Wednesday, March 12, 2014


      Jeannette woke to sunshine and birds singing despite the early March chill and the melting snow on the ground. She found herself humming as she and Max pulled out boxes and old newspapers and started the packing with her good china. Nathan kept busy dismantling furniture and hauling the pieces out to the rental truck. Jeannette had made dozens of phone calls last night, and had been able to visit the bank and sign papers after the reception yesterday. Max took care of arranging for an apartment to be waiting when they drove across the border of Tabor Heights. If everything went on schedule, she could attend church Sunday morning at Tabor Christian.
      She was on the phone with Mrs. Tabieri, the rental agent at Parkview Towers, when two carloads of unexpected helpers arrived. They brought food, boxes, cleaning supplies, and offers of teenage sons, brothers and husbands to help with moving out. Most were the wives of Brody's co-workers. A few were from church. Jeannette was honestly surprised anyone came from church, because Mrs. Evans was the 'grand dame' and everyone -- nearly everyone -- bowed to her judgments.
      No one said a word about the scene at the funeral home Tuesday or the divided camp of the funeral the day before. They talked about spring planting and vacation and the ordinary things Jeannette had almost forgotten existed. She was grateful, more than she could ever express, and began to regret a little that she would likely never see these friendly, warm, supportive people ever again.
      Jeannette had only been in Glenwood nine months. These people were Brody's friends rather than hers. Without his outgoing personality, spontaneous cookouts and mud football games to keep them together, everyone would eventually fade out of her life. Or rather, she would fade from theirs. Even if she stayed in Glenwood.
      It was better she went home to Tabor and found her quiet, shadowed, sheltered place again. Jeannette was grateful for the care and company of these people, though. And never more so than when Mrs. Evans arrived with her three remaining sons and their wives.

      Most of the work was done and almost everyone had left by mid-afternoon. Jeannette, Anna-Marie Thomas and Brenda Peters were taking down curtains in the tiny family room while they waited for Joe Thomas Jr. and Troy Peters to come get their wives. Max and Nathan were out in the rental truck, re-arranging the load because it turned out Jeannette was taking much more home to Tabor Heights than anyone had anticipated. Jeannette wondered if the Evanses would have come inside if there had been cars out front, and if the rental truck had been parked in front of the house instead of behind it. 

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