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Authors: Brandilyn Collins

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Color the Sidewalk for Me

BOOK: Color the Sidewalk for Me
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Also by Brandilyn Collins
Eyes of Elisha

ZONDERVAN

color the sidewalk for me
Copyright © 2002 by Brandilyn Collins

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of Zondervan.

ePub Edition July 2009 ISBN: 978-0-310-85826-3

Requests for information should be addressed to:

Zondervan,
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Collins, Brandilyn.
 Color the sidewalk for me / Brandilyn Collins.
  p. cm. — (Bradleyville series)
 ISBN 0-310-24242-8
 1. Parent and adult child—Fiction. 2. Mothers and daughters—Fiction. 3. Kentucky—Fiction. I. Title.
 PS3553.O4747815 C65 2001
 813'.6—dc21

2001006356

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
Holy Bible: New International Version
®
. NIV
®
. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

The
New King James Version
(NKJV) is copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.

02 03 04 05 06 07 08 /
DC/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Contents

cover page

title page

copyright

acknowledgments

~ 1997 ~

chapter 1

chapter 2

chapter 3

~ 1968 ~

chapter 4

~ 1997 ~

chapter 5

chapter 6

~ 1977 ~

chapter 7

chapter 8

chapter 9

chapter 10

chapter 11

chapter 12

chapter 13

chapter 14

~ 1997 ~

chapter 15

chapter 16

chapter 17

chapter 18

chapter 19

chapter 20

~ 1977 ~

chapter 21

chapter 22

chapter 23

chapter 24

chapter 25

chapter 26

chapter 27

chapter 28

~ 1997 ~

chapter 29

chapter 30

chapter 31

chapter 32

chapter 33

chapter 34

~ 1978 ~

chapter 35

chapter 36

chapter 37

chapter 38

chapter 39

chapter 40

chapter 41

~ 1997 ~

chapter 42

chapter 43

~ 1979 ~

chapter 44

chapter 45

chapter 46

chapter 47

chapter 48

chapter 49

chapter 50

~ 1997 ~

chapter 51

chapter 52

chapter 53

chapter 54

chapter 55

chapter 56

chapter 57

chapter 58

chapter 59

chapter 60

chapter 61

chapter 62

chapter 63

chapter 64

author's note

about the publisher

share your thoughts

For my mother and father,
Ruth and J. T. Seamands,
who have colored the sidewalk for me
since the day of my birth.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon
you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in
heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

—Matthew 11:28–29 KJV

Acknowledgments

M
any thanks to Niwana Briggs for her insightful editorial comments as this story progressed.

Many To my agent, Jane Jordan Browne, who surely never sleeps, I send my utmost gratitude. We did it!

To my editor, Dave Lambert, and copy editor, Robin Schmitt, and to Sue Brower and Sherry Guzy and all the other terrific marketing and publicity folks at Zondervan—my deepest appreciation. Ron Huizenga, you're batting a thousand. Can't wait to see what you all have in store for me next.

~ 1997 ~

chapter 1

The boxes are heavy, their rough rope handles cutting into my palms. A frayed purse weights my weary shoulder. Heat shimmers from the fuel-spotted asphalt, stifling humidity wrapping greedy fingers around my throat. The squat, gray building seems so far away, and my legs are wobbling. Others move ahead of me as we file from the bus into the station. I breathe deeply, lungs filling with roiling air. My head feels light. Detaching itself from my body, it begins to float. Somewhere below are my arms, the boxes, my stumbling feet.

“Ye shall find rest unto your souls,” Imumble, half dazed. “Ye shall find rest ...”

And then the building looms before me. The door opens. My head drifts over the threshold. Distantly I survey the interior. Three people are in line to buy bus tickets; others dot plastic orange chairs as they wait. Two children are squabbling at a vending machine. I try to remember what I am looking for.

The door closes behind me. Air-conditioning slaps my cheeks. I shiver. Numbness chews away my feet, my legs. Vaguely I feel my fingers loosen, the boxes fall away. They hit the dusty tile floor with a clunk. Two women are watching me. I see the questions on their faces, feel their stares.

The world dims. My knees fold. For a time there is only blackness ...

Muffled voices above me. Faces out of focus.

“Poor child, she's exhausted from the heat.”

“And probably hasn't eaten.”

“Go get her ac andy bar.”

Footsteps hurrying away.

The scene undulates, reshaping itself. I am in a cab, then a hotel room. So sterile, heartless. The bed beckons me. I stagger to it and collapse.

The walls close in. I suck air and my throat rattles. “Danny,” I whisper. #8220;Kevy.”

After all the miles and all the running, the tears finally flow.

“Oh, Danny ...Danny ...Kevy ...”

A
gurgle in my throat yanked me to the present. My eyes blinked open. Morning sun sifted through my white lace curtains, dusting the bedcovers with flecks of gold. One of my cats stretched beside me, surveying me with lazy indifference.

Ye shall find rest unto your souls.
God's promise to Granddad that he tried to pass on to me.

I lay very still, allowing my mind to adjust, as I always did after the dream. I forced myself to breath deeply until my tingling nerves settled.

Staring at the ceiling, I reflected that I'd not had the dream in a long time. Perhaps a year. Not that it mattered. Out of the many images from the past that capriciously filled my head at any given moment, this one was the least to bear.

I swallowed, passed a hand over my eyes. Glanced at the clock. Six-thirty. My alarm would go off any minute. I reached out to turn it off.

Not until I'd pulled myself from bed did I remember what day it was. Friday. My thirty-fifth birthday
and
my employment anniversary. Exactly ten years ago I had joined the creative team of Sammons Advertising Agency.

Ten years.

BOOK: Color the Sidewalk for Me
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