This is a beautiful story about a couple; John and Charlotte who had been married to each other for the past 50 years and lived happily. Unfortunately enough, at some point John suffered a very rare disease that was incurable.
As such, he spent the very last days of his dear life, confined in a hospital bed. While in the hospital, with what would turn out to be his last breath, he told Charlotte to go have a closer look at a painting that he had made her just a couple of months after their wedding.
Charlotte obliged and went into a conservatory where she removed a coat of varnish at the top of the painting. Therein, she found something that the husband had kept as a big secret for all the years they had been married.
1. More About Charlotte and How She had Met Her Husband
Charlotte was a widower who had worked as a nurse all her life, before her retirement. She was married to her dear husband John, and together, they were blessed with two wonderful children.
The story about how exactly Charlotte and John met goes way back to when she had gone out with her friends one evening, not knowing how her life was just about to change. Charlotte was not exactly the type that enjoyed going out.
However, on the material day, she had agreed to go out after so much persuasion from her friends. She initially did not even have the intention of going out.in the first place. Luckily, this is the night she actually had gotten to meet her husband John.
2. The First Actual Interaction
Like it has been aforementioned, Charlotte and John met for the first time at a local bar, over 50 years ago. It was such a magical moment, that can best be described as love at first sight. The two were quite shy, and as such, it took John so much courage to make the first step. Charlotte could clearly tell that it was in John’s everyday habit to make the first step; judging by just how uncomfortable he appeared to be.
Normally, John would depend on his friends to help him out in terms of making an effort to approach a girl. However, Charlotte for so special for him to not take a chance on. All John needed was a simple smile, that quickly made them fall in love with each other. Within no time, the two become almost attached to each other and were quite inseparable after that.
3. Marriage Life
For the most part of their marriage, John always seemed to be away for one reason or the other. However, despite this, he was a very responsible husband that always took great care of his dear wife and their children.
John always worked so hard to ensure that his people never lacked anything essential. The two were not exactly so rich, but this was not an issue, since they loved and cared for each other; and were literally made for each other.
Together as a couple and with their children, the family lived a life that was so fulfilling, modest and quite happy. However, despite all this, there was just one secret that John had not shared with Charlotte, and had not told her the truth.
4. Great Suspicions and Mistrust in the Marriage
Despite the fact that Charlotte was very happy with the marriage and the manner in which the husband took care of her and the children, she was super suspicious of him at times.
This was mostly fueled by the fact that John was always away. When Charlotte tried making inquiries about what exactly he had done, John always responded with some suspicion. He always said it was because of work, and always avoided delving further.
5. A Mistress in the Picture?
Charlotte was by far not a jealous woman at all. However, she wanted be sure that the husband was always happy with her. And in the event that he no longer was interested in her, at least he should have the courage to be honest.
There were times when John would often disappear and go out for dinner with a pretty lady, without saying anything to the wife. He would always claim that it was all for work.
It even got to a point whereby Charlotte started doubting his love for her. One time, eager to find out what exactly John was hiding, she decided to follow him, in a bid to see if her gut feelings were right. However, she did not come across anything substantial.
6. The Secret Drawer
There was this drawer that John had in is room, that he never allowed Charlotte to look into. It reached a point when she even tried looking for the keys, when the husband had gone away for work for some days, but she did not succeed. At some point however, she gave up on getting confirmation to her very many suspicions and was even blaming herself for everything. She thought to herself that there was no need getting jealous, yet she had a lovely husband and amazing kids.
She instead decided to redirect her energies at the blessing she had: happy family, loving husband, amazing kids and a nice house. Charlotte therefore decided that there was no point of looking, since it seemingly looked like she would never get anything. Despite Charlotte having her doubts about her husband, she still loved him deeply.
She knew for a fact that she would never leave him, even in the event that she found out that she had been unfaithful. Charlotte was certain that she would surely love John until death did them part. She however started feeling as though her fear of losing him was fast becoming a reality. Despite the very many issues they had, Charlotte remained such a good wife.
7. Health Complications
John became diagnosed with a disease that was very rare. Throughout his years, he had encountered quite a number of health problems. However, he was always so reluctant to resort to medicine for help. Instead, he believed in getting better naturally.
However, at some point, he agreed to see a doctor after much persuasion from the wife. Upon the first visit, the doctors were not able to get the exact diagnosis of what was ailing him exactly.
This even made him believe further that the medicines were not any good for him. The doctors could not get the actual origin of his illness or even a solution to his problem. One thing that the doctors were sure about however, was the fact that he did not have so much time left to live. He was thus encouraged to take advantage of the few days that he had remaining.
8. Health Deterioration
During one of the days after their evening meals, John became overly confused suddenly and thus Charlotte had to call in for assistance. John became hospitalized in a very critical condition. He got operated on, but the doctors insisted that he had only like a day or two to live. Upon hearing about this, Charlotte decided to call their two sons to the hospital, to bid their daddy goodbye.
While all this was happening, none of them had any possible clue about the deep secret that John had been hiding all this while. All that they all wanted at this point was to be by his side, during his last moments.
Once their sons were able to finish saying their goodbyes, Charlotte was left with John, where the two had great conversations surrounding how great they had lived their lives.
They talked about the memories that they had made over the years, and in their marriages, and that is when John mentioned that gift that he had gifted the wife about 50 years ago.
9. John’s Last Words and the Great Mysterious Painting
One of the last words that John actually uttered to Charlotte was about the painting that he had gifted her very many years ago after their wedding. He requested her to go ahead and take a keener look at it.
At first, Charlotte did not quite understand what John meant by this. However, she eventually decided to take action and look more keenly at the painting. Upon glancing at the picture at first, she had found nothing special about it.
After unsuccessfully trying to figure things out on her own, she decided to reach out for help from a friend. It is with the help of the friend, that they were able to discover that there was actually something special that was laying behind the paint vanish.
10. Coded Message
Here was however some coded message behind the top layer of the canvas painting. Upon further probing, they discovered that the coded writing was actually an address to a place. It turns out that the address was very familiar to Charlotte. It belonged to a local bank where they both had an account. She was happy that at least she was making some progress. She sought the help of a bank employee to find out more about the code.
Eventually, with the help of the bank attendees including the manager, they were directed to a safe that had never been opened for 50 years. At this point, Charlotte really wondered what could have been in the safe.
As far as she was concerned, it could not have been money. According to her, they did not have so much money throughout their marriage. Before opening the safe, she was asked very many questions, and also signed quite a number of documents.
11. The Secret, It’s Source and a Happy Ending
When the safe was opened, the great secret was unleashed. There was a box that was completely full of so much money, more than what Charlotte has possibly seen throughout her life.
Apart from the large amount of money, there was also a letter from John to Charlotte. The letter had John’s handwriting, and it had been written over 50 years when they had gotten married.
12. The letter
In the letter, John explained to Charlotte that the money was an inheritance that he had gotten from his wealthy uncle who had taken care of him, after the demise of his dad.
The uncle was a wealthy businessman and had since left John all his wealth, because they had a great relationship with each other. The only reason why John had not told Charlotte about this secret was because of his personality.
He did not want people to love and interact him because of is money. He feared the possibility of being taken advantage of. This way, he ensured that throughout his life, he was only surrounded by people who were genuine, selfless and sincere.
13. The Decision
Charlotte decided to use part of the money to tour and travel the world together with her two children. She was doing this in memory of her dear husband John. She then started thinking about what else she could do with the remaining amount.
Charlotte had been greatly touched and honored by John’s letter. As a result, she decided to use the remaining amount to pay him his last tribute in a special way. She had decided to do this as a sign of gratitude for the love they shared together and to also show her unconditional love.
14. Beautiful paintings
She therefore decided that since John was passionate about paintings, she was going to organize to have his paintings beautifully displayed at the local museum. This was to happen in exchange for a donation.
She was able to do this with the help of a friend of hers who worked at the local museum. This was such a thoughtful thing to do, because it had always been John’s dream to have his paintings displayed at the local museum.
This was therefore a very special dedication to the late John, because his paintings were very excellent. He therefore would have made a fortune from them, if he had taken the step of having them exhibited earlier.
Of importance to note however, is the fact that Charlotte did not in any way hold any grudge against John for keeping this secret. She strongly believed that John had done so for a good reason, and therefore she understood that too well.
Charlotte was actually so convinced that she and John would eventually end up in Heaven someday. After a difficult life of making so many sacrifices to keep things moving, she was relieved at last and was able to enjoy her last days. Above all else, she was just so delighted that her dear husband was thoughtful of her to his very last breath.