The following Thursday Lauren and Judy were coming to clean out John’s apartment. Spencer offered to drive her and Sarah to the airport and she gratefully accepted. She would have been too anxious.
Kate had mixed feelings about the visit from Mrs. Kern, but she would deal with it. She had no choice but to get through the painful ordeal. Kate remembered Mrs. Kern from John’s funeral of course, and knew that she was a kindly woman.
But, she was still nervous and emotional about the upcoming visit. Talking about John again would bring on more grief that she was trying to avoid and leave behind. Of course, knowing Sarah was Mrs. Kern’s granddaughter would be awkward also. But she resolved to make the most of it and just push through for Sarah’s sake. After all, Sarah deserved a relationship with her grandparents.
Though many of the leaves had fallen by now, today the weather was unseasonably warm. Spencer came over wearing khaki shorts and a red polo. Kate wore denim Capri pants and her favorite floral top. She dressed Sarah in a cute Winnie-the-Pooh outfit she found in her bags from the orphanage. In the car, Kate explained to Sarah that her grandma was visiting for a few days. They had moved Sarah’s car seat to Spencer’s car since his had more room and was newer than her beater.
“Another memaw? Who’s her?” Sarah had started calling Mrs. P ‘Memaw’ early on since she couldn’t pronounce her name.
Kate smiled at Sarah’s grammar. “Your grandma is your daddy’s mom.”
“Mr. Daddy’s mommy?”
Kate sighed. “No, John’s mom. John was your daddy but he died, remember?”
“No. ..isn’t Mr. Daddy my daddy?” Sarah’s little nose was scrunched up and it was hard for Kate not to get exasperated or to laugh at Sarah’s funny face. Even more so because Sarah was very serious and confused.
Finally, she said, “You’ll like your grandma.” Giving up, Kate turned back toward the front of the car.
“Okay.” Sarah’s answer showed her complete trust, which pleased Kate.
Spencer reached for Kate’s hand and squeezed. “You tried.”
“I know, but I don’t know how to help her not to forget John. It wasn’t like they lived together. Do you think I should worry about it that much?” Kate peeked back at Sarah, but she was already distracted, watching the traffic.
“I think when she’s older, it will be important for her to remember that he was a special man and that he died for his country. She’s probably too young and confused right now.”
“I guess. Maybe I can get her a few photos or mementos from John’s place for her to keep until she’s older.”
“Sure. And if you’re wondering, I plan to adopt Sarah after we’re married, if you want me to.” He gave her hand another gentle squeeze.
“I was wondering; thanks. I would definitely like that. It will be nice to be a whole family, I admit. When I’m ready.”
“I know.” He squeezed her hand again before letting go so he could signal their turn onto the airport exit. He took a ticket from the machine in the parking garage and found a spot not far from one of the doors. “Shall we?”
“I guess. Ready or not.” Kate got out and unbuckled Sarah, holding her hand. When Spencer came around, Sarah reached for his hand, too. Kate and Spencer looked at each other and smiled.
Until next time,