When We First Fell In Love...
March 31, 2016
Her husband held her frail hand, lightly enveloping her icy fingers in his warmth. Her shallow breathing was labored as she closed her eyes. “Are you going to sleep, my love?” He whispered softly choking back a wave of tears for the woman he’d loved for over fifty years.
“No dear” She murmured softly as she sighed. “I’m thinking of when we first fell in love.” She mused drifting into a light sleep.
“Fetch water girl. Yer pa will be home soon.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Hannah said dutifully. Her ma was a strong woman and it was best not to test her. Picking up a bucket from the side of the shanty she merrily skipped down the lane toward the center of town where a community well was located. She loved going to town because it meant she didn’t have to do chores. Her daddy had moved them to the Louisiana territory to look for work and said they may go further west if Lewis and Clark, the great explorers who set out to find the Pacific Ocean, found a route. But even at thirteen Hannah knew that wouldn’t be for years to come. Humming softly to herself she daydreamed of what the ocean must be like.
Nearing town, she noticed a buzz of activity. “Something must have happened.” Hannah thought with some alarm as she watched town folk dart back and forth frantically. Slowing her pace she hoped to capture an ear full of what everyone was ranting about. She surmised something about a boy and the blacksmith’s roof. Reaching the corner of Smitty’s General Store she peered around cautiously, not sure what scene would play out before her. A crowd was gathering at the east end of town in front of Carl Johnson’s blacksmith shop. Spotting her friend Emma she ran to catch up with her.
“What’s going on Emma?”
“Timmy Everett, Mr. Johnson’s nephew fell off the roof.”
“What was he doing on the roof?” Hannah asked bewildered at the idea.
“I dunno.” She replied. “Coming momma!” Emma shouted hearing her mother calling; then dashed off in the direction of the livery stable.
Hannah inched closer to the anxious crowd. Suddenly, a wagon raced down the dusty street from the South. It was Doc Harrelson. “Git out of the way folks, Doc’s here!” The sheriff shouted from the center of the crowd as Doc Harrelson jumped from his wagon and rushed into the mist of the confused and worried onlookers. Disappearing for a few minutes, the Doc reappeared carrying a young boy in his arms. Placing him gently in his cart Hannah hadn’t realized she had subconsciously made her way toward the back of Doc’s wagon. Glimpsing the face of the boy she thought he looked about her age. He had brown hair, tanned face, torn shirt, holes in both knees of his britches and bare feet.
“Hi” he said smiling up at her. Startled, Hannah stammered, blushed and fought to find words.
“I’m Timmy. Are you an angel?”
At that Hannah’s wits came back like a lightening flash. She replied, “No, I’m Hannah McCarthy.”
“Oh...” Timmy said as he closed his eyes again.
“Outta da way, got to git this here boy to my office. Got a broke leg. Be fine if’n y’all let me doctor ‘im up.”
Snickering loudly Doc urged his horse to move through the parting crowd gathered around his wagon.
“You heard the doc, Timmy’s in good hands. Get on with your business now.” The sheriff said.
Still blushing Hannah stood gazing at the young boy lying in the back of Doc’s wagon as her young heart skipped a beat.
Smile, you are loved.