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The night was warmly fragrant with the scent of roses, the moon full and luminous. The stars were twinkling, as if to reflect the sparkle in Alice's eyes. She was glowing with the vibrant freshness of youth and she felt as one with the night.
Alice was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ted, her beloved. She knew in her heart that tonight would be the night he would ask her to marry him. She did not know what the future held, but she was certain she wanted to share it with him.
"Mrs. Arden, Mrs. Arden," a nurses aide named Clara was gently shaking her shoulder.  "Time for your medication, Mrs. Arden," she said. Alice stared at her blankly for a moment, then, with an effort, pulled her thoughts from the past. The past; a refuge she escaped to from the harsh realities of life.
Ted was no longer with her; he had been gone for ten years now, or was it twelve? Time held no meaning for her now, it was only something to be endured. Pain and loneliness were now her constant companions.
Forgetting Clara, Alice thought how swiftly time had fled, taking youth and health with it. Why, it seemed only yesterday that her life had been full and productive. But now time passed so agonizingly slow!
Her thoughts drifted to the three children she and Ted had been blessed with. Alice was grateful that God had allowed Ted to see all his children grown. Their two daughters were married with children of their own. Both of them lived in distant cities and seldom had time to visit. Her son, Mike, was an affluent attorney in New York, and she was so proud of him! His success had been worth all the hard work and sacrifice over the years. He came to see her as often as he could, perhaps two or three times a year. He sent her gifts and money for every special occasion.
Alice sighed. She understood, really, she did. Her children had lives of their own, busy with their own work and families. She understood, but, oh, how lonely she was!
At times volunteers would come in to minister to the residents. She enjoyed the singing and piano playing, but they were not enough to fill the empty, endless hours. She was imprisoned in this place, in her wheelchair, unable to do the things she had once taken for granted. She was unable to do anything, really. She could no longer do the basic daily life tasks by herself, such as the bathroom visits. Perhaps this was the greatest humiliation of all for her.
Once, a group of school children had brought their pets to share with the residents. Alice had gently, lovingly stroked the soft, white fur of a Persian cat, deriving comfort from it's nearness. She had held the cat close, appreciating the contact of it's warm, furry body. Life held little comfort or cheer for her now, she was just waiting to die. She wanted to die.
Once again Alice's mind wandered to a time when life was good and pleasant.......The night was warmly fragrant...
So many lonely, suffering 'forgotten' people! So many people in need of a comforting word, smile, ore touch. Are we, as Christians, administering this comfort as God has told us to do in:
 Isaiah 40:1..."comfort, comfort ye my people, saith your God."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
" Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comfortheth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those which are in trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God."

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