Authors: Karen Cantwell
yrtle didn’t see a light and didn’t leave Amy’s mother after that night.
“I miss her,” Marmaduke said. “She was such jolly fun.”
“You’ve become very independent these days,” I told him. “Why don’t you go over and say hi.”
“No, no. She’s enjoying her time with the daughter she never knew. I believe you refer to it as giving her personal space.”
Cal’s phone rang. “It’s Shane,” he said.
I was still surprised by this new budding bromance between Cal and Shane, but I guessed it was better than the alternative.
“Yeah, dude,” he said into the phone, “what’s up?”
I suppressed a laugh and mouthed “Dude?” to Marmi.
He shrugged his shoulders. “The colloquialism still befuddles me. You Americans and your obsession with cowboys.”
Cal hung up. “He says Myrtle’s killer talked. He gave up the name of the baby broker. A local lawyer. And Myrtle’s DNA test came back so now they have proof that she is Amy’s grandmother.”
Over the next couple of days, the lawyer and his doctor accomplice were both identified. They had both passed away, but records had been found. Eventually, other victims of their illegal adoptions would hopefully find some peace, as Myrtle and her daughter had.
On our front, mother, daughter, and granddaughter were united. Myrtle told Amy she wanted her bones to be cremated and spread somewhere pretty where she could watch the sunset, and her family could visit and enjoy a beautiful view at the same time. When I suggested the lookout at Ridge Falls Park, everyone agreed it fit the tall order perfectly.
They chose a Saturday evening just before sunset. The air was cool, but not frigid. Warm sweaters were sufficient to keep us comfortable.
Jayne asked Tara to be there to speak for Myrtle.
“Can you believe it?” Myrtle said. “I ain’t usually at a loss for words, but right now, I just can’t think of nothin’ to say. ‘Cuz it’s all in my heart. My big, full, gloriously happy heart.”
“She’s so happy that she’s speechless,” Tara said laughing.
Amy and her mother held the urn together, lifting the lid. “Should we?” Amy asked Tara.
“Are you ready, Myrtle?”
“No, give me another minute.”
We gave Myrtle her time, remaining respectfully silent.
“Okay,” she said finally. “I’m ready.”
Tara nodded to mother and daughter who lifted the urn and sprinkled the ashes over the ledge and into the river below.
Myrtle’s image was suddenly bathed in a soft but vibrant light. She held her arms out and spun in a circle. “Wow, y’all, this is more amazin’ than I ever thought possible. It’s like magic. I think it’s time to go now.” She blew us a kiss. “Remember, I love y’all. Take care of each other.” As she faded from my sight, she smiled and waved to someone we couldn’t see. “Hello Mama! Mama, I’m comin’ home.”
Tara dabbed her eyes. “She’s with her own mother now,” she told our small congregation. “And that’s as it should be.”
At the bottom of the trail, the only one surprised to see a white canopy decorated with flowers was Amy. The rest of us, joined by Shane’s mother and father, stood back and smiled.
Shane did what I never thought he’d do in a million years. He got down on one knee.
“Shane?” Amy asked. “What’s going on?”
“Amy, I didn’t propose to you properly the first time, and I regret that. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve come to realize how deeply I love you and how my life would be meaningless without you in it. So Amy Hill, will you do me the honor of marrying me here? Now?”
She caught my eye and laughed. “Do you see that? On bended knee. I told you he had it in him.”
“I was wrong,” I said. “So what’s your answer?”
She turned back to Shane. “I think I will, Shane Daniels. But who’s going to officiate?”
Tara raised her hand and stepped forward. “That would be me. I enjoy talking for the spirits who need a voice, but I love marrying people even more. Why don’t we get this party started?”
So, with the sun dipping from the sky behind the trees, Shane and Amy became man and wife.
After the vows were said and rings exchanged, we all went back to Shane’s house where his mother and father, working together, had put out champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Amy, making a point of asking for apple juice in her champagne flute, announced their happy baby news.
“And if it’s a girl, we’ve decided
to name her Myrtle, because that would just be cruel, but we will name her Scarlett May.”
I raised my glass high. “Now that’s a name worth celebrating!”
Cal and I tucked ourselves in a corner, sipping champagne and watching the new happy family.
“You light up my life,” Cal said after being quiet for a few minutes.
I shook my head. “It’s a song.”
“Chart topper,” I said.
“You’re the one that I want?” he tried.
“Are you sure?”
“Think John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.”
He nodded. “Oh, right.”
“How’s that whole proposal plan coming?” I asked.
“I’ve pitched a few, but Marmaduke hasn’t approved any yet.” He sipped and thought some more. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
I smiled. “Keep trying.”
“What if I never find the right words?” he asked, looking defeated.
I stared at him. The blue shirt he wore brought out the sparkle in his eyes. “It’s not about the words,” I said. “Don’t tell me you love me—show me you love me.”
“Bravo!” Marmaduke said, making himself visible between us. He clapped vigorously. “Bravo! It is times like these that I truly miss having a physical body. I would write that one down—put it in a movie script and sell it to Hollywood. I think we’d put that
to shame. I can see the climactic scene now: a young woman, ravaged for two long hours by conflict after brutal conflict, finally finds hope. She turns to her handsome lover, who is bridled by crippling self-doubt. She says softly to her man, ‘Don’t tell me you love me—show me.’ Then stirring emotional music slowly rises in volume while the audience gently weeps. Yes, it is all quite magical. The screen fades to black. And finally, as sniffles can still be heard in the otherwise hushed theater, two words appear:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hi! My name is Karen Cantwell. I live and write in Northern Virginia. I dedicate myself to writing fun fiction that entertains and keeps people laughing, because I believe that laughter heals the soul. And yes, I definitely believe in ghosts. I also write the author of the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series, featuring danger-prone soccer mom, Barbara Marr. I love to hear from readers, so I hope you will visit website at
where you can find my email address, find links to my other books, sign up for my e-newsletter, and read my blog, which I admit, is a little scanty right now. If you are on Facebook, stop by and “Like” my author page:
Karen Cantwell Author
. Thank you for reading my book, and have a wonderful day!
For Kindle readers, you can find all of Karen’s books at her
Amazon Author Page
KAREN’S BOOKS BY SERIES AND IN ORDER:
The Sophie Rhodes Ghostly Romance Series
Keep Me Ghosted
Some Like it Haunted
The Barbara Marr Murder Mysteries Series
Take the Monkeys and Run
Silenced by the Yams
Saturday Night Cleaver
Dead Man Stalking
Catch the Bouquet Romance Series (Romantic Comedies Coming 2015)
My Fair Sadie
Love in Rustic Woods Romantic Comedy Series
Kiss Me, Tate
Short Stories and Collections
A Spirited Season,
Holiday Tales with a Paranormal Flair
It’s a Dunder-Bull Wife,
A Barbara Marr Holiday Tale
Bjorn! on the Fourth of July,
A Barbara Marr Short Story