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Monday, February 8, 2016

Take A Peek into My Upcoming Book (but don't cry too hard.)

It  was a good thing that the rocking motion of the train kept Emily sleeping. For many miles her mother leaned forward, shaking with sobs. Then Marita tried to get a grip on herself.
People will be wondering what's wrong, or think I'm mighty queer if I can't stop being so emotional. She managed to hold it in for about five seconds, then a sleepy movement of Emily's little fingers got her thinking about Alice and the tears rolled down her cheeks.

When Emily woke up she was acting restless and fussy. Marita stared at her; she had never acted so upset in quite that way before.  Why does she twist her head from side to side like that and keep whimpering? Does she have an ear ache? Oh surely not!  I have no idea how to soothe an earache, on a train at that.

Emily's whimpers turned into loud, lusty wails and just as she picked her up, it hit Marita like a rock. Emily is missing her identical twin.

Worry lines puckered Marita's forehead. I thought it was only me that would suffer, but look what I have done to my little girl!

 In her agitation it was impossible to calm the crying three month old. What can I do? Oh, what can I do? People are beginning to stare at me, I'm sure of it!

She felt the back of her neck and ears scorch from the real or imaginary disapproval of those around her. What would Margaret have done? She was always so calm, so tranquil with the crying babies while I would get frantic.

Oh, she often sang.

For a moment Marita could see Margaret in the old, scuffed up rocking chair singing sweetly to which ever baby was upset.  The chair was stuffed into the corner of their bedroom because there was simply no other place for it, but the melodies would float through the small space even on the darkest of nights.

Suddenly Marita realised how blessed she had been to have Margaret help her care for the newborns, especially since she was so young and inexperienced.

The songs started coming back to her, and as she crooned, her own spirit calmed.

"Jesus Saviour pilot me over life's tempestuous sing. Boisterous waves around me roll, hiding rock and treacherous shoal, "(Edward Hopper.)

She rocked harder as the wails grew louder, but Emily's crying wasn't affecting her quite the same anymore.  She was thinking of the words.

"As a mother stills her child, Thou canst hush the ocean wild." Ocean wild: that's exactly what my heart's been like for so long now.
.
That's the secret of Margaret's serenity. She lets Jesus hush the storms, the grief and heartache in her own spirit.

Hot tears sprung to Marita's eyes. Margaret suffered much but she always was there for me.

She let her tears fall on Emily's downy hair.

"Lord, I want what she has," she whispered.

A small child hopped off the chair at his mother's side and stood in the aisle watching her.

Marita smiled at him.

"Baby," he said.


"Yes, she's just a baby. She's sleeping now."

He nodded. "Baby cry. Baby go nigh-night."

"Yes, Baby has gone 'night-night."

He observed them silently.

"What's your name, little boy?"

He didn't answer.

"The baby's name is Emily.  Mine is Mar- Mrs. Smith.  Can you say Emily?"

"Mmm'ee. Baby small."

"Yes, Emily is very small, yet, "

He put his hand on the top of his head, it barely reached. " Me big boy. "

He watched Emily making little sucking noises. "Baby hun-gee."

"Baby's fine for a little while. Are you hungry?"

The small champ nodded.

 Oh dear what have I gotten into?

Marita gently laid the baby beside her and reached into her purse.  Margaret had slipped a small paper sack of crackers into her hand while they were at the train station.

She took one out and showed it to his Mum. "Is it okay if I give him one?"

"Bobby, you aren't hungry, are you?"

"Hun'gee!"

"Oh well, just one then. It will tide you over 'til we reach Toronto, You should have a nap while we wait."

"What do you say?"

"Tang-too!" He made a bee-line for his mommy's lap and snuggled there while munching on his cracker, completely oblivious to the crumbs his mother was patiently brushing off his shirt and her skirt.

By then Marita was singing another song.

"What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear..." She looked at Bobby so sleepy in his mother's arms and wondered if she had ever felt safe and secure snuggled up close to her mother.

 Oh, Lord, give me that feeling of security that comes from being close to you. I want to trust you with my whole life; she gave a little shudder, thinking of Randall in gaol, even the unknown future.  She looked down at Emily again, especially the future.

When Emily woke up, and after she had gotten her little tummy filled, Marita arranged her new woolen coat on the floor with the satin side up. Emily seemed to enjoy being able to kick and stretch in the less confining space.

Emily looked so sweet in the cloud soft sweater set Margaret had diligently knitted for her. Margaret had taught Marita how to make one also, and she felt a bit guilty for taking the better one. It was obvious that Margaret's was so much fluffier.

Marita stooped down to remove the light yellow bonnet from the tiny girl  and was pleased to see that Emily's coppery red hair was definitely beginning to curl.

Emily smiled at her and cooed.

Maybe she will get over the loss of her sister soon. Please God.