“Well, it’s done. I gave away my oldest. No one told me it was this emotional. I guess I know how your father must’ve felt now.”
Hannah smiled fondly. “Yeah, Pa was glassy-eyed, that old softie. I was thinking about them last night.”
Edward wrapped an arm around Hannah. “If you need to cry, let them be happy tears, darling. Do you hear that soft rustle of the wind through the branches?”
“Yes.” Hannah listened beyond the voices around her and gazed up to find the trees dancing delicately. If she hadn’t been looking or listening for it, she would have missed it. “Sycamores, just like the old house.”
“We have some time for a short walk, I think. We’ll meet everyone back at the church in a little while.”
“Brenda was smart to keep the reception at the church and keep it simple, but yes, a walk would be perfect right now.”
Edward’s hand sought Hannah’s, and without a word, they detached from the crowd. With the passage of fifty years, Madison Avenue had changed. Many of the homes had the wear and tear of decades, and many of the trees lining the street had grown tremendously. When they reached Hannah’s childhood home, they stopped.
“I see that large rock is still by the driveway,” Hannah remarked. “I haven’t been back here much since Ma moved out, but it looks mostly the same.”
“I thought it might do you some good to see it again. You can hear the wind in the leaves better here, not so much commotion.”
“I used to go outside in my yard whenever I needed to be alone and at peace.”
“I figured a walk was in order for a bit of peace today, even though it’s a happy day. When I asked you back at the church if you heard the wind in the trees, it was meant to be a reminder that your loved ones are never far from you.”
“Thank you, Eddy. This place holds many memories for me, but it’s the past. Brenda getting married is the door to the future, to possible grandchildren of our own. I think it’s time we headed back and celebrated what’s to be and keep in our hearts what once was.”
“I like that idea, very much.”
As if they were walking together for the first time, Hannah and Edward held hands and returned to the church. Behind them, trees overshadowed that quaint house on Madison Avenue, lost in the voices of the past, but in Hannah’s heart, she could still open the door to find Ma and Pa to welcome her home.
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