While the first year without Edward was the most difficult, Hannah found strength she didn’t know she had. There were times when she thought everything was fine, and then something would trigger a memory of Edward – a song on the radio, a line from a book, a phrase someone said. Then Hannah was pulled back into grief.
She supposed she would spend the rest of her life susceptible to such turns of emotion. According to Harry, he had similar experiences since losing Kathy. He joined Hannah at the cemetery some Sundays, and when the weather was nice, they slowly walked the well-trod path from Kathy’s grave to Edward’s grave to their parents’ grave and finally to Amy’s grave.
“You know, this may sound morbid, but I’m finding the cemetery oddly comforting,” Hannah said on a July day, a year after Edward’s passing. “There’s a certain beauty about this place. I wouldn’t have believed it before, but coming here has been vital for me.”
“I’m glad you suggested I join you,” Harry replied. The wind gently played with his silver hair, messing it in the manner he’d often worn it when he was much younger. Behind thick glasses, his blue eyes crinkled as he smiled. “You know you must’ve been very convincing to get me to come here this often, sis, seeing as I avoided this place like the plague for years.”
Hannah joined in the laughter. “Anything to get you to listen to me, Harry. You know I’ve always known what’s best for you.”
Harry sobered. “There’s more truth to that than you realize.”
Hannah reached for his hand and gave it a squeeze. “Hey, you old geezer, you forget that you first came to my aid.”
“Who you calling old, Hannah-panna?”
“Don’t you remember how you related to me when I was angry about Amy dating? For the first time, I felt like someone understood me, Harry.”
Brother and sister exchanged knowing smiles.
“I have a feeling my two younger grandsons are going to cause as much trouble as you and Erik did when you were boys. Randy’s only seven months old and is determined to crawl. He’s getting into things, and I have to keep my eye on the little stinker around the outlets.”
“Ah, grandkids. They keep us young, don’t you think?”
“I often forget my age, but keeping up with them is another thing entirely. What I’d give to wake up just one morning without a stiff neck or back, and if it isn’t that, it’s my legs.”
“You sound like that one old biddy friend of yours you’re always complaining about. What’s her name, Gertie? The one from church who goes on and on about what’s ailing her.”
“Yes, that’s Gertie all right, but don’t you even start, Harry.”
The siblings walked on in perfect companionship to the pond and fed the geese, whiling away another lazy afternoon.
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