Later that afternoon, Spencer and Dale took Sarah outside to play in the snow and Lauren offered Kate some hot tea. She had accepted and they had a nice visit in the formal living room by themselves. Lauren right away told Kate not to feel awkward under the circumstances.
Kate gave her a half smile. “I feel bad—”
“Don’t. We know why John never told you about Sarah. But we didn’t know that until just a few months ago. We couldn’t figure out why John hadn’t said anything about you two getting serious. He kept saying, in due time, Mom. We had to trust that he knew what he was doing. I only wished he had told us why and we could have prayed more specifically about it.” She paused to take a sip of tea after blowing across her cup.
Kate liked the room they were in which was well appointed with cherrywood tables and an antique motif fabric covering the sofas and chairs. Kate sat on a love seat with quite comfortable cushions while Lauren sat opposite on a matching sofa. The coffee table between them gleamed from a recent polish. A red candle sat amidst fresh pine cones and glittery snowflakes.
“I realize I don’t know you well, Kate, though John always said nice things and that you were serious about not having children. I don’t know your reasons, but I can tell from the short times I’ve seen you with Sarah so far, that you’re already a good mom.” She smiled at Kate.
Kate gulped down surprise. And wiped her eyes. How could she know that already?
Lauren must have read her mind, for she said, “A person can tell a lot about the interaction someone has with other people. I see only love in your eyes when you read to Sarah or talk and play with her. It’s not an act.” She smiled and added, “And listening to Sarah chatter about you proves she knows you love her.”
Kate toyed with the idea of telling her the reasons of never wanting to be a mother. She sipped her tea and thought it wouldn’t hurt. Lauren and Dale seemed to see through her anyway. She took a deep breath. “My mother left when I was eight…”
When she finished, Lauren was quiet a few minutes before she said, “I’m sorry. That has to be worse than death, to be abandoned like that. I can’t imagine your pain. But I will pray for you and your family.”
Kate blurted out, “How do you do it? How do you not get mad or scream that your son is gone?” She set her cup down abruptly on the table, wishing she could smash it instead.
Lauren gently set her own cup down and looked at Kate a full minute before speaking again. “Oh, honey. Don’t think we haven’t had words with God. We have, believe me. But it isn’t worth fighting against him. We don’t always understand his ways, but we know he loves us. These kinds of things happen, mainly because we live in a sinful world.”
She sighed and looked toward the tree in the corner, the lights sparkling. “I still wonder why John is gone, don’t get me wrong. But I trust God knows what he’s doing and I can have his peace in that. And we take it one day at a time.”
Kate absorbed what Lauren said, finishing her tea in silence. She didn’t know God very well, she admitted. Maybe someday she would understand John’s death. And then maybe not. For now, she had Sarah to think about. And adding Spencer to their family.
If John’s own parents didn’t understand it, why would she? Maybe it was just time to realize she wouldn’t get any answers and that God knew what he was doing. At least she could rest knowing she had loved John the best she could and didn’t have any regrets.
Until next time,