Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The Bradford Legacy - Chapter 3


Published on

Published in: Self Improvement, Sports
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

The Bradford Legacy - Chapter 3

  1. 1. Welcome to Chapter 3 of my Legacy! I suggest that you read the prologue and first two chapters to get the full story. The short version of what happened in Chapter 2: Elias, the Generation 2 heir, went to college, graduated with honors, and met his future wife Uma. They married, and her inability to get pregnant right away caused some tension in the Bradford household. Eventually, Thomas, the Generation 3 heir was born, and a sister, Eliza, soon followed. Elias‟ siblings have both married, and their lives are moving forward as well. And now, on with the story.
  2. 2. Before we jump into the main story, there‟s someone I would like to introduce you to.
  3. 3. Say hello to SilverBelle Simself, my alter-ego who resides in Simerica. I finally got around to giving her a makeover, so you‟ll probably be seeing her around a little more. And now, onto the Bradford Family Farm.
  4. 4. “So, my little man, are you ready to become a big boy?” Elias asked his son Thomas. “Yes! Birthday!” stated Thomas. Elias smiled. He could hardly believe that his firstborn would soon be a school boy.
  5. 5. Elias leaned forward as he helped Thomas blow out his candles. “Make a wish, son,” said Uma. “Want cake!” cried Thomas, as everyone around him laughed. “Yes, Thomas you shall get your cake,” chuckled Elias.
  6. 6. Thomas grew up quite well, and he was happy that his birthday party was a success. He was very much looking forward to attending school with his cousins the next day. He wanted to be the best student in the school and learn all he could. He was particularly interested in learning more about the “Simland” he often heard his grandfather speak of.
  7. 7. The next morning while the rest of the family bustled about downstairs getting Thomas ready for his first day of school, Elias snuck up to the nursery. “My little boy is growing up so fast. I suppose you will soon do the same, Miss Eliza?” Eliza gurgled at her father. “Thank goodness that you will stay small for a little while longer,” he muttered. “I do like babies.”
  8. 8. As it turned out, there were two more babies making an appearance at Thompson House at that very moment. Nicole gave birth to twins, a girl they named Rebecca, and a boy, called Richard. “You have a son and heir now, husband,” commented Nicole, the meaning of her tone evident to Phineas. “Yes, my wife. I am most pleased,” he replied. A package had arrived for him the day before from the city of Portsimouth, and its contents would be required shortly.
  9. 9. After settling the twins into their cots, Phineas returned to the foyer of the house. “Mrs. Thompson, may I interrupt your painting for a moment?” “Of course, Mr. Thompson.”
  10. 10. “Mrs. Thompson, I wish to thank you for giving me a son. Here is a token of my appreciation.”
  11. 11. Nicole did her best to pretend she was surprised. “Mr. Thompson, for me? You should not have.” “It is just a few small things I thought you would like,” he replied.
  12. 12. “I hope they are not that small,” she muttered as she ripped open her present. Nicole was not easily impressed, but even she gasped at the contents of the box. “Why, Mr. Thompson, they are exquisite!”
  13. 13. The necklace that Nicole received was just as pretty as the one her sister-in-law had received. But the real stunner was the gown that sat below the necklace. “Mr. Thompson, you have outdone yourself. I shall be the best dressed woman in town!” “I am pleased that you are pleased, Mrs. Thompson,” he replied.
  14. 14. It was a beautiful fall morning, and Uma and Chris were busy tending the garden. “You really have caught on to gardening quite well, Mrs. Bradford,” said Uma. “Thank you, Mother,” replied Uma. “I think it will be quite a harvest this year. What do you plan on doing with the profits?” “I would love to purchase some orchard trees, but I know there are some things in the house that need to be completed first. Mr. Bradford is anxious to finalize the study.” “I know. Now, what is that noise coming from the front of the house?”
  15. 15. Thomas and his cousin Rhoda were in the front yard, playing red hands and not being at all quiet about it. “I win!” cried Thomas. “You cheated!” declared Rhoda. “Did not!” “Did so!” “Children!,” called Uma, “It is getting too cool for you to be outdoors without your coats. You can continue your games in the house.”
  16. 16. “I had fun today Rhoda. You should come home from school with me again tomorrow.” “I will have to ask Mother, but I doubt she will mind. But I really must be heading home. Father doesn‟t like me to be out after dark.”
  17. 17. “Do you wish for Mr. Bradford to walk you home, Rhoda?” “No, Grandmother. It is not far, and the sun is still out. Thomas invited me back tomorrow after school as well. May I tell Mother that it is acceptable to you as well?” “Of course, my dear. We are having a small gathering for Eliza‟s birthday, and we would love for you to be there.” “I shall plan on it then. Good night, Grandmother.”
  18. 18. That night, Elias and Uma were in the sitting room. Elias was reading up on the play he would be performing in shortly, and Uma was reading a new book that Elias had not seen before. “How does memorizing your lines go, Mr. Bradford?” “I have just the last scene to memorize. I think this play will be the success for which I have been hoping. I shall not be in this career path much longer, my dear.” Uma smiled. “That is good news indeed. Did Thomas find you? He was looking for help with his schoolwork earlier.”
  19. 19. “Yes, he did. Father ended up helping him, as it was a question on the history of Simland,” replied Elias. “Your Father does enjoy spending time with Thomas.”
  20. 20. “What is it that you are reading, Mrs. Bradford?” asked Elias. “A book that I found at the library on how to be a better parent.” “Why ever would you read such a book? You are an excellent mother.” “Thank you, Mr. Bradford. But with another child on the way, I feel the need to learn all I can about babies.” Elias smiled. “How long have you know you were with child?” “I have suspected it for some time, and now my dress is getting too tight again. I will have to start wearing my maternity dress tomorrow.”
  21. 21. The next evening, Rhoda arrived for Eliza‟s birthday party as promised. Before the cake, Chris prepared a dinner for her guest.
  22. 22. “Is anyone else coming to Eliza‟s party?” asked Rhoda.
  23. 23. “No, she‟s just becoming a toddler. That‟s hardly worth celebrating.” “Thomas, she is your sister. You must not say such things about her,” admonished John. Thomas sighed to himself. He rather liked being the center of attention, and Eliza would become more of a focus with this birthday. There were also strange whispers between his parents about “the new baby.” No, Thomas was not excited about his sister‟s birthday.
  24. 24. After dinner had been cleared, Uma brought Eliza down from the nursery for her little celebration. Elias was the only immediate family member not present, as it was opening night for his play.
  25. 25. Uma leaned forward cautiously. Her expanding middle had made her very clumsy as of late, and she did not want to drop Eliza. “There you go, daughter,” said Uma after the candles were blown out. “You‟re all ready to grow up now.”
  26. 26. “Who do you think she will look like, Grandmother?” “It does not matter; I am sure she will grow up to be a beautiful woman.”
  27. 27. After the cake, Uma retired to her bed while Chris brought Eliza up for a bath. “Well, Thomas, what do you think of the news that you will soon be a big brother again?” “I am not sure if I like the news, Grandfather.” “Do you not want a brother or a sister?” “I do not want to be forgotten.” “You could never be forgotten, Thomas. You are the heir to the Bradford name and legacy. You are very important, and you will see that as the years pass.”
  28. 28. Chris got Eliza bathed and into a new dress. As her granddaughter wasn‟t tired, Chris decided to enjoy a little playtime. “Where‟s Eliza?” asked Chris.
  29. 29. “Here, Gamma! I here!”
  30. 30. “There you are!” Chris said. Eliza laughed, and then yawned. “Bedtime for little girls,” declared Chris, as she picked up Eliza and got her settled into her crib.
  31. 31. Downstairs, Thomas was practicing on the new piano that Elias had recently purchased. “Very good, Thomas. But is it time for you to go to bed. You have school in the morning,” said Chris. “Yes, Grandmother,” replied Thomas. “Will you read to me until I fall asleep?” “Of course, sweet boy.”
  32. 32. “…and they all lived happily ever after. The end,” said Chris softly as she shut the book. Thomas snored lightly. Chris smiled. She would never tell anyone that she had a favorite grandchild, but deep in her heart she knew that she favored Thomas over the others.
  33. 33. He was the grandchild that she had waited so long for, and he did not disappoint. He was already showing that he wanted to pursue a life of learning, just as she had. “Sweet dreams, my grandson,” she whispered as she tucked the blanket in.
  34. 34. Uma‟s third pregnancy was more difficult than the previous two, and she spent most of her days in bed. Chris was more than willing to take on the tasks of teaching Eliza to walk and talk.
  35. 35. “Say „Grandmother,‟” coached Chris. “Gamma!” “Yes, sweet girl. You are a smart one. Perhaps your parents will be able to send you to Mrs. Seymour‟s Finishing School when you are older.”
  36. 36. Thomas was also learning all he could at school, and his hard work soon paid off. “Father! I have gotten a “A+” for my report on the history of Simland!” “That is wonderful, Thomas. Why don‟t you go and share the news with your grandfather. He is, after all, the one who helped you write most of the report.”
  37. 37. Uma knew that the baby was due soon. Knowing that much of her time would shortly be occupied with the newborn, she dragged herself away from her bed long enough to teach Eliza a nursery rhyme that she herself had learned as a child.
  38. 38. After a bottle for Eliza and a goodnight kiss, Uma found herself in the sitting room of the house. She had thought to practice at chess for a while, but she was stopped by a sharp, familiar pain in her stomach. It seemed that the third Bradford child was ready to make an appearance.
  39. 39. Luckily for Uma, this baby arrived with relative ease. “Hello there, baby,” cooed Uma. “My, you look like your father. What should we call you?”
  40. 40. The third Bradford child was a boy, and was promptly named Patrick. He favored his father in his eyes and hair, and his grandmother in complexion.
  41. 41. Uma was enthralled with her new son. The wee little man had completely captured her heart in a way that none of her other children had. She was getting on in years, and a part of her knew that this would most likely be her last child. She decided to cherish each and every moment with her son, and doted on him constantly.
  42. 42. One evening, Elias asked Uma to join him in the sitting room. “Mrs. Bradford, I have good news. I have achieved success in the theater. My latest play was a great hit.” “Mr. Bradford, that is indeed good news.”
  43. 43. Uma looked at Elias. “Does this mean that you will be seeking new employment?” she asked.
  44. 44. “Yes, Mrs. Bradford. I promised you that I would not live the life of an actor forever. I have been thinking about entering politics, perhaps even running for Mayor one day. My family has roots in this community, and we shall be here for many generations. I want to make sure that it grows in an appropriate fashion.” “I think you would make a fine mayor, Mr. Bradford.”
  45. 45. And so, Elias Bradford left the stage behind and entered into the world of politics.
  46. 46. Despite his original misgivings about his sister, Thomas found himself looking forward to Eliza‟s birthday. “Tomorrow, you get to go to school with me, Eliza. You shall have to sit in the front with the rest of the primary students. But I promise to help you with your lessons. You will have many other children to play with, including our cousins.” “School!” “Yes, Eliza. Birthday, and then school.”
  47. 47. “Well, my beautiful girl, are you ready for your birthday?” “Yes. Birthday now, Papa.”
  48. 48. Elias held Eliza up and helped her to blow out the candles on her cake. “Are you ready to grow up, princess?” “Yes!”
  49. 49. Eliza grew up into a lovely child. She was good tempered, and eager to start school with her brother.
  50. 50. The next day, the Bradford and Gavigan families gathered to celebrate the Gavigan twins transition into teenagers. Rhoda, as the elder of the twins, went first…
  51. 51. …followed by Roger shortly after.
  52. 52. Rhoda was a lovely teenagers. She wanted to gain the affections of as many young men as possible, and possibly become a world-famous artist.
  53. 53. Roger too grew into his looks. He would rather spend his time in the pursuit of knowledge, and had a desire to become one of the growing number in the town who made a living by less than legal means.
  54. 54. John found Primrose in the kitchen cleaning up the cake plates. “Daughter, I just wanted you to know how proud I am of you and the life you have built for yourself.” “Thank you Father. I am very content with my life.”
  55. 55. John pulled her into a tight hug. “I love you, my dear. Never forget that,” he said.
  56. 56. Primrose was slightly shocked by her father‟s outward display of affection. “I love you too, Father.”
  57. 57. As the party drew to a close, Primrose found her Chris and gave her a good bye hug. “Shall I see you at Sophia‟s birthday tomorrow?” asked Chris. “No, I have promised Rhoda that we would go bonnet shopping. Mother, is something wrong with father? He seemed rather emotional tonight.”
  58. 58. Chris sighed. “He is getting old, Primrose, and he is starting to feel the years. The man does not know how to take it easy.” “You must make him, Mother. I do not know what I would do if anything were to happen to him.” “Nor do I,” sighed Chris. “Nor do I.”
  59. 59. Phineas looked at his daughter. “Are you ready to become a big girl?” “Big girl now!” Everyone laughed at Sophia‟s enthusiasm for growing up.
  60. 60. “Pretty!” exclaimed Sophia as she reached for the candles on the cake. “Sophia, no!” admonished Nicole. “You‟ll burn your pretty dress.”
  61. 61. Sophia grew up to have a strong resemblance to her mother. It also seemed that she shared some of her materialistic nature, as she immediately demanded a new pair of slippers.
  62. 62. The evening was still early, but John was tired. He no longer seemed to have the energy of his youth, or even a few years ago. “Grandfather, must you leave?” asked Sophia. “Yes, dear child. Grandfather is tired. Perhaps you can come visit after school with cousin Thomas or cousin Eliza one day soon.”
  63. 63. As he had the night before with his daughter, John pulled Phineas into a strong hug. “My son, you have done well for yourself. You have a good home and a fine family. I am proud of you.” “Thank you father. Are you certain that you and mother are alright to walk home? I can summon a carriage.” “No, we‟ll be fine. As you said to me once many years ago, it‟s just on the other side of the town square.”
  64. 64. “Good night, Mother,” said Phineas as he kissed Chris goodbye. “Is Father well?” “He is just tired,” replied Chris. “You forget that he is almost 80, and has not lived the easiest of lives.” Phineas sighed. “If you need me to do anything, please let me know.”
  65. 65. When John and Chris arrived home that night, John stoked the fire in the sitting room. “Ah, that feels delightful,” he said. “Husband, are you well?”
  66. 66. “Come here, my love,” said John, pulling his wife close. He drew in a deep breath and continued speaking. “I am old, Mrs. Bradford. I do not know when it happened, but I feel my age more and more with each passing day. I know that my time left is short, and I only hope that I can fill it with as much joy as possible.”
  67. 67. Chris turned and embraced her husband. “Don‟t talk of such things. I cannot imagine a world without you in it.”
  68. 68. John held Chris close, doing his best to comfort her. “I cannot imagine my life without you in it, either. However, we must face the fact that at some point, we shall both pass into the great unknown.”
  69. 69. Chris fought back the tears that threatened to escape. “Then let us hope that when the time comes, that we are not parted for long. Now, let us go upstairs. You must be exhausted after all that excitement tonight.”
  70. 70. Though they were both tired, John and Chris stayed up talking through a good portion of the night.
  71. 71. And as the fire died down, they both fell into a peaceful slumber. Both of them knew that their time left was short, but there was a firm determination to make the most of it.
  72. 72. Instead of Sophia coming home with Thomas after school the next day, he went to visit Thompson House.
  73. 73. “Are you certain that you can make that move? Father told me that you cannot move a pawn more than one space?” asked Thomas. “Are you accusing me of cheating, cousin?” asked Sophia. “No, of course not.”
  74. 74. Phineas arrived home from work to find his nephew and daughter still deeply engrossed in their chess game. “I do not wish to disturb your fun, but Thomas really must be getting home. You know how early it gets dark now.”
  75. 75. Thomas jumped out of his chair. “Of course, Uncle. I will see you in school tomorrow, cousin.”
  76. 76. “Goodbye, cousin Thomas. Will you help me with my spelling in school tomorrow?” “Of course. Speak to me during lunch and we shall review it.”
  77. 77. “Birthday, birthday, BIRTHDAY!” sang Richard Thompson. “Me birthday first!” declared his sister, Rebecca.
  78. 78. Phineas brought his daughter to her birthday cake first…
  79. 79. …and then his son a few moments later.
  80. 80. The Thompson twins grew up extremely well, and immediately set to studying for school the next day.
  81. 81. After the children were settled into bed, Phineas invited Chris to warm herself by the fire before she walked home. “Mother, why did Elias come tonight instead of Father? The twins were looking forward to seeing him.”
  82. 82. “He was not feeling well, Phineas. I tried to convince him to come, but could not.”
  83. 83. “Is there anything I can do, Mother?” asked Phineas, his voice filled with concern. “I do not think so. He is merely old, son. He does not have much time left.” Phineas looked at his mother for a long moment. “Father is dying, is he not?” A shadow fell on Chris‟ face. “He is. And I do not know what I shall do without him.”
  84. 84. The day after the Thompson twin‟s birthday, John found himself tired, though it was barely past noon. He was not sleeping well, a symptom of his old age. Today was Patrick‟s birthday, and he wanted to be rested enough to feel up for the celebration.
  85. 85. Several hours later, Chris found John still napping on their bed. “Husband, are you ill?” she asked with fear in her voice. “No, my dear. I merely wanted to rest before we celebrate Patrick‟s birthday this evening.” “Did you not notice that the sun is nearly set? We are ready for you in the dining room. Mrs. Bradford has asked you to do the honor of bringing Patrick to his cake.” John slowly rose from the bed. “I had best go fetch him from his cot, then,” he said.
  86. 86. John was very excited to help his youngest grandchild make the transition into toddlerhood.
  87. 87. Patrick grew up to be a very handsome toddler. He was by far the messiest of the Bradford children, but also the nicest.
  88. 88. After the children had been put to bed, John and Chris found themselves in the sitting room, enjoying the warmth of the fire. “Mrs. Bradford, I wish to thank you for agreeing to marry me all those years ago. I know our lives have not always been the easiest, but you never complained. Thank you for helping me to achieve my dream of a life and family of my own.”
  89. 89. “The honor has been mine,” replied Chris. “You have provided for me and our family well. I had few prospects when I came to New Simland. The life I have had is more than anything I could have ever dreamed. Thank you for taking a chance on a poor tavern server with no money or family to her name.”
  90. 90. The next morning dawned cold and clear. John awoke later than usual, and by the time he had dressed and breakfasted, the children were off at school. He found Uma in the sitting room, doing a bit of tidying up. “Mrs. Bradford, you do not need to do that. We have employed a maid for several years for such tasks.” “I am aware of that, Father. I find myself restless this winter, without tending the garden to fill my mornings, and I must do something to occupy my time.”
  91. 91. “Mrs. Bradford, I know that I have told you this before, but I am very happy that my son chose you for his bride. You are an excellent mother, and you always put the family first.”
  92. 92. Uma‟s smile seemed to light up the room. “Thank you, Father. I can admit now that there was I time when I was worried about whether or not I would be able to fulfill my duties as wife and mother, but that time has long since passed. I feel quite fortunate to have married into such a fine family.”
  93. 93. John pulled Uma into a hug. “Continue to take good care of my son and grandchildren. They will need you to continue being the strong anchor that you are.” “I shall, Father.”
  94. 94. John pulled back from the embrace. “I know you will, daughter.”
  95. 95. Later that afternoon, after the children had finished their homework, Eliza begged John to read her a story.
  96. 96. John was happy to accommodate his granddaughter. “…and the beautiful princess and her handsome prince returned to his castle, where they lived happily ever after.” “Please, Grandfather, read it again!” “Eliza, I have read this story to you many times. You must know it by heart now.” “Yes, but I do love to have you read it to me, Grandfather.”
  97. 97. John kissed his granddaughter, and then sighed. “Someday, you will find your own prince, who will take you back to his castle where you too shall live happily ever after.” “Grandfather, you‟re being silly. There are no princes in Simerica.”
  98. 98. After Eliza left to go and practice the piano, Thomas ran up to his grandfather. “Grandfather, it is my birthday today!” John sighed quietly. “And are you excited?”
  99. 99. “Yes, Grandfather. I will get to start the secondary school tomorrow, and soon I will get to go to University, just like Father did.” “Your excitement for learning pleases me, Thomas. It reminds me of your Grandmother and Mother‟s love of learning.”
  100. 100. John pulled Thomas into a hug. “I love you, Thomas. Always remember what I told you: as the heir to the family, you will always be important to all of us.”
  101. 101. Thomas pulled back and planted a kiss on John‟s wrinkled cheek. “I shall remember, Grandfather. I will make the Bradford name one that is known and respected.” “Nothing would make me prouder, Thomas. Now, go and get cleaned up. I believe your Mother will want to have dinner before she allows you your birthday cake.”
  102. 102. John found Elias in the music room, admiring the piano he had bought years ago. “Elias, I do not know if I have told you this enough, but I am immensely proud of all your accomplishments. You have achieved success in your career, and you have a fine family. This was what I envisioned when I left Simland all those years ago.”
  103. 103. “Thank you, Father. I am very content with my lot in life. Your encouragement and support through the years are what have helped me to achieve all that I have.”
  104. 104. John was taken aback by his son‟s kind words. “Thank you, Elias. I always wanted to be as supportive to my children as my father was to me. It is good to know that I have been able to do so.”
  105. 105. John pulled his eldest son into a hug.
  106. 106. A small smile crossed Elias‟ face. “Father, may I ask why the sudden burst of affection?”
  107. 107. I just want you to know that I love you, son.” “And I love you, Father.”
  108. 108. As the sun began its slow decent, John pulled Chris into the sitting room. “My darling,” began John, “You have been the light of my life. I love you more than words can say.”
  109. 109. He gently kissed his wife...
  110. 110. …and then pulled her into his arms. “Husband, why are you being so sentimental?” John drew in a long breath. “It is time.” “Time for what, my husband?”
  111. 111. “It is my time to go, my love.” “But it is too soon!” cried Chris. “Death does not negotiate, my dear. I love you, and I will see you soon.”
  112. 112. And with those words, John Bradford followed Death into the Great Unknown.
  113. 113. The entire Bradford family was devastated by the lost of its founder and patriarch.
  114. 114. But none more so than Chris, who had been married to John for more than 50 years.
  115. 115. John was laid to rest in the shadow of the house that he had built.
  116. 116. Later that night, Elias sat at the desk in the study that was now his to write his father‟s epitaph. John Bradford, founder of the Bradford family. Born in Simland. Immigrated to Simerica. Beloved husband, father and grandfather. Successful physician. Died at the age of 84.
  117. 117. In the mist of the family‟s sadness, Thomas‟ birthday was not forgotten. “Father, must we celebrate? I am not feeling very joyful right now.” “Thomas, your grandfather would have wanted you to enjoy your birthday,” replied Elias.
  118. 118. And with the encouragement of his family, Thomas blew out the candles on his cake.
  119. 119. Thomas grew up into a handsome young man. He decided to take after his grandmother and mother and pursue a life of learning. His love of nature led him to desire to learn all he could about the natural science of the world.
  120. 120. Elias was devastated by the loss of his father. He had thought there would be a few more years before he had to take on the role of leader of the family.
  121. 121. He found some comfort with his youngest child. “My little man,” he muttered. “Papa is very sad right now. I lost my Papa today, and I do not know if I am ready to take on all of his responsibilities.” Patrick put his little arms around Elias‟ neck. “Love Papa,” he said. Elias chuckled. “I love you too, little man.”
  122. 122. Chris was not fairing much better with her grief. John had been such a large part of her life for so long, she was at a loss of what to do next.
  123. 123. When she finally crawled into the bed she had shared with John, it was a long time before she fell into a restless slumber. The bed seemed very large and empty without her husband.
  124. 124. Chris awoke the next morning feeling more tired than she ever had in her entire life. She decided a quick walk around her garden to make some plans for spring would invigorate her and improve her mood. A light snow had fallen overnight. As Chris turned around the corner of the house, she noticed a small orchard that had been set in. She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes. She had asked John several times if they could afford to put in some orchard trees to increase their harvest. They had never been able to do it before. She did not know how the trees had gotten into her garden, but she was grateful to whomever had done so.
  125. 125. Chris hung up her coat and then went in search of her daughter-in-law. She found her in the music room, playing at the piano. “Mrs. Bradford, I have just come in from a turn in the garden, and noticed the new orchard trees that have just been put in. Have you any idea from where they came from?” Uma hands paused on the piano keys as she looked up at her mother-in-law. “I ordered them after we finished with the fall harvest. You and I spoke of how much you wanted them, and I thought you would enjoy having the addition to your garden.”
  126. 126. Chris looked at Uma. “You would do such a thoughtful thing for me? Even after how horribly I treated you in the early days of your marriage?”
  127. 127. “Mother, you apologized to me for your actions years ago. I considered the matter closed after that. You have worked so hard over the years raising your children, and helping to raise mine. I have come to realize how hard of a job it is you have, and with so few thanks. I wanted to do something nice for you, so I arranged for the trees.”
  128. 128. Chris pulled Uma into a hug. “Daughter, I am so happy that my son chose you for a wife. You have done an excellent job raising your family. Thank you so much for your generous gift.” “You are most welcome, Mother. I hope that you will enjoy it.”
  129. 129. Chris wandered into the nursery, where Patrick was busy playing with his blocks. “And how is the birthday boy doing today?” she asked. “Me birthday! Big boy soon, Gamma!” he replied.
  130. 130. Chris scooped him up. “Yes, you will be a big boy. And you will go to school, and then University, and meet a lovely woman like your mother, and have a long and happy life.” “Yes,” replied Patrick. Chris laughed. “You are a happy little boy. So like your mother. She is a good woman.”
  131. 131. Chris hugged the little boy to her. “I do love you and your brother and sister, and all of my grandchildren. I wish that I could see the men and women that the three of you will grow to become.”
  132. 132. When Chris returned downstairs, she found Thomas in the sitting room. She walked over to him and threw her arms around him. “Grandmother, is everything all right?” he asked in shock. “Yes, Thomas. It is just, with everything that happened yesterday, I feel the need to make sure that those around me know how much I love them.”
  133. 133. “I love you too, Grandmother,” Thomas replied. “Now, go and finish your school work. You want to impress the Deans at the University with your good grades.” “Yes, I must finish my science report before Eliza gets home, as I promised to help her with her math.”
  134. 134. “And how was your day of work, son?” asked Chris. “Quite well, Mother. I have been asked to serve as a judge for the county. I have accepted, and am hopeful that it will position me well for a run for mayor soon.” “I am very proud of all you have accomplished, son.”
  135. 135. Elias got up from the chess board, and gave his mother a quick hug. “Mother, thank you for all you have done for me. I hope that you like the orchard trees that Mrs. Bradford sent for.”
  136. 136. “They are wonderful, son. I am very pleased. I love you very much.” “As I love you, Mother.”
  137. 137. “Grandmother!” cried Eliza and running into Chris‟ arms. “I got an “A+” today!” “That is wonderful, Eliza. You are quite the smart girl.”
  138. 138. Chris planted a kiss on her Eliza‟s forehead. “Grandmother loves you, and is very proud of you, dear.” “Thank you, Grandmother. I love you too.” And then, Chris felt the oddest sensation overtake her body. “Amazing,” she muttered, “John was right about knowing when it was time.” “Time for what, Grandmother?”
  139. 139. “Time to see my beloved husband again,” said Chris. And so Chris Bradford went to join John in the Great Unknown.
  140. 140. The entire Bradford family was overcome with grief at this second loss in as many days.
  141. 141. “Grandmother!” wailed Thomas.
  142. 142. “She was going to teach me how to garden this spring!” cried Eliza.
  143. 143. But Elias was the worse off of all. He was inconsolable. “My mother,” he sobbed. “My poor dear,” soothed Uma. “She was a fine woman, and she will be greatly missed.” “You are correct, Mrs. Bradford. She was, and she will be.”
  144. 144. Even little Patrick sensed that something was wrong.
  145. 145. So once again, Elias found himself in the study, this time writing an epitaph for his mother. Chris Bradford, née Chase. Wife to John Bradford, founder of the Bradford family. Born in Simland. Came to Simerica as an indentured servant. Beloved wife, mother and grandmother. Special affinity for gardening. Died at the age of 77.
  146. 146. ***************************************************************************************************** And this, readers, is where I will leave you for now. Check my Live Journal for outtakes from this chapter, and updates on when I‟ll be updating. Thank you for reading!