Please, Mummy! Sarah, please, please, pretty-pretty please?
Sam remained outside, buffeted by the wind and a light drizzle. He leaned his back against the side of the vehicle and dug the heels of his hands into his eyes. Beth thought shed given him this great gift when she might as well have taken a scalpel and dug out his heart.For the first time in years, life had felt good. Just when it seemed that he could move beyond the pain of Trishs betrayal, he was hit in the face with it. Just when he felt he was able to put the past behind him, she thrust it at him like a fast-pitch baseball. No more than a few rows in front of him was the woman he had loved and the child he had lost, and Beth assumed she was doing him this great favor. This was his Christmas gift? The gift she was excited to share with him? Was the woman that insensitive? That oblivious?
He heard the door creak open and Beth climbed out again. Sam, she whispered, and placed her hand on his shoulder. Please say something. I feel awful. I thought … I hoped. Oh Sam, please believe me I didnt do this to hurt you.Dont. Just dont. Get back in the car and stay there before I say something Ill regret.She slid back inside the car and closed the door once again. Sam paced the area for several more minutes until he felt he could talk. Even then, the band of pain around his chest had loosened only enough for him to feel limited control of his emotions.
When he felt he could, he got into the car and started the engine.Sam … Im so sorry. I thought youd want to see your daughter. I didnt do this to hurt you, Beth said, her voice low and tight with concern. Did I?
You know Id never intentionally do anything to hurt you, dont you?
He laughed without humor. Id hate to think of what youd do if you were. Another one of your little surprises would probably cripple me for life.And I want to give a special thanks to Cassie Carter, Shelly added shyly.
Yes, Cassie, too, George added, plus all the other volunteers who stepped in and worked alongside of us to give us this home.Wearing a huge smile, George looked to his wife, who held the scissors. You ready?
Shelly beamed and nodded. Ready.Shelly cut the ribbon and it fell away. Everyone cheered and applauded, and a sense of joy and excitement filled the air as people exchanged hugs. George led the first group in for a tour.