Searching for Home: Chapter 17

searching5homeRating: PG
Warnings: Deals a little with death, has some drinking in it. Some curse words, violence and sex, but nothing gory or graphic.

Brianna and Taylor stood quietly for a moment. Brianna then looked at the two stones to the right of Pam and then walked back and stopped at the second one on the left. “My mother.” She whispered. Taylor walked over as Brianna squatted down to read the headstone. “Julie Diane Alden. Daughter, sister…” Brianna stopped as tears came to her eyes.

Searching for Home
by Chelle & Nikki

Chapter 17

“All right, this is it.” Taylor said as he pulled slowly into the cemetery.

Brianna looked around. “It’s kind of a nice, peaceful place.”

Taylor turned the car off and replied “Yeah it is. I wonder where they are though. This place is huge.”

Brianna gathered the two bouquets of flowers she’d brought into her arms and opened the car door. “I don’t know but we won’t find them sitting here. She climbed out of the car and shut the door.

Taylor locked it quickly after he shut his door. “Well, they are one space from each other so when we find one we’ll find the other.” Taylor said as he and Brianna started to walk down the first row, reading each headstone that marked the graves.

After almost 30 minutes, Taylor saw a gray headstone that read: Pamela Darlene Richmond. Loving wife, mother, daughter and friend. “Hey Brianna! When did Gary say Pam died?” Taylor asked.

Brianna glanced up from reading the tombstone of an infant that had just died. She walked over when she saw Taylor looking at her. The expression on his face told her that he had found where Pam was buried. “That’s it. This is her grave.” Brianna said as she read the dates.

Brianna and Taylor stood quietly for a moment. Brianna then looked at the two stones to the right of Pam and then walked back and stopped at the second one on the left. “My mother.” She whispered. Taylor walked over as Brianna squatted down to read the headstone. “Julie Diane Alden. Daughter, sister…” Brianna stopped as tears came to her eyes.

Taylor finished for her. “…and mother.” Taylor couldn’t help but smile. Knowing all that Brianna had gone through wondering if Julie had ever cared about her and then not even it believing at first when Lynn said that they had cared and had tried to find her. He knew that he couldn’t imagine what it felt like to Brianna to see that on her mother’s headstone. Even before they found her or even knew she was still alive, they had put that Julie was a mother.

Brianna felt her stomach tighten as she slowly laid the bouquet of blue roses-Lynn had told her that Julie adored blue roses-and baby’s breath on her mother’s grave.

“Oh momma. Thank you so much.” Brianna said quietly as tears fell from her eyes. She had a new appreciation for her mother and a understanding of what her mother had gone through for her. Brianna understood that it wasn’t hate or disappointment that had made her mother give her to a stranger and walk away, leaving her with nothing. It was fear… and love.

Brianna slowly ran her fingers over Julie’s name and allowed Taylor to pull her to him. As they stood up, they hugged tightly. Brianna just stared at her mother’s grave as she cried. “Oh Taylor, I want her so bad.” She said, burring her face into Taylor’s chest.

“I know you do.” He whispered. He just held her, letting her cry. Taylor knew that nothing he could say or do would make anything better at that moment so he didn’t try. He was just glad that he was there with Brianna and so was she.

After a few minutes, Brianna stepped back over to Pam’s grave. She laid the white roses down and whispered, “Thank you Pam, for all you done.” She and Taylor stood quietly for a moment until they heard a lady’s voice.

“Hello.” She said.

They both turned and saw an older lady walking toward them.

“Hi.” Brianna replied.

“What beautiful flowers.” the lady said. “Did you know Pam?” She asked as she got closer.

“No, not really. We met Gary. Pam was a very close friend of my mother’s. I’m Brianna and this is my friend Taylor.” Brianna shook the lady’s hand.

Taylor nodded a greeting and said “How did you know Pam?”

The lady just stared at Brianna as tears came to her eyes. Taylor and Brianna exchanged glances and then looked back at the shocked expression on the lady’s face.

“Oh for heaven’s sakes! Bless my soul I just can’t believe it!” The lady said. Brianna and Taylor exchanged confused glances before the lady stepped closer and took Brianna’s face in her hands. “Oh mercy, it’s you!” Brianna began to feel like the lady was crazy until her next words came. “I never thought I’d get to see you again. Julie took off so quickly after you were born, and we never saw her after that. When Pam told us what she had done, leaving you with that preacher and all, my mother used to say ‘Well, that’s it. I guess we’ll never what has become of that baby girl.’ I have thought of you so often though.”

“You knew my mother?”

“Well, not so well. I didn’t meet her until she came to stay with Pam.”

“So,” Taylor said, “You were a friend of Pam’s?”

“Yes.” The lady nodded. “I was her neighbor. My name is Anita Emerson. Oh gracious, Pam lived next door to us for nearly a year.”

“You sent my mother a note. It was in the box that Gary gave me that had belonged to Pam. You and Carl and Mary?”

“Yes!” Anita said with a laugh. My parents, Carl and Mary, rest their souls, passed on a number of years ago. I live just a short walk from here and at least every other day I come to my parent’s grave and will stop at Pam and Julie’s. They were only about a year younger than me.”

Brianna and Taylor stood still. Anita leaned down and laid a single red rose on Pam’s grave and then did the same at Julie’s.

“Were you ever able to meet your mother?” Anita asked.

Brianna shook her head. “No I was adopted and she passed away before I could even find her. I wasn’t looking to be honest but her parents and sister found me.”

“Oh what a shame that you didn’t get to know her. You know, if you two have some time, you could come back to my place and I have some pictures of Pam and your mother that I could show you. I’d love to know more about you.” Anita said.

“I’d love to talk with you so more but we can’t stay long. We have to get back home.” Brianna answered.

“Do you live around here?” Anita asked.

“No. In Tulsa Oklahoma. We just came here for a few days to find out about my mother and Pam.” Brianna answered.

“We wanted to meet Pam but Gary told us about her having cancer and all. We just stopped by here on our way back.” Taylor added.

“Come on.” Taylor said. “Well give you a ride back to your house and you can show Brianna those pictures.”

Anita replied “That would be wonderful, thank you.” The three of them walked to the car and drove to Anita’s home.

“I wish my parents had lived to meet you. They only saw you once, right after you were born. My mother sent a little dress for you and a bottle with rainbows on it.” Anita said as she poured tea into three glasses. She brought them to the small table in the kitchen and sat down.

“Thanks.” Taylor said.

“Is this me?” Brianna asked looking at the picture she held in her hand.

Anita leaned over and nodded. “Yes, and that’s my mother Mary.”

Brianna stared at the picture for a moment before handing it to Taylor. “Hmm.” was the only response he gave.

“This is you?” Brianna asked, picking up another picture.

“Uh huh.” Anita said. “That’s me and my dad and you.”

Brianna noticed that Anita looked like her dad. They both had dark blond hair and the same round face and deep brown eyes. Mary had a more slim face and brown hair and pale, blue eyes.

“And that’s you and your mom, and that’s Pam sitting on the couch there.” Anita said, handing Brianna another photo.

Brianna sighed heavily. Her mother looked so tired and worried in that picture. “I wish I could have met her. And your parents.” She said. Taylor laid his hand on her back.

Anita said, “I know your mother loved you so much. Here,” Anita stood up, “I have something that you can take.”

She disappeared into another room and after a few minutes came back with a small black bag.

“This was your mother’s. She left it when she went back home and Pam gave it to my mother after she married Gary. My mother used to sit and say ‘If only there was some way I could give this to that baby girl of Julie’s. She should have it.’ ” Anita opened the bag and pulled out a long, blue dress.

Brianna could feel her heart beat faster.

“Your mom wore this only once. Someone gave it to her but I’m not sure who. She never went anywhere that she felt comfortable wearing it so just once, she wore it and Pam took her picture.” Anita said as she handed the dress to Brianna.

Taylor felt his heart beat faster also. He wasn’t about to say anything though. He knew it still wasn’t the right time. Although he wasn’t sure when that would be. He already knew that the lady he’d dreamed about had to be Julie. She was trying to tell him something. Taylor was trying to convince himself he wasn’t crazy.

“That’s really pretty.” He said to break the silence. “It’s the dress my mom is wearing in the picture.” Brianna said, running her fingers over the material. “I can keep this?” she asked, looking over at Anita.

“Yes, of course you can.” Anita said. She patted Brianna’s hand.

The clock in the small kitchen chimed and Taylor and Brianna both glanced at it. “Oh it’s already two o’clock. If we are going back to Tulsa today, we better get started.” Taylor said.

“Yes, we should.” Brianna agreed.

Anita stood as the three of them walked toward the door. Brianna turned and smiled. Anita whispered “Little Julie.” She and Brianna both had tears in their eyes as they hugged tightly.

“Thank you so very much.” Brianna whispered.

Anita patted her back. “It was so nice to meet you. You know where I live if you are ever back in town.”

They pulled away as Brianna nodded. “You two have a safe trip.” Anita said as she and Taylor shook hands. Brianna carefully folded the dress and laid it on the backseat of the car.

Taylor held the passenger door open as they waved to Anita again. After Brianna was inside, Taylor shut the door and walked around the car to the driver side.

He stared up at the old, large white house and felt chills run down his arms and back. He never spoke a word though. He got into the car and slammed the door shut.

He slowly started the car and both he and Brianna waved again at Anita as they drove away.

Brianna wiped her tears away and rolled down the window to let the wind blow on her face.

“Are you going to be all right?” Taylor asked.

“Yes, I think I will. I am glad that I came here even though I have had more disappointments than I expected, and I’m glad you came with me.” Brianna said.

Taylor felt good hearing her say that. “Me too.” He replied. “Do you want to stay another day? We can. We can see about finding out some more and maybe…”

Taylor was interrupted with Brianna’s answer.

“No Taylor. I know all I need to. I want to go home.”

*Chapter 16 / Chapter 18*
*Go Back to Chapters Index*

This fictional story is hosted
at The Gifted Ones
with permission from Chelle.

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