No one had anything to be said. All was said through tears and emotions pouring out from
the inner souls. They all sat for a few moments, then one by one, each stood up and hugged each other and left the funeral home doors.
Ralph placed his arm around Rachel and Dahlia, and led them to the car and opening the doors, and letting them sit, he then went around to his side and got in and they started for home. Breathing could barely be heard and silence filled the inner space of the car. Within moments, it seemed, they arrived at the boarding house. All walked through the front door and went to their own rooms, each consumed in their own private thoughts.
Dahlia laid on her bed and relived the whole process of the funeral. Finding out that her mother and father had loved her after all these years was almost too much to digest in one day. She had placed the envelope under her pillow and soon found herself dreaming of her past life.
In the kitchen, there was glum. This home had turned from a happy laughter filled house to a stale quietness. The news of Drew and his cancer had spread quickly and the funeral added more doom. No one wanted to fix supper, in fact everyone just wanted to let this day pass, and not look back on it.
They each filtered away from the kitchen, no supper made, the table left untouched. Each went to the living room or went out to the porch to sit. The house became so silent, that it woke Ralph up from his nap. He walked out to the porch, and he saw instantly the sad faces. He had to change what was happening here and so he suggested they gather enough food and they all drive to the park a couple of miles away.
This perked up most faces as they also wanted to change the mood of this house. Everyone got up and pitched in. Blankets were placed in the car, jugs were filled with drinks, baskets were filled with foods, and soon everyone was in the car, and Ralph began to sing. He sang songs of inspiration and hope for the future. Soon one by one they joined in the chorus,and frowns were turned into smiles, and sad memories were replaced with the present.
They reached the park, and found a nice place to put the blankets. Food and drinks, plates were all taken out. Everyone joined hands and said a prayer of hope and they clung to each other for support and asked God to be with them in the coming months. They then ate, the conversation being nothing of value, talk about school, and dreams of the end of school coming up and plans that were being made for the wedding.
When they were all done, they cleaned up and some went to the swings, others were throwing frisbees. Laughter emerged and for today, they enjoyed just being in the open air, and being with each others company.
The sun was starting to set, so they gathered everything together and climbed back into the car, and headed home. Most went inside, but Drew, Rachel and Drake sat on the porch. Nothing was said for a time, but then Drake asked Drew how he was feeling and Drew said not bad, but he still had his headache that came and went. Drake continued with he had not had a chance to really speak to Drew about the news that he had received, but he wanted him to know that he had forgiven him, and that he was here for him if Drew needed him. Drew began to weep, hearing these words of forgiveness. He had been carrying this guilt of what he had done for so long and he needed Drake to know that he did not mean for this to happen.
Drake and Dahlia reached for each others hands and held them with Drake asking Drew if he would do the honor of being his best man at their wedding. Drew shook his head no, that he could not be a part of something so sacred, knowing what troubles he had created for the two of them, but Drake went to him and sat down and told him that God was the one healing all that happened, that he wanted and needed his brother to be standing there beside him. Drew looked up into Dahlia’s eyes and saw her smiling and she nodded her head in agreement of Drake. The two of them wanted him there, and Drew asked are you sure, are you certain that this episode can be overlooked, that it will not spoil the goodness of the wedding, and Drake said no, that what would spoil it, was if he said no, he would not be there for him, and then he sobbed again, but softly speaking that yes, he would stand up for him. All three of them stood in a circle and hugged each other, tears being shed for the miracle that God was able to create between the three, and with this, they left the porch and went inside for the evening.
The next morning at church, the service having ended, the minister announced that there was a special meeting, and he would appreciate everyone staying over, and that in the kitchen of the church, refreshments were being set up so that no one went home without eating.
No one was prepared or had heard of this special meeting, so out of curiosity and a follower of the minister, everyone sat back down in their seats. The minister went on to explain that someone had phoned him last evening and had asked if they could come to see him on short notice. The visitor then announced the sad news of Drew’s illness, and that he wanted all today to stand together and hold hands and pray for Drew, that they place this illness in God’s hands, for God to heal this illness in the way he saw fit.
Eyes turned and looked at Drew, and instantly everyone was on their feet. The minister went to Drew and brought him to the center of the circle, and he and two deacons, laid their hands on Drew, and together the church prayed. After the minister finished, several of the worshipers said specific prayers for Drew and his family, then several moments passed in silence, as this news was sinking into their heads and hearts. When the time was over, almost all of them went to the kitchen, where sandwiches, and chips, and home-made cookies could be found. Juice and coffee were the drink of choice.
They all filled their plates and gathered around the tables with the minister saying grace for this food and then they began to eat and thoughts were voiced to Ralph and Rachel, that if they needed any help or support that they were all there for him.
Drew thought to himself how much easier going through this illness was going to be, now that Drake had forgiven him, and Dahlia also, that the church was supportive. It made the headaches tolerable, and lifted his heart, as he knew he was still loved.