To make you feel my love

To Make You Feel My Love




Ruth Wilkinson



            The phone rang.

            She looked at the display and couldn’t believe it was him calling.  Time almost seemed to stop as memories flooded her mind.  Memories of good times, bad times, times of wishing he would call and come back.

            Her finger reached, and with a small hesitation she pressed the talk button.  “Hello,” she said softly.

            “Hello!”  She winched to hear his cheery, familiar voice.  Why did he sound so good, so happy.  “Rosie…it’s me, Randall,” he continued, as if she wouldn’t recognize his voice, “how are you?”

            “I’m great,” she lied, “nice to hear from you, what’s up?”

            “Oh I just came back to Michigan  and wanted to talk with you.  Can you meet me for a coffee at the mall food court?”

            “Is something wrong?” she asked.

            “No, not to worry.  I just wanted to talk and ask you something.  How about tomorrow at 4?”

            “Okay, I can do that,” she said.


            After the phone call she sat down in the most comfortable chair in her apartment.  What was that? She wondered to herself.  It’s been two years.  Two years, and he still is able to reel me in like a hooked fish.  She knew it was dangerous for her to talk to him or even to see him.  She couldn’t let herself be hurt again, but she couldn’t help herself she wanted to see him.  To look in his eyes…to be where he was.

            Maybe it would be good news.  Maybe it would be fine.  Maybe he would be the man she had loved and married.  She had to take the chance.


            That night was a restless one for her.  She tried to keep busy with household chores and searched the television for a captivating movie so that her thoughts wouldn’t keep going in circles.  Remembering how they met at a dance.  How instantly they were attracted to each other.  Just being in his arms dancing slowly had made her dizzy.  How could meeting someone for the first time do that?  But she needn’t have worried because after exchanging phone numbers she heard from him again….that very night as she returned home.  He wanted to make sure she got home safely and to ask her out for the next weekend.  She was a quiet conservative person and a “weekend date” sounded a little too wild for her.  He explained that it meant a date for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and since Monday was a holiday another date then too.  They agreed to start with Friday and see how that would go.

            It went well.  First stop was a fancy restaurant on the waterfront, then a little trip on the river ferry to the other side where a concert was taking place.  It was a wonderful night and they both wanted to meet again the next day.  They went to festivals and shows and soon were a couple.

            After a few months neither of them wanted to be apart.  One Saturday she drove to his house to go to dinner and as she got in the car he switched on the radio to their favorite station.  It was a station where you could call in song dedications.  Rosie sat back realizing that maybe he had called in a song dedication for her.  She heard the announcer say, “And now tonight we have a request from Randall to his girl Rosie.  This is a special dedication because as we play ‘their’ song, Randall is going to ask Rosie to marry him.  Good luck Randall, and Rosie you are a lucky girl.  Here it is…’To make you feel my love’ by Garth Brooks.”

            Rosie felt strange and excited about what she heard and as the music played, Randall took her hand and said, “Rosie, please feel my love and be my love forever.”

            “Yes Randall, I do love you with all my heart.”

            They were married a few months later.


            Rosie sat back in the chair, tears in her eyes remembering the early days of their marriage.  How wonderful and sweet it had been.  She recalled the notes she would find each day after he had left for work….sometimes in the laundry….sometimes by the sink, or tucked in her favorite CD….just telling her of his love and how he couldn’t wait to come back home to her. 

            It was so hard to believe that something that started so fine and good could have ended the way it did.

            She blamed it on the surgery.  One day she noticed that Randy wasn’t his usual self.  After going to the doctors and after a series of tests, they determined he needed heart surgery.  Arrangement were made.  Randall made Rosie sit down and he explained all the assets that he owned, the property, equipment, riffles, and insurance.  He told her their value and made sure everything was in order.  He didn’t think that he would survive the surgery, but Rosie wouldn’t even allow that thought.  She told him to stop acting that way.  Heart surgeries happened all the time, and yes, they were risky but hardly dangerous anymore.  She kept a brave front for him assuring him and his family it would be okay.  And it was.

            Yes, there was a close call right after the surgery, but he made it through and came home in ten days.

            Rosie tried hard to take care of him herself.  She wrote down all the instructions of what medications to give and when.  It took a whole page so she made it like a chart and checked them off each day.  She was nervous and called the doctor and he suggested a visiting nurse to come for an hour each day.  This helped Rosie because she could ask the nurse almost anything.             

            The nurse assured her that he was okay and commented on the good idea of the med chart.  But Rosie knew something wasn’t right.  Randall just wasn’t Randall anymore.  He was mean when no one was around.  He said mean things and criticized everything she did.  If she vacuumed it was too noisy, if she didn’t vacuum she was a slob.  When she bathed him the water was either too hot…did she want to scald him?  Or it was too cold and she was trying to give him pneumonia.

            She told herself that it was the pain.  The trauma.  It would get better.   She just had to be patient.  Things would work out.

            So she waited.  Many times she went into the bathroom and held a towel to her face to muffle the sounds of her heartbroken sobs. 

            Randall got better physically.  He went to physical therapy and grew strong again.  But he was never the Randall that she had fallen in love with.  That man had died in the hospital. 

            One year later they divorced and the last she had heard he was living in the home they had bought in Florida. 


            The next day Rose drove to the mall.  She was apprehensive about the meeting but she never considered not going.  Love dies hard and it hadn’t died for Rosie.

            “Hi Rosie,” he said as she approached the food court.

            “Hi Randall,” she said as she looked at him.  He looked good with his Florida tan which made his blue eyes really striking.

            Not being able to resist, she hugged him.  And he covered his surprise by offering to get the coffee and told her to sit down and be comfortable.

            The conversation was awkward but Randall got right to the point of the visit.  He said something happened, and Rosie thought it was his heart again, but that wasn’t it at all.  Randall had gone to live in Florida and made a new friend.  While playing pool one day the friend sat down in a chair for just a minute and before his next turn to play, he died.  Randall called 911 and tried CPR but it was too late.  It had caused Randall to re-think his life.  He thought of Rosie and the love they had shared and wanted to know where it had all gone wrong.  He wanted that back and asked Rosie if it was possible.  Could they try?

            Rosie wanted to try, but she was afraid.  She didn’t want to be hurt again, but maybe she wouldn’t be.  Maybe it could work.  So they agreed to try.

            That summer they dated again.  They were older now but it was like finding an old article of clothing that you once loved and then starting to wear it again.  It felt just really good and familiar.  They even started making plans for Rosie to go to Florida for the winter. 

            Then Rosie noticed things slowing down.  A few days would go by without a call…they were seeing each other less.  She called him and he would make excuses about getting things in order.  Lots to do. 

            One day an old friend called Rosie.  It was Pam who lived in the small town where she and Randall had lived during their marriage.  After Pam heard that Rosie was thinking of getting back with Randall, she told Rosie something that she didn’t want to hear.         She hated to put a damper on what was happening but she wanted to be a real friend to Rosie…to protect her…it might not be important but…and on and on  until Rosie said to just to come out with it.   Pam told her that she had found out that Randall was on and was even dating someone from that site. 

            Rosie’s heart sank.

            Well, he was single…she was single…they didn’t have a real commitment but it hurt just the same.

            She turned on the computer and typed in MATCH.COM.  She searched and found his profile.  It was all there.  She didn’t call again.  He didn’t call her.


            One night while writing an email to a old high school friend the chat box opened.  It was Randall.

            HI ROSIE    (Randall)

            HI RANDALL   (Rosie)

            HOW ARE YOU DOING?   (Randall)

            OK…..ARE YOU GETTING READY FOR FLORIDA?     (Rosie)

            YES    (Randall)

            WHEN ARE WE LEAVING?   (Rosie)


            I MET SOMEONE   (Randall)


            SHE’S GOING WITH ME.  I WANT TO GIVE HER A CHANCE.      (Randall)

            OH….(long pause)  TALK TO YOU LATER.     (Rosie)


            Rosie sat at her computer with a rainbow of emotions.  First stunned and bewildered then angry and sad all at the same time.  She clicked on new email and wrote to Randall.  She told him that she hoped it would work out.  That she was disappointed, but okay.  She added that this would be the end for them, and asked him never to call, email, write, or try to contact her again.

            He never did.


            Ten years later the last night radio station had a song dedication from Rosie to Randall who had just passed away.


            To Make You Feel My Love
Songwriters: Dylan, Bob;

When the rain's blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I would offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
So no doubt in my mind where you belong
I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on a rolling sea
And down the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
But you ain't seen nothin' like me yet

There ain't nothin' that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
Make you happy, make your dreams come true
To make you feel my love


  1. Very sad, but I'm sure this kind of thing happens more often than we think. Well written, Ruth!

  2. I agree with Terri..very sad but I enjoyed it so much. Looking forward to reading more of your stories!

  3. Good story, Ruth. Sad. But I'd kind of like to knock Rosie up side the head.