Thursday, February 6, 2014

Day 6 - John comes home

Jane was 48 when Jim died. She had been 40 when Polly passed away but the biggest blow had been the murder of her husband when she was pregnant with their ninth child. Having that many kids was difficult enough but to lose John when she needed him the most had almost broken her spirit. Still, she was made of sterner stuff and had moved on; doing what was needed to support her kids. She was proud of all of them. They were good people.

She was really not introspective. There was not enough time to just sit and think. Her quiet time was at night when the kids were asleep. Her bedroom faced the river and the little balcony John had built for her was her special place. On those nights when she couldn't sleep, she would wrap herself up in the quit and sit outside. The moonlight bounced off the river, highlighting the hills in the little valley. The rustling of the leaves and the sounds of the river were calming. In those few moments, she had time for reflection.

Tonight she was thinking of John She missed his strength. They had built a life together and sometimes it felt so empty. She knew it was the quiet that drew her in but she wanted him to be there tonight. Her dad, however inattentive, was gone now, leaving her and her sisters as the elders now. She didn't want the job although she was well prepared. She had watched her mother shoulder all the work when her dad had taken off for the gold mines in California and had been gone 30 years. She had watched her mother work from dawn to dusk in other people’s homes to provide her and her two sisters with food and clothing. At least, growing up, they had a home. Not much more than a shack but safe and warm.

Jane scanned the small valley. The river was still low. Winter was coming, she could feel it but the fall weather was holding. She was not looking forward to the snow.

John should be here, she thought. He would be proud of the kids. Two of them were married and she had grand-kids. John would love being a grandparent. There was so much she wanted to share with him. In these brief moments, missing him overwhelmed her.

Sighing, she walked back through the French doors, tossing the quilt on the chair. Crawling into bed, she drifted off to sleep, remembering the day John came home from the war.

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