“He’s bringing it by today,” James told Shelle one week later. She had four weeks left with him.
They were talking about the genealogist James had called; he was an old friend of James’s and had consented to trace James’s roots and Lindy and Shelle’s. It took him a week to finish, but as James said, he was bringing the results that day. James, after being in Shelle’s company and finding that he had the gift that Lindy had had, felt better. He was still sad and still cried nights when Shelle was asleep. But now—almost a month without her—he was a little bit better.
Shelle, on the other hand, was girding up her loins to say, “I told you so!” to James. That intuitive talent within her was telling her that something was going to be found out that day that would help them both to establish the links between them.
James, with his newly awakened sense, felt that some big mystery would be answered as soon as they saw the family trees. But he didn’t say anything to Shelle, who, he knew, would say, “I told you so!”
Having nothing to do indoors, they decided to go outside. They fed and watered the animals, let the sheep out, and just hung out around the barn. Shelle sat on some hay with her crutches across her lap and James leaned up against the barn wall, both thinking his/her own thoughts.
“Shelle,” said James by and by, “can you ride?”
“You mean horses?” Shelle replied.
“Yeah. Can you?”
“I don’t know. The only horses I’ve ever ridden are the ones that you pay a dollar for and go for a ride around a ring.”
“Well, c’mon. Riding’s relaxing and it’ll give us something to do.”
James went back into barn and came out a little while later leading two saddled, bridled and beautiful horses by the reins. He helped Shelle up and after she was up, he still held her small hand tenderly as he gazed at her and the horse.
Memories, memories, he thought, looking at the ground as he thought on. That horse—that’s Lindy’s. And now a likeness of her—of her ‘spark’ and spunk—is up in her saddle.
Shelle reached out. Her heart reached out to his; her presence helped him precious little, but her love supported him. Somehow, her love had been altered and was now more than just a niece’s/cousin’s love. It was a daughter’s love, a best friend’s love, and a love much stronger than the two that bound them together. Her heart was with him, helping him through this agony. He looked up at her and the sense she awakened in him felt her there keenly and he knew that she really did have a hand out for him, she was reaching out to him and she did love him. He had thought his own heart was broken, but somehow, very quietly, it had pulled itself back together. He would always be a little sad over Lindy, but he wouldn’t always cry. He would come to remember all their other years together and not the last two years of hell that they, as a couple, they, as a family, and they, as everyone, had endured.
Because, James thought, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” His thoughts went on until he remembered some lines that his friend had written in his biography of James:
A quick pain as you hear the news & someone passes
From your outside life to inside. Slowly the heart adjusts
To its new weight & slowly everything continues, sanely.”