Five years ago, Kat’s life changed, jarringly, and forever. Since then I’ve watched her try to make the most of life without her parents. I thought she was doing okay. I was wrong. How different things would have been, if it’d not been for the changes thrown at us by that cursed inn…
Pete arrived just after noon on Thursday, braving the wintery Iowa weather, so that he could visit the two people that meant the most to him, when he was me - his… my… her… parents, Scott and Rose Green - or more accurately, the site where they were laid to rest.
After he’d checked in to the local motel, he stopped out to let me know he was in town. I get the impression that dad… Trip’s dad (God, this is confusing), is becoming suspicious. I’m not sure I really want to know what he’s thinking, part of me is saying that it’s a normal dad-protecting-his-daughter type of response… and I’m not sure I want to know. I decided not to give him any more time to think about things, Pete and I went “sight-seeing”. Not that there’s much to see around here. Still, it gave us a little time alone to talk.
It was the first time that I realized just how she felt about her life. I hadn’t realized just how distraught she’d become. I’d always seen her with a smile on her face and a seemingly positive attitude. I learned just how adept she was at covering her true feelings with a mask of sunshine. It seems that she never really recovered from the loss of her parents. Her guilt at not being gracious to her “new” family for being there and helping her, caused her to keep her feelings of loss and hopelessness inside. I listened as she told me how difficult it was to find a reason, much less a path, to travel through life. She told me that more often than not, it was Jaci (the original Jaci), dragging her along to whatever or wherever – that kept her alive.
I realized that her choosing me to become her was not only a gift to me, but also her way of giving up on life. She really had had no intention of returning. It was so much like her, to find a way to help someone else before worrying about her own self. She smiled when I mentioned that, and I asked her whether she still felt hopeless and without purpose or direction. It seems that she has found a purpose and happiness in her new life – that her… his new life has given him opportunities that she’d likely never have otherwise. That made me smile. It’s a real shame that I can’t share the details with you, but I made a promise that I wouldn’t.
It was heart-wrenching to see a grown man cry as he laid his soul bare before me. I’ll admit, there were times when I was joining him. For all the trouble that stupid inn has caused… I wouldn’t go back and change a thing, if only for the knowledge that its actions saved the life of someone I really care about. I could have seen my grandmother one last time before she passed if I hadn’t stayed at the inn… but I’d still have lost her… and I’d have lost Kat too.
I guess it really puts a bit of perspective on things.
I’ll try to finish this post after chores.