The Guardian - 14

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And you wonder was it worth it
What will last and what will fade
I think I know because I heard it
In a song your heart has made
Only love will resonate

Part Fourteen - Resonate
My continued apologies for the delay


Jo had drifted into a much-needed half-sleep. She awoke with a start when she heard Aubrey call from the bedroom,
“Mom? Aunt Jo? Somebody? There’s something wrong! Nana? Wake up? Wake up?”

At the same time at Lisa Kovic’s apartment….

Lisa sat at the table in the barely furnished kitchen. Shari had given Lisa a fairly decent tradeoff for the furniture she took when she moved out, but Lisa had been stuck in mourning for the death of their relationship and barely paid attention to her immediate needs.

Décor was the last thing she would have bothered with under the best of circumstances so the kitchen was sparse other than a used table and two mismatched chairs; ia painfully ironic commentary on her life. But a renewal of sorts had begun earlier at Louise’s apartment and had taken hold in her time with Alex. She bowed her head.

“God? I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch. I was sort of angry at you for what happened between me and Shari, and I know that’s not what…. She and I just didn’t quite fit together and…” She paused and shook her head. Raised in a home where her father’s catholic beliefs melded oddly with her mother’s Jewish roots Lisa found acceptance; odder still that they thankfully knew their daughter’s love for girls was just right. Her amalgam of faith never went away even if it was quiet.

“That’s not why I’m here…with you? But I guess you already know that?” She blinked back a few tears and continued.

“When Mommy died I hurt inside so much. But I got to spend time with her, and I know there was never a single day that she didn’t say she loved me. Could you….” Her face was getting hot. Can anyone be embarrassed before the creator of the universe? She smiled at her shame in a way as the presence of something or someone dispelled the ill feelings she held against herself. Her motives might not have been completely altruistic, but her heart was, as they say, pure.

“Let Darla’s Mom live long enough to tell her…. She has to love her, right? Don’t all Mommies love their little….” With that she laid her head on the table and sobbed; mostly in the lingering grief of her own loss but also in travail, as it has been described, through the tears of prayer for the girl for whom she had fallen …


The chart fell to the floor as ….Tamika Betencourt jumped up from the chair. She quickly but gently waved Aubrey aside and lifted Louise’s hand.

“It’s okay… just give me a few moments,” she said as Aubrey and April joined their parents in the living room. A few anxious minutes later, she stood at the bedroom doorway; a relieved smile allaying everyone’s fears.

“She’s okay, and she’s coming around. When a patient is dealing with as much pain as your mom is…” She looked back and forth between Gina and Darla.

“The tough part is to balance between managing the pain and keeping her lucid. She wanted to…. She needs to talk with everyone, so that balance has to be made. Sometimes…a lot of times, in fact, the medication works too well, and you see what happened. I’ve adjusted it, so she will be awake.” She sighed. It was absolutely esse4ntial for everyone that Louise was conscious, but that meant a return of the all too devastating awareness of pain. She was going to continue but a voice called from behind.

“Uh….J….Joey? JoJo?” Jo stepped closer and sighed, feeling a sad if wonderful recollection of endearments past.

“JoJo? Can I have some tea?” Louise raised her head as Jo stepped into the room.

“Okay…LouLou,” was all Jo could mange before she fell onto the bed and embraced Louise. A second later she felt Louise stroking her hair.

“Momma says I have to come, but I told her I had to spend time with my girls.” Aubrey turned to her mother and Gina nodded with a disappointed look until Louise added,

“My granddaughters are beautiful, and I told both of them how much I love them….. Now I need to talk with my girls.” Peter smiled as he realized what Louise had been saying all along. She raised up just a little in bed and patted Jo on the back.

“Where are my girls? Gina?” She called; her voice barely above a whisper. Gina looked at her husband and he nodded and smiled as he pushed her gently toward the door. Her face was a mixture of wonder and sadness and fear, since it truly was hard to believe and too fearful to hope.

“Gina? Connie says she loves you. Me too. Come sit with Mommy for a while, okay?” Louise patted the bed. Jo got up and went to leave but Louise grabbed her wrist.

“All of my girls, JoJo, okay?” Jo wiped the tears from her face with her hand even as more fell onto the brightly colored crocheted comforter that covered her sister. Louise sighed in relief as her request was honored. Darla peeked in at the reunion and smiled even while her heart was breaking. She felt like Aldo, again outside looking in....


Lisa looked up from the table, almost craning her neck to gain some sort of heavenly perspective. Her faith had waxed and waned the past few years, but in her heart of hearts she wanted to believe. A Jewish mother and a catholic (small c) father whose love thrived and grew before her eyes had convince Lisa that ther truly was a god. And if that was the case, then didn’t he or she hear her? That she prayed on behalf of someone else had to count, right/ But in the end it was not a barter but a trust that her prayers would make a difference, especially when measured against the hope she set aside for herself. She smiled even as she continued to sob….

Almost at the same time...

“Darla? Darla?” The voice was fading if still tenacious and insistent. She pleaded, the distance… the gulf between her and Darla seemed almost too unforgiveable to be spanned,’

“Mommy,” Darla gasped as she stepped inside the room. Louise rested her head on the pair of pillows Jo had moved. She waved weakly to Darla, who walked to her side.

“You don’t have to…Mommy? It’s Okay…”

“I know.” She motioned Darla to lean closer.

“Kiss me, my baby?” Darla put her hand to her mouth to stifle a sob. Louise used both of her hands to grasp Gina and Jo as Darla kissed her mother.

“I…Mommy? Love…love you.”

“Me too, and Gina? And Jo?” In turn, Gina and Jo got up and stood at the bedside’; anxious, dreadful, and grateful as they kissed Louise.

“Connie told me she misses all of you, but she said she can wait, okay? And to tell Paul that he’s a really nice guy. And she thinks that you’ll all be okay because Gina is a good girl.” At that, Gina fell across Louise’ legs and sobbed much like Jo had only minutes before.

“You…” She raised her hand weakly and touched Jo’s cheek.

“I love you, JoJo. Let someone love you too?” Jo nodded as the tears continued to fall from her face. Finally Louise waved to Darla to come closer again. She patted Darla’s cheek, not so gentle, either.

“Time to get on with your life, okay? “ While Louise mentioned no names, the brief moments she held Lisa’s hand seemed to come back like a vivid dream and in some way, she fell in love for the very first time.

“She…she’s nice…..” Louise pulled Darla close and kissed her on the lips; a blessing perhaps long overdue but just time to bring healing

“I think I want coffee instead,” she whispered as she laid her head back. She smiled; a heavenly twinkle seemed to brighten her eyes before they dimmed peacefully for the last time. Tamika stepped to the bed, noting the time silently as she spoke.

“I am so sorry,” she grasped Jo’s wrist and nodded, her gentle smile diminishing as her tears mirrored every eye….

Your eye became whatever
The temperature will rise
Better hold on tight my friend
You love you bow the end
You say you're fine
You say I always take one season at a time
When all you see is autumn
And you wonder was it worth it
What will last and what will fade
I think I know because I heard it
In a song your heart has made
Only love will resonate

To be concluded…

Words and music by
The performer
Sarah Bettens

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