Spencer Visits with John’s Parents

Spencer called after Kate, wanting to set up a time to get together. But he let her go for now. He felt the same way, wanting to be alone with his thoughts and memories of his adventures with John. But he went back inside the church and talked with John’s parents. He wanted to see if John ever mentioned his daughter to them, without having to come out and ask point-blank. He also wondered why John left her to Kate instead of his parents, but figured he thought he and Kate would marry and raise her. Life had a way of changing things. He hoped Kate accepted it better than he thought she would.

Spencer ate a few bites of ham, mashed potatoes and a Jello salad with pineapple and coconut in it. Comfort food. But today it wasn’t very comforting.

Mrs. Kern leaned over and whispered, “She’ll be fine, eventually. We were kind of expecting this to happen eventually. With three sons in the military, our odds were pretty high.”

Spencer nodded. “Still, it’s hard.”

She continued. “It is, but there is always the Comforter to help in times like this. And we were very proud of him; still are.” She stopped to wipe her eyes with her tissue before continuing. “John’s brothers couldn’t make it; one’s in Kandahar and the other in Germany. But we’ll get together with them soon and have a good family cry.” She wiped her eyes and gave Spencer a wobbly smile.

He nodded, not wanting to say anything.

Mrs. Kern sipped her coffee before asking, “Now, will you be taking care of Kate?” She gave him a knowing smile.

Spencer turned in the direction that Kate took off. He turned back to Mrs. Kern and sighed. “If she’ll let me. She’s very stubborn.”

“That’s what John said. But he liked that in her, though sometimes it was a problem. I think she’ll need you, Spencer. I know the three of you have been friends for a while, and that you liked her from the beginning, but that she chose John. You’re a gentleman, and you deserve to have her now. Don’t let her push you away.”

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Spencer Prepares for the Funeral

Spencer straightened the ribbons on his blues jacket, swallowing his sadness. He had met John’s family a time or two when they had visited John when he was stationed at Castle and Pope. They were proud of their son and tried to visit each base he had been stationed at. The last time Spencer had seen them was two years ago. He knew this day would be tough for all of them, especially Kate. He prayed for strength and wisdom for the weeks ahead.

He thought of the letter written by John, now sitting on Spencer’s desk at home after he pulled it out from his file safe. He would have to give it to Kate and soon. He’d rather stand still through a tornado.

Spencer recalled previous exchanges he’d heard between Kate and John when Kate would say something like, “I’m never going to be a mother and there’s no changing my mind.” Or, “Motherhood, who needs it?” Spencer didn’t take her too seriously, and hoped she had been joking. He’d find out soon enough.

But now, he had a funeral to attend. He ran down the stairs to the lobby and out to the cab, feeling like a twenty pound pumpkin weighed down his stomach.


Until next time,