knew every word it contained.  Ida was an English teacher, it would be perfect.

The tea felt good as he sipped it.  The Saskatoon Berry was Ida's favourite tea, it always provided him with a connection to her.  Even this time, it didn't fail to calm him.  Jim took a deep breath, releasing it slowly.  He knew what he had to do now so he picked up the phone, stared at the keypad, then dialled 911.

Jim and Ida became the most beloved teachers in the school.  They were involved in numerous extracurricular clubs and were available to the kids who just wanted an adult to listen to them.  They tried to have kids, but Ida miscarried three times.  Finally, they gave up choosing to be foster parents instead.  For the next 25 years, they took in several young people.  A couple of them stayed in touch and are raising their own family now.  Their kids call Jim and Ida grandma and grandpa.

"This is 911, please state your emergency."

Jim was startled at the tone and abruptness of the person on the other end of the phone.

"This is 911, please state your emergency," the dispatcher said again.

"Hello, I live at 321 Greenwood Terrace.  My wife is ... dead."

"Sir, I will send the police and an ambulance."

"Thank you for that."

"Sir, I need you to check her.  Is she breathing?"

"No, she is not."

"Would you check her please."

"I don't need to, she's been gone for a couple of hours."

The 911 operator didn't know what to say to that.  Suddenly, someone else cut in on the line.  He had a much more forceful voice than the previous operator.  "How do you know she is dead?  Did you hurt her?"

"Oh my goodness no.  I could never even remove a sliver from Ida's finger let alone hurt her in any way."

"Are there any guns in the house?"

"No, sir.  There are no guns.  Never owned or even shot a gun in my life."

"Where are you right now?"

"I'm sitting at my kitchen table, talking to you.  The front door is unlocked."

"Are you alone?  Is there anyone else in the house?"

"No sir, it's just me and Ida here."

"Ida is who?"

"My wife.  She's dead."

"You said that earlier, how did she die?"

"That is a long story sir, but she typed a long letter to the police explaining why she's dead."

"I'm getting confused, did you force her to type a letter before she died?"

"No sir, not at all. It's a long story."

"The police are at the front door now..."

"The door is unlocked, please come in.  I'm in the kitchen off to the right of the front door."

The front door opened slowly, a head quickly looked around the corner and disappeared after glancing down the hallway.

Jim called out, "I'm down here.  Would you like a cup of tea?"

Marty came in first followed by Tyler, both with their hands on their gun as they were trying to understand what was happening.

"Did you call about someone dying here?" asked Marty as his eyes kept scanning around the house.

"Yes sir, I'm still on the phone with 911 but it was me who called."

Marty replied, "Where is the victim?"

"Do you want me to hang up the phone or should I stay on it?"

Tyler stood up straight, placed a hand on Marty's shoulder before saying, "It's ok.  There's only the three of us and a deceased person down the other hallway."

Marty quietly replied, "How do you know that?"

"The senses of a wolf, cousin." Tyler walked towards Jim and extended his hand.  "I'm Tyler and this is my partner Marty.  You are?"

Jim stood, "I'm Jim. It's my wife who died."

"Are you here alone, Jim?"

"Yes, Tyler.  Just me and Ida." He paused before asking, "May I hang up now?"

Tyler reached for the phone which Jim relinquished control of quickly.  After speaking into it for a moment, Tyler hung up.

Just then Jared and Marci came through the front door yelling, "Paramedics." They stopped when they saw Tyler and Marty talking to a man at the kitchen table.  Jared asked, "Is there a patient?"

Tyler responded quickly, "We were just going to ask Jim where Ida was."

"She's in the bedroom."

"Would you show us where?" Jared asked gently.

Jim got up and led them down the hall into the bedroom.  Ida was still exactly where Jim had left her before making his cup of tea.  Jared took one look at Ida, it was obvious from across the room she was dead.  He indicated to Marci to hook up the heart monitor while he checked for a pulse.  He pulled the blanket down to her waist, Marci was able to attach the pads under her nightie easily.  The skin was pale, cold, and dry.  She just used a simple lead which displayed what they had both expected.  There was no artifact, electrical activity, no pulse.  Unlike on TV, it's not very often a paramedic actually sees a flat asystolic line on the monitor but this was a textbook one.

Jared indicated to Marci no further action was required.  After removing the lead wires, Jared gently pulled the blanket back up to replace it where it had laid before they arrived.  He stepped back, nodded to Marci who joined him as he fell to one knee, lowered his head and said a prayer.  When he was finished, they both stood and turned to the husband.  Jared took one look at Jim and realized a lot more was going on here than anyone had seen yet.  Jim's face now had tears rolling over his cheeks and falling to the floor.

"Maybe we should all go out to the kitchen for a chat," Jared suggested.

Jim nodded his head as he said with great difficulty, "Would anyone like a cup of tea?  It's Saskatoon Berry; Ida's favourite."

As they were moving to the kitchen, Frank came in the front door.  He looked at Marty and Tyler, "What have we got here?"

"We're still trying to figure that out?" replied Tyler seriously.  "Jim was about to fill us in on what happened."

The man who had a tear-streaked face approached Frank with his hand extended, "I'm Jim.  Ida's husband."

Frank took his hand, "Frank.  I'm the Shift Commander."

Jim turned to Marci and Jared, "Please forgive my manners." He extended his hand to them.  "I'm Jim."

Marci slowly took his hand, "I'm Marci."

Jim smiled, "You are the most beautiful paramedic I've ever seen."

Marci blushed as she said "Thank you, Jim.  I appreciate that."

Jared shook Jim's hand next as he said, "I'm Jared, Senior Advanced Care Paramedic."

Jim wiped his eyes before saying, "A pleasure to meet all of you." He moved to the kitchen table and sat down.  "I'm sorry, I needed to sit down."

Frank sat down at the table across from him.  "Jim, please tell us about your wife."

Jim took a sip of tea first before handing the letter on the table to Frank.  "This is for the police.  Ida finished typing it last night."  Jared had closed his eyes, allowing his senses to passively accept any information that would not be seen by human eyes.  Frank was reading the letter as Jim asked, "Would anyone like a cup of tea?"

Jared surprised both Marty and Tyler as he sat down at the table and replied, "Jim, I would love to share a cup of tea with you."

Jim moved to plug the kettle back in after topping it off with fresh water.  Silently, he went to the cupboard and retrieved four more mugs, setting them on the table.  He went back to the cupboard to retrieve a sugar bowl, spoons and empty creamer.  Jim moved quickly to the fridge and retrieved the carton of cream, pouring it into the creamer.  Frank flipped the letter to the second page.  Jim placed the sugar bowl, creamer, and spoons on the table.  He took the teapot off the table, dropped a second tea bag into it and placed it on the counter to await the hot water.  Frank finished the letter, handing it to Tyler and Marty.

"Jared, read it over their shoulders," Frank said with a subdued voice.

"Ida worked on that letter for a month to make sure it was perfect," Jim said as he sat down.  "I hope it is good enough for everyone."

Frank was in deep thought for a moment, considering his options.  Finally, he asked Jim, "Would you tell me what happened yesterday."

"Of course, sir."

Jim got up to pour the water from the kettle into the teapot as he started.

"Ida and I had a wonderful day yesterday. We went for a drive through the countryside, went to her favourite tea house for a snack, then we drove to her favourite park.  It's the one near the bridge with all the flowers in it.  She was getting tired and her joints were all were so painful it was getting difficult to walk for her.  I had packed some pastries in a picnic basket so I carried her with the basket to a spot in the sun next to the flowers.  She's not very heavy any more..."

Jim paused for a moment, staring into space as he fought to regain control of his emotions.

Finally, he started again with, "The sun felt wonderful to her, but at the same time it began to burn what little skin she had exposed.  Without taking her painkillers, the sun would've started a migraine for Ida.  We sat together on a little blanket, eating pastries and drinking Saskatoon Berry tea. I picked a few of the flowers, I knew that you're not supposed to but I did anyway.  I gave her a freshly picked bouquet of flowers.  Ida held it close to her chest, inhaling the sweet aroma."

Jim pointed to the flowers on the kitchen table.

"These are those flowers.  I moved to sit behind her, actually to spoon myself behind her, holding her gently like a hot dog in a bun.  I had to be careful when I held her; too much pressure could send waves of agony through her. Between the painkiller, the beautiful flowers, and my holding her, Ida fell asleep for an hour in my arms."

Jim was again close to losing control of his emotions.  His eyes were watering, cheeks were twitching, hands wringing as he once again regained control.

"We used to sit in that park in that very spot quite regularly except we used to lay next to each other as we pointed out cloud shapes to each other.  The kyphosis Ida had with the fibromyalgia didn't allow her to lay flat anymore.  So we began sitting with me behind her so I could gently support her.  Her sensitivity to light didn't allow us to stare at the clouds long, but she refused to give into the feelings of daggers being thrust through her eye sockets choosing to stare much longer than she should've.  After her little nap, we went for a drive back to Centreville to drive by the houses we both grew up in.  Whoever now owns her parents' house had kept up the gardens in the backyard.  We didn't bother them but sat parked on the street for a few minutes reminiscing.  Ida had several short naps while I drove back home.  When we got back, she was feeling better from some more painkillers and all the fresh air.  We walked into the house, chose a movie and cuddled together on the couch to watch it. After the movie, I made supper for Ida and me.  It was a wonderful salmon with lemon sauce.  Ida finished the letter, sent a couple of emails, and we watched TV together on the couch until bedtime."

Frank was writing notes in his notebook as Jim paused for a drink of tea.  He poured everyone a cup of tea and pointed to chairs for Marty and Marci to sit in.  They had finished reading the letter and handed it to Marci.

"Jim, what happened next?" asked Frank.

"I didn't see her do it, but she crushed some medication she had been saving for a long time.  There were actually two types; one was Hydromorphone and the other OxyContin.  She'd been saving them for months.  Anyways, she crushed them all into a powder, mixed it with maple walnut fudge, swallowed it and came to bed.  We kissed, said goodbye to each other, held hands and waited for the drugs to end her pain."

Tears had started rolling down Jim's face again.

"We talked a bit, but she went to sleep peacefully.  It was the first time in years I hadn't seen her twitch as waves of pain travelled through her body.  I listened to her breathing until it stopped.  Her face looked so relaxed and pain-free.  She always was the most beautiful person on the planet in my eyes, now she was comfortable.  I felt her hand relax, then cool off.  I knew she was gone."

Frank finished writing his notes, "Jim, please tell me why?"

"It's all explained in the letter but let me summarize it.  We're both 59 years old this year, and we had been together since we were 14..." Jim explained the history of their lives.

"The fibromyalgia and arthritis had begun about when Ida turned 40.  Over the next 15 years, it began to progress to the point that Ida had intolerable pain 24 hours per day.  The medications weren't helping most of the time, and the doctors were afraid of her becoming addicted to them so they withheld stronger ones.  The prescriptions they were giving her lost their effectiveness, failing to control the pain.  You need to understand; extreme fibromyalgia is devastating.  Trouble sleeping, joint stiffness, migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome with days of uncontrolled explosive diarrhea, extremely painful restless legs syndrome, constantly cold, sensitive to loud noises and light.  The arthritis couldn't be controlled because of the irritable bowel syndrome; she couldn't stomach the medications."

Jim took a sip of his tea.

"She was in extreme pain 24 hours per day, but never wanted to bother me with it.  So, we discussed it many times but she wanted to apply for medically assisted death.  As much as it pained me, I could only respect and support her choice.  It was her body, her pain, and her life.  I even offered to die with her, but she got quite upset with me.  We continued to discuss it until she finally made the choice to apply for it.  We completed the application and forwarded it to the medical panel for review."

Jim took a long sip of his tea before continuing.

"To be eligible for assisted death the applicant must be suffering from a 'grievous and irremediable medical condition.'  The application was rejected because her death was not considered 'reasonably foreseeable' due to her condition.  They didn't consider the condition of her body and the pain, just if it was going to kill her.  People with similar conditions have been approved for physician-assisted death in other provinces, but not his one."

Frank was considering all the options when he heard Jared say to him "Frank, may I help?"

"How can you help?"

"The way you've seen me help before."

Tyler leaned over to Marty, "Marty, just so you know, Jared is Grandfather Mathew's natural grandson."

Marty's eyes open wide, "Is he..."

"Yes.  He's very powerful."

Frank thought for a moment. "Jared, I'll let you help but we have to process this scene as if a crime has been committed."

He looked at Jim. "I'm sorry to say Jim, but we need to take you to the detachment for a formal interview.  We need to process Ida and your house to determine if a crime has taken place.  Then, we'll turn the results of our investigation and the letter Ida left to the Crown Attorney's office for their review. They will make the final call about what charges if any are appropriate."

Jim took a long, deep breath. "I understand Frank.  This was part of the discussion Ida and I had; it was anticipated."

"Do you have a lawyer?" asked Frank.

"Yes, but he wasn't aware of this being planned," Jim replied.

"Before we talk any more, I need to advise you that you are being detained for an investigation surrounding the death of your wife.  You have the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay.  You also have the right to free and immediate legal advice from duty counsel by making free telephone calls to an on-call lawyer or legal aid.  Do you understand?"

"Yes Frank, I understand."

"Do you wish to call a lawyer?"

"No Frank.  Maybe later."

"Jim, anytime you wish to call a lawyer, just say so."

"Thanks, Frank, I will."

"Jim, you also have the right to apply for legal assistance through the provincial legal aid program. Do you understand?"

"Thank you, Frank.  I understand."

"A couple more things Jim. I wish to give you the following warning: You need not say anything.  You have nothing to hope from any promise or favour and nothing to fear from any threat whether or not you say anything.  Anything you do or say may be used as evidence.  Do you understand?"

"I understand Frank, but I have nothing to hide."

"Jim, because I arrived after the other two police members, I have to give you the following warning: You must clearly understand that anything said to you previously should not influence you or make you feel compelled to say anything at this time.  Whatever you felt influenced or compelled to say earlier, you are now not obliged to repeat, nor are you obliged to say anything further, but whatever you do say may be given as evidence.  Do you understand?"

"Boy Frank, you guys really have to go through a lot of things with a person like me.  I understand it all." He picked up the teapot, "Would you like some more tea?"

Frank picked his mug up and held it out for Jim to top off.  "Jared, what would you like to do?"

"You probably can't use it in court, but Ida is here.  She's standing behind Jim with her hands on his shoulders; giving him a gentle massage."

Jim's head snapped to look at Jared, "I thought I was imagining it.  I can feel it!"

"Jim, I've been given a gift and can speak with the next world" Jared's eyes began to glow white. He raised his hands off the table, brought them together as if he was praying, then opened them with the palms facing upwards.

The sudden appearance of Ida behind startled Jim and Marty, but not the others sitting at the table.  Jim stood as he cried out "Ida."

She embraced him, "Jim."

He embraced her.  It was the Ida he loved but without the kyphosis and fibromyalgia.  She looked as she had at age 40 before this all happened.  "I'm trying so hard to be brave about this, Ida.  It's so hard without you."

"You've been incredible Jim.  I should've taken the car and done it somewhere else to protect you from this."

"No my love.  I wanted to support and be with you to your final breath.  I can still join you..."

She stepped back and waggled a finger at him.  "Jim Stewart, don't you ever say that again."

"Yes, Ida."

She turned to look at the others at the table.  "I want you to know that just like in the letter I wrote, I did everything on my own. Jim tried to talk me out of it, but I did everything on my own.  I needed the pain to end.  Everything Jim described to you about fibromyalgia is true.  The doctors are not the one feeling the pain and suffering for days on end, 24 hrs a day.  They have no clue how much physical pain there really is."

She stood next to Jim, putting her arm around his waist.  "I wanted to end the pain with dignity, but the government denied it.  They denied me a doctor-assisted death because the condition is not immediately or predictably terminal.  They denied me a painless, controlled and dignified end to my life.  So I took control and did it myself."

"Ida, it's unfortunate your verbal explanation could not be introduced into court," remarked Frank.

"The letter is very clear Frank.  I truly hope that it serves the purpose."

"We'll do our best to help Jim through this," Frank promised.

"Thank you." She turned to Jared, "Thank you very much Most Sacred Eagle-Eyed Bear.  One day, Jim will understand how fortunate it was that you came to the house tonight."

"I already do Ida," Jim added.

Jared brought his hands together again, then separated them with the palms facing each other.  A rectangle of light appeared in the hallway.  "Ida, it's time to move on.  You've been very clear in your message."

Jim and Ida embraced once again and shared a final kiss.  "Jim, I can't thank you enough for your support in my selfish choice to end the pain."

"Ida, I could do nothing but support you, my love.  But, for the first time in 45 years, I won't have your beautiful face to see each morning and as I fall asleep at night."

"Jim, I'm alive in your memory and your heart.  Every time you see my face in your mind, I'll be with you.  Thank you for holding my hand and being with me as I passed.  I know how hard that was."

Jim's tears were pouring down his cheeks.  He kissed her one final time and said, "Thank you for the years we were together."

"Ida, as much as it pains me to do so, we need to end this," Jared said quietly.

She moved to the light.  Just before entering it she turned and said, "Thank you for the best life any person could've ever given me.  Thank you, Jim." As she entered the light, Ida added, "I'll be waiting for you." When she stepped through, the light faded until it disappeared.  Jim sat down on the kitchen chair heavily, crying.  He didn't see Jared's eyes return to normal.

"You really are Grandfather Mathew's grandson, aren't you?" asked Marty with his own tears escaping his eyes.  Marci was wiping her tears with the back of her hand.

Jared took a long drink of his tea before answering, "I am definitely his grandson, and proud of it."

Marty continued, "I had heard stories of your grandfather for years, now I see it's not just stories passed down through the ages.  It's real."

"You'll have to meet the rest of the family sometime, Marty" Jared replied.  "But I suspect you, Tyler and Frank have some work to do now."

Jim had regained control of himself and was now seated at the table.  "Jared, I don't understand but thank you."

"You're welcome, Jim. But, we need to get back into service and let the police do their job." Jared stood, reached out and placed his hand on Jim's shoulder.  "Peace be with you, Jim."

"Thank you, Jared.  I think I will have peace now."

Jared and Marci gathered their equipment and headed out to the ambulance, leaving Frank to start gathering the information needed to forward to the Justice Department.

End of Chapter Twelve

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