Respite

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Two Rivers

Chapter 20 (v.1) - Family

Submitted: March 10, 2018

Reads: 133

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Submitted: March 10, 2018

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On Saturday Kar, Smitty, and Jerry all met at the café.  They decided to take one vehicle, and because Smitty had a van they also decided to let her drive.  On the way, Jerry made a suggestion.  “Hey, you two want to stop at the commune owned by Isabella Kline?”

“Uh, I want to get to mom’s a little before two o’clock, and it’s going to be close as it is,” Kar said.

“Yeah, I understand,” Jerry said it like he was hurt.

“I didn’t mean like that; I just…hey we can stop there on the way back okay,” Kar apologized.  “I just don’t want to be late.  It’s too important to me.”

“It’s okay,” Jerry assured her.

“Are you sure?” Kar asked.

“Yes, I just wanted you guys to see the place,” he said.  “It is amazing what those people have done, but later is good too.”

“Thanks, Jerry,” Kar said.

Smitty kept her eyes on the road.She was sure her two lovebirds were headed for their first fight.  But, it was stopped in its tracks before it got started.  In her mind—she gave them both a gold star.

 

At Kar’s mother’s house, everyone was seated in the living room.  Kar stood up. “Okay everybody, I’ll just go around the room and make the introductions.  This is my grandmother, Mabel Hunt.”  Kar continued going around the circle.  “This is my mother Sheila Collins, and next to her, is her best friend and work partner for nearly 40 years Isabella Kline, mom calls her Izzy.  And, this is my best friend, Camisa Smith, I just call her Smitty.  And, finally, my name is Karisa Collins.  And, oh yeah this is my other friend, Jerry Jones.”

“What’s this all about, Kar,” her grandmother asked, shifting in her seat.

“Grandma, remember the lock of hair I gave you?” Kar asked.

“Yes,” answered her grandmother cautiously.

“Grandma, Isabella is your daughter,” Kar said emphatically.

“What?!” her grandmother said in total surprise.

Kar caught her mom and Izzy’s expression.  She was positive they didn’t know a thing about the relationship.

“How do you know that?” her grandmother asked a little skeptical, yearning to believe it was true.  I did a DNA test on the hair, it matches Isabella perfectly.”

Sheila sat stunned.  Kar’s grandmother stood and approached Isabella.  “She looks just like I thought my daughter would look,” her grandmother said.  Isabella stood up to give her biological mother a hug.  Kar’s grandmother began crying, and then Isabella did too.  Finally, everyone in the room was crying. 

Kar’s grandmother pulled back.  “Sheila, you’ve worked with Isabella forty years and didn’t think it was important to tell me she was my lost daughter?!”

“Mom, I swear I didn’t know anything about it.  I swear!”

“I can vouch for that, Mrs. Hunt,” Isabella said. “I knew I was adopted, but I just figured that information was sealed and lost to me forever.”

“All these years,” Kar’s grandmother began, “Sheila would talk about her close friend, but I never met you.  I didn’t even put two and two together.”

“Grandma, are you okay with this because there’s more,” Kar asked.

Her grandmother turned towards Kar.  “If I live to be a hundred, I’ll never get over the fact that my other daughter has been this close to me her entire life.  God truly cared for her.  He has answered my prayers and then some.”

“Grandma, did you know grandpa had a daughter by another woman in high school before he met you?” Kar asked.

“One is not married to a man all those years and not know everything about him.  Yes, I knew.”

“Good,” Kar responded.  “Because, my friend, Smitty, her mother is grandpa’s daughter.”

“Can it be?!” Kar’s grandmother gasped. 

“Yep, we did a DNA on us too.  Everyone always says we looked so much alike I had to know,” Kar said.

“Well, where is your mother?” Kar’s grandmother asked Smitty.

“Oh, well she wanted to be here but she is out of town this weekend on business,” Smitty said.  “She sets up seminars for her company.  She really wants to meet you, Mrs. Hunt.  My mom has tracked down her biological mother, but her real mom said she lost track of my mother’s dad.  So, yes, she definitely wants to talk to you.  My mom wants to know all about her biological father.”

“Well, I welcome that,” Kar’s grandmother said. 

“This is a lot to take in!” Kar’s mother, Sheila, finally said.  “Any more revelations, Kar?”

“No, that’s about it,” Kar said.

“And, your young male friend, he isn’t part of the family?” her mother asked, teasingly. 

“Not yet, but I hoped to be,” Jerry cut in.

Kar swung around and everyone laughed.

“Okay, on that note,” Kar’s mother said.  “Let’s eat something.  Izzy made some great smelling hors d'oeuvres, and if they taste as great as they smell, they are going to be a treat a hard to refuse.  Come on mom,” Sheila said to her mother Mrs. Hunt, “you and Izzy can catch up!”

 

When everyone got up to leave, Izzy promised to go visit the next day her new-found biological mother, Mrs. Hunt.  Later, Izzy was helping Sheila with the dishes when she began to cry.  Sheila came over and gave her hug.  Izzy began, “To think we shared the same mother!”

“Yeah, that’s pretty incredible!” Sheila said.

“She is such a great person.  All those years you asked me to meet your mom and I refused.  Isn’t that sad?” Izzy asked.

“Yes, but you got it right now.  Get to know her.  She’s a great person,” Sheila said, and then added, “She had to be to put up with me all these years.”

“Yeah, you got that right!”  They both laughed. 

Finally, Sheila got serious.  “Do you think Kar knows?”

“Yes, she is a very smart girl,” Izzy said. 

“I wonder if she knows I was the first one you healed.  Remember I was so sick and you just took my hand and prayed—out loud!”

“Well, she might not know that, but she knows my gift to heal, and people have given me the name, The Angel of God.”

“Do you think she’ll print the story?” Sheila asked.

“I’m guessing no, but then she might print a truncated version,” Izzy said.

“She’ll lose her job if she doesn’t print something,” Sheila said.

“I’m betting she’ll take the hit before she’ll print the whole story,”

Sheila stood there smiling at Izzy.  “Just think, my sister, the Angel of God!”

Izzy added to Sheila’s comment, “The one who couldn’t heal her own husband.”

“It wasn’t to be,” Sheila said.

 

On the way to the city, Smitty took the side road leading to the commune.  In the back seat with Jerry, Kar called her mother, “Hi, mom, hey, uh, Jerry and I were just talking, and we were wondering what dad wanted to give me as a middle name.  I know grandma said she was dad’s old girlfriend, but…”

“In his dreams,” her mother cut her off.

“What do you mean?” Kar asked.

“She was class queen and only the prettiest girl in school.”

“Really?”

“Oh yeah,” her mother confirmed.

“So, do you have any old yearbooks, so I can see what she looked like?” Kar asked.

“Why do that?” her mother asked.  “Just watch the morning news on CNN.”

“No way, Charlene Justine is your age?” Kar asked.

“Thanks, Kar,” her mother said teasing.

“I mean she looks more like my age,” Kar said.

“Yes, she is very beautiful,” Kar’s mother said.

“Would you mind if I took Charlene as my middle name?” Kar asked.

“Not at all.  I’ve always felt bad that I didn’t give you a middle name, and if you want that name as a tribute to your father, go for it!  Anyway, Karisa Charlene has a good ring to it.”

“Thanks, mom,” Kar said hanging up.  “Karisa Charlene Collins is going to be my new full name!”

Jerry and Smitty both expressed their approval.  “Great name,” Jerry said.

“I like it!” Smitty said looking in the rearview mirror.

 

As they drove into the commune, Kar’s jaw dropped.  Everything was newly painted with the outbuildings in full repair.  The equipment they saw looked like vintage items right out of a museum.  And, people were everywhere, young, middle age, and children.  Everyone seemed to be involved in some kind of activity, whether working or play.  Kar saw happiness and smiles everywhere.  It was a utopia, right in the middle New York farm land.  “Izzy owns this?!”

“Yes,” Jerry said.  “It’s completely self-managed, with all the profits going back to Izzy, which she graciously returns back to them in bonuses.”

“It makes me want to live here!” Kar said.

As they got out of the van, a group of people ran by, having their daily run.  Kar kicked off her shoes and grabbed Smitty’s hand.  “Come on, let’s run with them!”

“For Pete’s sake, give me a minute to get my shoes off!” Smitty said, running and jumping on one foot and then the other taking off one shoe and then the other.

Jerry watched as Kar and Smitty followed the group down the nearby hill.  He smiled and shook his head.  In a few minutes, the group was back with Kar and Smitty leading them, running side by side.  Kar stopped short.  There in the middle of the road stood Jerry with a big sign strung up overhead and slightly behind him.  It read: “Kar, looking for a name change?  Will you marry me?” 

Smitty stopped finally and turn towards Kar.  “Don’t mess this up, Kar.” 

Jerry pulled out a box from his pocket and opened it.  There in the box was a perfect, karat-sized diamond ring.  It dazzled in the sunlight.  Smitty put her hands to her mouth.  Everyone crowded around to watch Kar’s reaction.  Kar continued to walk up to Jerry, taking the ring from him and holding it in both hands.  She could not get over its clarity and purity. 

Finally, she answered, “Yes.”  Jerry took the ring from the box, and Kar extended her left hand, and he slipped it on her ring finger.  Then bent over and kissed her on the lips.  Everyone behind them let out a cheer.  Kar turned and smiled, holding up her left hand to show off the ring. 

Jerry took the ring box and closed it and put it back in his pocket, as Kar walked back to Smitty to show her the ring.  The others crowded around to ooh and aah too.

“Did you know about this?” Kar asked.

“No, I swear I didn’t,” Smitty said.

Finally, Kar walked back to Jerry.  “Are you sure?  I mean you hardly know me.”

“I know enough,” Jerry answered.

“Did you know that my mother is Chain Saw Sheila?” she asked.

“Yes, I kind of figured that out at the house when you introduced her.” 

“And you still want to marry me?”

“Yes, if she could produce a great daughter like you, then she has to be a wonderful person,” he said.

Kar looked at her ring again and then looked up into his face and asked, “When did you plan all this?”

“When I came here the first time to get the owner’s name of the commune.”

“Oh, so that’s why you wanted to stop so badly on the way up?” 

“Guilty!” he said, raising his right hand in the air.

Her cell phone rang.  “I better get that!” she said.

Smitty yelled at her. “What are you doing, answering your cell phone at moment like this?”  Smitty put both of her hands in the air, and all the people behind her laughed. 

“Hello?” Kar said, knowing it was her boss.

“I got your last addition.  Okay, we’ll end the story at the church,” he said.  “No, names.  I think you’re right we don’t want to get sued.  See you Monday, and oh, congratulations on your upcoming engagement!”

Kar hung up and turned to Jerry.  “How did my boss know you proposed?”

“I called him as you and Smitty were running,” he said.  He put on his biggest smile. “I got your boss’s number from your cell phone while you and Smitty were in the restroom at the Friendly Brew Café.  Remember the Oriental guy named Jones?”

“He was in on this?” she asked.

“No, but he did his part.”

She reached up and kissed him admiring her ring over his shoulder.  She whispered in his ear, “My name will be Karisa Charlene Jones?”  They both laughed.  Then she added, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 

“Something your grandmother used to say?” Jerry asked.

“Yeah,” she answered with tears in her eyes.  “Thank you, Jerry, for being there for me on my journey to find a respite from my cares.”


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