Nephew's Wife, The

Nephew's Wife, The by Barbara Kaylor

Book: Nephew's Wife, The by Barbara Kaylor Read Free Book Online
Authors: Barbara Kaylor
Ellen?  So you can forget him?”
    Ellen was horrified that Rand had noticed.
                  “Yes!” She lashed out. “I put all of Paul’s photos away!  Is that so wrong? Does it make me a terrible person to hide reminders of a bad time?”
    “Calm down, Ellen.” Rand put his hands on her shoulders. “I wasn’t accusing you of anything.  Everyone handles grief differently.  There are no rules.  Your emotions are still raw right now and very normal. When Lana left me, I was angry and lashed out on those who felt I didn’t do enough to sway her feelings back to me. I threw away all the reminders of that time with Lana in order to move on.  I couldn’t look at a photo of her without feeling an urge to run after her.  All I had to do was see her face, and I wanted to be near her.”
    He turned away, ashamed of his weakness.  “There were a lot of good times with Lana.  It wasn’t all bad. That’s why her reaction to my illness was so painful.  I was so sure she was the right one for me.”
    Talking about Lana brought back memories of her Rand didn’t know he still had.  He needed to refocus. His emotions warned him to return to the present.  Forget Lana. She means nothing to you now. It’s Ellen you want. Rand heard the small voice in his head, but his heart was telling him to forget Ellen, too.  It was obvious she was still stressed out over Paul’s death.  Any amount of love he showed her may never measure up to what she had with Paul.
                  Ellen stood in the shadow of the magnolia tree, listening and watching Rand talk about Lana.  The sadness in his voice disturbed her.  Did he still have feelings for Lana buried deep within him, waiting for the right time to be released?  The thought made her nauseous. She erased it from her mind and moved closer to him so she could read his expression.  In the twinkling lights, skirting the eaves of the gazebo, Rand looked lost in painful thoughts.  Was he having regrets about Lana, Ellen wondered.  
    “I’m sorry for raising my voice at you Rand.”  Ellen sliced the eerie silence between them.  “You must think I’m a basket case.”
    Rand turned to her. “No. Your behavior is normal. I saw it when my uncle died. Aunt Dolly would be sad one day, angry the next then depressed and lonely.  In between, she’d have good, happy days. You’re just going through the motions of grief, Ellen. Give yourself some time.”
    “I want healing today, now.”
    “God will heal you when He feels you’re ready for it. He has an appointed time for it.”
    Ellen scrunched her face.  “How does he know when I’m ready?”
    “When you receive from the experience what God wants you to receive. In the meantime, you stay faithful, you keep praying, and you listen with your heart for God’s guidance. You’ll know when you’re ready to receive his healing. He’ll make you ready.  God doesn’t just love away our difficulties.  He allows those difficulties to make us stronger, more faithful so we can love him more.  You’ll feel peace.”
    “I never thought about it that way,” Ellen admitted.  “I guess I haven’t learned what He wants me to because I’ve been praying a lot about my situation, but I can’t seem to find any peace.” My sin won’t let me , she added silently. That much she did know.   “Is there a Bible verse that could help?”
    Rand smiled.  “There is. It comforted me after Lana left. Psalm 34:18 ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.’”
    Ellen hid the passage in her heart for safe keeping until she returned to her bedroom later.
    “Thank you, Rand,” she smiled up at him. The breeze, shuffling through the thick magnolia branches, mussed her hair. Rand reached out and casually lifted several strands from her eyes.
    “Life won’t always be this bad, Ellen.” He spoke from experience. “After Lana left, I thought I was doomed

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