He hugged Daniella tight and his eyes watered a bit. He hadn’t seen her since she left for the Middle East and had often commented to Rosie that he feared he’d never see her again when he heard how badly her father and cousin had reacted to the news of her marrying a Muslim and converting to Islam. Rosie had water in her eyes as she witnessed the happy reunion.
“We thought we’d never see you again Honey. We’re so glad that you’re back. I’m just so sorry that it took something this bad to get you back over here.”
Daniella nodded, “Yes, that’s for sure. But I guess that tragedy sometimes does just that, doesn’t it?”
Uncle Sheldon nodded, and Aunt Rosie said, “Amen to that Darlin.”
Daniella added, “Tragedy often brings families together, to be even stronger than they were before. Well, at least that’s what I hope.”
Aunt Rosie remarked, “Well we sure do hope so too! Now come out and see this deck.”
They went out onto the deck where Daniella could see the beautiful back yard garden that Aunt Rosie had planted. It was a gorgeous sight. She even had Banana trees and giant Sunflower plants about, a vegetable garden and birdhouses. The grass was lush and green and Daniella let the intoxicating smell of fresh cut grass fill her nose. That, combined with the smell of the lovely flowers and fruits, made a wonderful bouquet of aroma.
“Aunt Rosie, you’ve got a little slice of paradise out here. Gosh, I should bring you to Dubai with me so you can help me decide what to do with my garden.” Daniella said.
Rosie adorably blushed to almost match the color of her roses and admitted, “Well, the truth is that I can’t take all the credit for it. Sheldon helped me a little bit.”
Uncle Sheldon blurted, “A little bit! Is that what my wife is over there saying?” Rosie shooed him away and smiled to show her lovely dimples, and said, “Y'all stop messing around now and sit down. We can talk after we eat. I hope you brought your appetite girl!”
Rosie brought a lovely dinner for them—casserole tossed salad and cornbread with plenty of sweet tea. In the South, cornbread goes with everything, and try as she might, Daniella had never been able to get the cornbread recipe to taste just right. Her mouth watered as she saw and smelled the beautiful home cooked meal.
They enjoyed a lovely time together, biting into the delicious food and chatting about everything under the sun. After dinner, Rosie came out of the kitchen with a tray of pecan pie slices and hot coffee. Daniella was in heaven because there was no better way to finish a meal. Of course, in the South, though, this also meant that the “serious” talk needed to begin. The time for idle chitchat was done.
Sheldon looked sternly at Daniella and asked, “You saw your cousin? What do you think Honey? Do you think he could have done this?”
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