49: It Begins with an “H”

49: It Begins with an “H”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

It Begins with an “H”

Pay attention to the feelings, hunches, and intuitions that flood your life each day. If you do, you will see that premonitions are not rare, but a natural part of our lives.

~Larry Dossey, The Power of Premonitions

I was a widow with thirteen children. Seven of them still lived at home. It had been five years since my husband died, and I was still overwhelmed. I certainly did not want to be without a companion for the rest of my life.

One evening, I took a walk alone where I could pray. “Please, Lord, don’t you have someone in mind for me?”

I was shocked when a voice immediately answered. “Yes, his name starts with an ‘H,’ but it’s a name that is not too common to you.”

For the next six months, I paid attention. Who did I know whose name began with an “H”? While having coffee with my friends or just anywhere, I began to doodle on napkins and receipts. I wrote Hank, Henry, Hubert, Hy, Herbert, Hilton, Hans, Heinrich, and Howard. Those names weren’t too common to me, but worse yet, I knew no one by those names. As the months passed, I became impatient. Whose name starts with an “H,” and when will I meet him?

I knew for sure that I had heard right. It was something that I could hold onto because I knew that it would eventually happen.

Four months later, my friend Jenny called. “Irene, I have an extra plane ticket to England. My son can’t make it. Will you go with me? We can stay at my mother’s so it won’t cost you a dime. You’ll just need a little money for souvenirs.”

Going to England was an answer to prayer. I’d visited there eleven years earlier. The fog, darkness, old buildings and castles intrigued me. At that time, I told my girls that I would return to England and stay a month so I could really enjoy all England had to offer. Now, that wish was coming true.

Jenny’s only sibling, David, met us at Heathrow Airport. He was a tall, blond chap who was in the military. He and Jenny were overjoyed to see one another.

It seemed we dined with old friends and acquaintances almost every night the first week. I had the opportunity to enjoy Indian cuisine, as well as many other fancy restaurants. But my recurring pangs of loneliness made me question what I was doing there. One lovely evening, while in a ritzy café, soft strains of romantic music were playing. Immediately, I recognized the piano pieces played by Richard Clayderman. I could barely contain myself as I listened to song after song during our meal. My heart was bursting with memories that I had shared with my late husband. We had played that very same music on many occasions.

“Irene looks tired,” David said, motioning to the waiter. “Let’s be going. I guess she’s not used to the time change.”

I laughed. I felt partied out. All I wanted was to go back to Jenny’s mother’s house and fall asleep.

Finally, in bed, I surprised myself when the floodgates of my heart broke forth. I sobbed so loudly that I hoped Jenny and her mother wouldn’t hear me in the adjacent room. I’d always been strong, hiding my own fears and disappointments. I didn’t know exactly why I was weeping uncontrollably, but I knew that I needed to share my life with someone. I lay in bed, praying through my tears that God would comfort me. “Lord,” I prayed, “I want a companion, someone I can walk this path with, someone who really cares for me.” The last words I recollect before falling to sleep were, “Lord, I thought about everyone I know, and there is no one whose name starts with an ‘H.’ ”

My dream was shocking, yet clear as a bell.

An old friend I had known for more than thirty years, someone with whom I hadn’t connected for quite some time, appeared. He had the biggest smile on his face. “You haven’t thought of me,” he said.

On that note, I awoke with a light peeking through the bedroom curtains. A joy I hadn’t experienced for a long while surged through me. I knew that my dream was my answer. Not only was this man a gentleman, patient, kind, and giving, but he was available. And, the best part was, his name began with an “H.”

“Hector Spencer,” I said, as warm fuzzies accompanied me all morning. I repeated his name over and over in my mind.

All the while, Jenny and her mother commented, “You sure look happy today.” I kept my dream to myself, tucked in my heart. I could hardly wait until my vacation was completed.

Upon my arrival back to the United States, home never looked so good. Every day, I would think about Hector and wonder what he was doing. I knew he lived in St. George, Utah, but I had absolutely no clue when or how we’d meet. Three days later, a dear friend, Rhonita, invited me to lunch. I felt we had not seen each other often enough, and it was a delight to spend the afternoon with her. No sooner had we seated ourselves at the table in Denny’s when she presented me with a book. I read the title, How to Fall Out of Love.

“I brought this book for you, hoping you will read it. Maybe you will be able to move on with your life. You need to find someone to share your life with.”

I laughed. “I don’t need this book. I already know who I’m going to marry.”

She looked shocked. “How can we be this close, yet you haven’t shared this with me?”

“I just found out myself,” I laughed, hoping she wouldn’t think I was crazy.

“Who is it?”

“Sorry, I can’t tell you because he doesn’t even know yet.”

We both cracked up.

“You’re so funny,” Rhonita exclaimed. “If he doesn’t know about it, how do you think it will ever happen?”

After swearing her to secrecy, I cautiously revealed to her my earlier premonition about the “H” and my dream.

“Wow, you sure seem certain about this, don’t you?” Skeptical, she asked, “Who is he?”

“All I will say is that we both know him.”

“Don’t do this to me,” she said. “We’re friends! If you can’t share with me, then who can you share it with?”

“I understand, really I do, but it’s not right. I would absolutely die if he ever heard about this. It would ruin me, for sure.”

“When will you know?” she ventured.

“The problem is,” I confessed, “I don’t know how we’ll ever meet. He lives so far away.”

“Well, I may be able to help you if you’ll tell me your secret. Please, Irene, I promise I will not tell a soul!”

Desperate as I was, and knowing I could believe her, I shared my anticipated destiny. “It’s Hector Spencer.”

“Oh my, I can see you guys together. Honestly, I can. Did you hear that Hector’s youngest daughter, Amanda, won Miss Pre-Teen Utah?”

“No, when did you hear about that?” I asked.

“I heard about it last week. In fact,” she advised, “I think this is a perfect time for you to call and congratulate him. Maybe something will come of it.”

I called directory assistance that evening. Extremely nervous and not wanting to sound too forward, I dialed his number.

“Hello?” answered the familiar voice. “This is Hector Spencer speaking.”

For the first time in my life, I was absolutely at a loss for words.

“Hello?” he repeated.

“Oh . . . hi . . . uh . . . this is Irene.” I grasped for words, hoping to make sense. “I heard about your daughter Mandy being crowned. Congratulations!”

Hector was very cordial. In fact, I felt his excitement in just sharing memories of old times together. Before I realized it, we had caught up on one another’s lives, not realizing forty-five minutes had passed.

“Are you going to be in San Diego long?” he asked.

I told him that I was visiting my daughter indefinitely.

“Every now and again, I travel there for business. Would you care to go to lunch sometime?”

The rest is history. We were happily married twenty-five years. I feel comforted knowing that God gave me something to hold onto in my loneliness — a hint, the letter “H,” to help me make my way to Hector.

~Irene Spencer

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