- Saturday, February 23, 2008
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an excerpt from Someday by Karen Kingsbury (Tyndale House Publishers).
John Baxter made his decision as his family was leaving the hospital.
Elaine had shared with him and his family a moment of deep tragedy and deep love, a time that had bonded them beyond any other shared experience. He held her hand as they walked silently to the car. In a few hours, everyone would meet back at the Baxter house for dinner. They needed to be together, needed to share about how the brief life of little Sarah, his granddaughter, had touched them, changed them.
But in the meantime he couldn’t shake the feeling inside, the certainty that he wanted Elaine in his life not only in moments like this but always.
Elaine’s car was parked near his, but before she went to it she stopped. “You’re quiet.”
He smiled and a calm worked through his soul. He was worn-out and weary, but he was no longer discouraged, not after what he’d witnessed this afternoon up in his daughter’s hospital room. “Just thinking.”
Elaine would be joining them for dinner after she spent a few hours at home. They all needed some downtime. But the look in her eyes told him that she would stand in the parking lot all day if he needed her. “Wanna talk about it?” She angled her head, her eyes soft.
John could feel the warmth in his heart shining through his eyes. “God’s bringing some of the details into focus. About how much I need you.”
She looked surprised and touched and maybe a little shy. “That’s a good thing.”
“We’ll talk more about it later.” He hugged her, and they said their good-byes.
When John was alone in his car, the decision in his heart took root, writing itself across his soul and changing his picture of the future. The drive home seemed longer than usual and marked by a new sort of thrill and loneliness. He entered the old house, but instead of tossing his keys on the counter, he stopped and leaned against the doorframe. Every inch of the place still held Elizabeth’s memories, the way it always would. He walked up to their room and hesitated at the photo of her on his dresser. “You were there with us today, dear. I felt you.”
He gripped the dresser, and his thoughts drifted back to earlier today. Before he left the hospital, Ashley had shown him Cole’s picture. The artwork by his eight-year-old grandson brought him the same much-needed comfort as it brought Ashley and her husband, Landon. Nothing could be more fitting than the image of Elizabeth holding little Sarah in heaven, taking care of her until they could all be together again.
He moved to the card table he’d set up at the end of his bed. Elizabeth’s handwritten letters were spread across it, more organized than before, and on one end was a stack already copied. The project had outgrown this space, so later tonight he’d move it to the dining room. When he was finished copying he would have six sets of her letters—one for each of their children. Each yellowed letter carefully opened and reread had filled his heart with Elizabeth’s presence and made him miss her more than ever. But now the emotional, painstaking process was nearly behind him, and he was almost ready to put the letters into scrapbooks and pass them out. He had a feeling there was something in Elizabeth’s words that would make a dramatic difference in each of their adult children.
Even with baby Sarah’s funeral planned for later in the week, he would focus his energy on the letters. It was time, and it was the right thing to do. When he was finished, he would finally have closure, finally have walked through everything left of the woman he still so dearly loved. He would need that closure because of the decision he’d made an hour ago. The decision that one day very soon he would take the step he had been certain he would never take.
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