Mending Hearts
    “ I’m fine, it’s so beautiful
out here.” I take a sip of my hot coffee and watch as a sailboat
sails across the water. I don’t tell him about my dream or about
how I miss Max. He doesn’t need to know that I still miss him. I’m
sure he already knows that. 
    “ I knew this would be a
great place to have our morning coffee.” Alec kisses the top of my
head and leaves his mouth there. “I love coffee. If politicians
were to ever make it illegal, I would go to the bad part of town
and ask, ‘Is anyone selling any Columbian?’” 
    “ It sounds like you may get
    “ I’m just grateful it’s
    “ We won’t get much done
sitting out here.” 
    “ You make a good point,
Emma. Let’s get started, so we can at least get something done
before the kids get home.” 
    Alec and I work well together in the house.
We start unpacking boxes downstairs and work our way up to the
bedrooms. Brice and Brooke come over with lunch and stay to help
us. Alec called Mason to check on Angel and the twins. We are
excited to learn the babies are both on small amounts of oxygen,
although they both remain in N.I.C.U. Angel is supposed to be
released to come home tomorrow from the hospital. 
    Brooke looks around the house and says, “It
looks like you got a lot done in the house.” 
    “ Surprisingly, it didn’t
take as long as I thought. However, we haven’t touched the
upstairs,” I admit.
    “ You guys stay down here and
work. Emma and I are going upstairs to work on the bedroom.” Brooke
    I follow her upstairs and she looks in each
of the rooms. “Can you believe you live here? This place is
    I look around the oversized rooms, “No, I
can’t. Alec says it won’t seem this big when the kids get home and
everything gets put away.” 
    “ I’m sure he’s right about
that. It’ll still seem big but just not as big.” 
    We both walk into the master bedroom and
look at all the boxes lined against the wall. “Do you want to start
with your side of the closet or Alec’s side?” Brooke asks.
    “ Let’s do Alec’s side first.
He has work tonight.” 
    Brooke starts to hang up his clothes and I
start opening boxes on which “Alec” is written. I put all the
clothes in the drawer and reach over for another box. I stop when I
see the box says “Max.” I say, “Brooke?” 
    “ What is it, Boo?” she asks
as she walks out of Alec’s walk-in closet. She looks at me and then
looks at the box. “Where do you want to store those at?” she
    I look at the boxes along the wall then look
at Brooke. “I think it’s time I let go. Will you help me go through
    “ Of course, but, are you
sure you’re ready?” she asks. 
    “ It’s been five years. I
think it’s time.” 
    Brooke and I sit on the bed and go through
each box. I fill one box with items that I want to keep for James
and me. I fill it with a couple tee shirts, a couple hoodies, and a
pair of Max’s Army fatigues. I also keep any pictures and postcards
that I find in the boxes. Brooke and I have gone through some of
the boxes before, but not all of them. I open a box and find
several paperback books that are all signed by the authors. Some of
the books are romance, some are nonfiction, and some are thrillers.
“Where did these come from?” I ask, holding up the signed
    “ There’s an event called
‘Authors Supporting Our Troops.’ Authors donate signed paperbacks
and this place that holds the event distributes them to deployed
troops. Brice came home with some, too. It’s a great idea for a
great cause.” 
    “ I had no idea. Max never
told me he was reading steamy romance novels in his downtime,” I
laugh. I take the books and place them on my night stand. Look, one
of the books is from author Brenda Kennedy. I love her because she
is the queen of cliffhangers. Who doesn’t love a good
    Once we are done and I have what I want,

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