The contract ending dates have arrived.
I avoid looking at the calendar as I walk by.
How could 13 weeks possibly pass so quickly?
Sunday morning's sun shone bright and clear.
After church and Abigail's nap,
Kathleen and I planned to spend one last afternoon together.
We drove up to the college to wander among the flowers
and autumn briskness. This is where Kathleen's love of Fairbanks began,
just about the same time of year, 8 years go.
She and I were alone then as we discovered the campus together.
(On that first visit to Fairbanks, many times I asked her to promise me
she wouldn't linger in Alaska any longer than the 3 years her degree required.
Each time I asked, she simply smiled. A knowing smile.
Did she know that Josh was waiting to be found only a few weeks hence?
Did she know that she would be building a house and starting a family here?)
This time our precious Abigail joined us and charmed us with her smiles.
Josh had gone home to rest after his week of hunting.
Jack was preparing to go to work.
So we 3 ladies walked along, our emotions speaking louder than words.
Knowing our time was limited to hours, we shared an understanding
not by things spoken but enhanced by mere presence.
This mother's heart swelled as I watched Kathleen mother her babe
with such patience and tenderness.
I respect her as a woman and mother.
Our roles have blurred as we have matured.
I will miss them both terribly but they'll be OK.
And, I suppose, so will I.
I have learned to stop asking.