Kathy waited in the quiet of Emily’s kitchen, staring at the pink and purple blossoms of Emily’s African violets lifting their petals in the breeze from the kitchen window. The ticking clock and an occasional drip from the faucet were the only sounds, until Jess returned, that new uncertainty altering his step.
He carried a large shoebox. “It’s Em’s diaries. I came across them the other day when I cleared out her desk. She wanted you to have them. Took a real shine to you, Em did.”
Later, when Kathy opened the box, she found a number of small books along with a note, written in a neat, clear hand, lying on top.
November 12, 1990
My dearest Kathleen,
I know from our talks, you worry about making the right choices in your life. I cannot, nor should anyone, tell you what to do. For that, my dear, you must listen to your own heart. And, never fear, it is speaking to you.
Perhaps I can help a little though, by showing you how I found my own way. There is no one I would rather share that with.
I also want you to know, Kathleen, your visits brought this old woman so much joy.
After she read Emily’s note, Kathy started to cry again, which was strange. After all, Emily wasn’t family. Only, that’s what Kathy’s sorrow felt like. Like she was mourning a death in her family. Of someone precious to her.
Eventually, Kathy came to realize that piece of paper with Emily’s name on it was the fulcrum on which her entire future tipped. Just like the nursery rhyme, the one that went. . . for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost...all the way to the end with the country being lost, if she hadn’t met Emily and learned to trust in her dreams, her life would have been something else altogether.
And tonight, when the consequences of the choice she’d made to let Greg go to San Francisco alone was a heavy burden on her heart, she needed Emily again.
She sorted through the box of small leather-bound books, looking for the beginning of Emily’s story. When she located the right book, she curled up in her easy chair and opened it to the first page.
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