As she left her Granny's room, Arlissa was thanking God for the healing in the rift between herself and the old woman who had loved her so dearly through all the years. She also was feeling grateful for the continued healing of her Granny's body.
"Lord, I'm so glad you are returning her speech to her. I know that You are the one who made our bodies, and the only one who can truly heal them. Thank you so very much. I saw the walker sitting by her bedside and realized it means she is getting back some of the use of her legs. My heart is just overflowing, Heavenly Father! You are so wonderful to us. I know you've been with me through all these years, keeping me safe. Thank you!"
Her eyes filled with tears of joy, and she almost ran into Bobby Joe.
"Whoa! Whoa! What's going on here, anyway? What's wrong? Is Granny worse?"
Arlissa looked up and smiled through her tears, as he grasped both her arms.
"Oh, no! Those are happy tears! I've just been thanking God for His taking care of me all these years and healing Granny. I was just getting to thanking Him for me finding my family."
"What do you mean?"
He stood back, looking at her. Then began to grin.
"You mean you really are kin to that rascal, Zeb, my buddy? And all of them O'Hanlons?"
She nodded her head, and grinned back at him.
"Well, whadda ya know about that? I always wondered if there couldn't be some connection."
"I'm on my way over to see the family now. What are you doing here?"
"Kinda hoping I'd run into you, but didn't know it'd be literally. I was just out this way and thought maybe you'd like to go down to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee with me. I've got a few minutes, before I have to get back to chasing the bad guys."
He smiled down at her.
"Yeah, like chasing poor little women following their grandma to the hospital?"
He stood there, holding his helmet in his hands.
"Say, you ever ride on a motorcycle?"
She looked up into his face.
Isn't it against some kind of rules for me to be riding your
motorcycle? You are offering to take me for a ride, aren't you?"
"Well...uh, maybe I was just joking."
He was back-tracking from the implied suggestion.
"I really have to go. I'll be at the Tunstalls with family, if you want to stop by later after work."
She left him standing there, open-mouthed, gazing after her. Was that an invitation for a date later on that day? He wondered.
He turned and went into Granny's room, and found her wiping her eyes, lying back in bed with a smile on her face.
"Hey, Mrs. Hinton! I just saw Arlissa out in the hallway. She was wiping her eyes, too. You all okay?"
I really like your granddaughter, ma'am. I kinda got designs on her. I
think she maybe likes me some, too. I'm gonna see her as much as she'll
let me. I want you to know I was in some trouble when I was much
younger, but I straightened up, thanks to my uncle and Zeb. He led me to
the Lord back about a year ago. I don't want you to worry none about my
being the right kind of fella for Arlissa."
"Thank you. Good."
She took his hand in her two hands and smiled.
"My blessings." She told him. "Now up to you two. Our secret."
realized she would possibly have to tell her new family about the
passing of their Aunt Savannah. She began to wonder if any of them knew
their aunt. Perhaps she had been estranged from them.
It seemed she was going to be the bearer of quite a bit of news for them.
As she drove, the windshield wipers seemed to be swishing out a rhythm to her.
Fam-i-ly; fam-i-ly, go-ing- to - see, my - fam-i-ly.
Fam-i-ly; fam-i-ly, go-ing- to - see, my - fam-i-ly.
She smiled and sang in her heart the words of the rhythm.
will they receive me? What will they say? Will they be glad or think
I'm just trying to get something from them? What about Mrs. Tunstall? Is
she really ready for me to claim kinship to her kids and family?"
Then she thought back to when Helen had loaned her the album. Yes...she would be okay with it, surely.
'She is after all, the one who opened the door for me,' thought Arlissa.
"Well, I'll know in a few minutes." She told herself.
"Fam-i-ly, fam-i-ly, go-ing-to-see, my-fam-i-ly!"
she opened the car door and closed it gently, with the album and
rosewood box in her right arm. She had wrapped the two items in an old
paper bag, hoping to keep them dry.
Running through the gentle raindrops, she made the front porch in just seconds.
She rapped hesitantly on the front door; it was opened by Marie, who seemed surprised to see her.
"Oh, hey, 'Lissa! What brings you out this way?"
"Well, I have some news that I want to share with you all. Is everyone here?"
they're all in the kitchen, gathered around the table. We were just
discussing what we need to do in the next few days, but we have time for
you. Come on in!"
Zeb had headed into the living room to see who was at the door, so he was not far behind Marie.
"What news? What's happened?"
"Well, quite a few things, as a matter of fact. I have three news items to share with you, some good, I think, some bad."
looked around at each of the people assembled there, with different
emotions than she had ever before experienced. This was family!
Brothers, sisters, at last! Her eyes filled with tears, and in her
heart, she knew, at last, what it felt like to have that empty place filled.
"Why don't you join us at the table? Angie, pull her up a chair!"
All eyes were focused on Arlissa now, as they waited to hear what she had to say to them.
her throat, she asked if they had heard about the wrecking of the car
Donelli was driving. They all nodded in the affirmative.
"Well, his parents showed up at the Sheriff's house this morning."
"Already? That was fast! How did they get here so soon?"
has his own plane, so they flew. He was quite arrogant when they came
to the house. Wanted to know all about the accident and when they could
have his remains."
"Then what?" Zeb wanted to know.
calmed them down and they were much changed when they left the house
and went to Hanson's to claim the body. The second bit of news is very
sad, too. Our Aunt Savannah is gone. She passed away during the night.
I'm so sorry."
"Aunt Savannah? Who is she?" Lester inquired.
"Wait a minute! Just wait a minute! What was that you just said? Our Aunt Savannah? What do you mean, 'our'"?
(To be continued)