Kellie and I visited the cemetery the day after they put Lillian’s headstone back, where I’d modified it. I knelt by Lillian’s grave, placed my hand on the runner of roses, and cried. My daughter was gone. I knew that. I also knew it was almost time to say goodbye. All I had left was to Jillian’s headstone. After that, I’d be able to say goodbye to them.
“Lillian, sweetheart, there’s something I have to tell you.” My hand rested on the headstone. “I want you to know, you don’t need to worry about me.” I reached for Kellie’s hand, pulled her forward. “I want you to meet Kellie.”Kel
Before Kellie could say anything I continued talking to Lillian, “See. I’ve met Kellie. So, I’m not alone here anymore.” I smiled, through the tears. “She’s my best friend. And I love her.” I spoke to Lillian like she was there. To me, she was. “I met her at breakfast one morning.”
“We became friends, started dating.” I patted the headstone. “Yeah. Me. Dating. I bet you never thought that would happen.” I paused, then continued my one-sided conversation with Lillian, “Now, don’t be mad. I know. She’s not your mother. But I know your mother would understand.”
“See, Lillian, Kellie’s moved in with me. We live together. We call it our home.” I smiled, wiped my eyes, cleared my tears, “We call just about everything ours. Our home, our cars, our money.” I did my best to smile.
“You know I’m slow sometimes.” I knew Lillian would laugh at that. “And it takes me a while to figure some things out.” I stuck my hand in my pocket. The small box with the ring inside rested in the palm of my hand. “It took me a while to figure out how I feel about her.” It was time to go for it. “I figured that out when I made a fairy for her.” Kellie almost blushed at that. “And you know, I don’t make things for people without a reason.” I took Kellie’s hand. “I told you I love her.” I paused, looked into Kellie’s eyes. Something I wanted to do every day, forever. “And I know your mother would approve of what I’m about to do.”
I stayed on my knees, shifted to face Kellie. Then, moved one leg forward, so I was on one knee. I put my hand back in my pocket, wrapped my fingers around the box. “Kellie, my love.” I pulled the ring out, opened the box, and held it out to her. “Will you marry me?”
She knocked me over as she threw her arms around my neck, and we wound up on the ground, in one heck of a kiss. When she finally came up for air I managed to get out, “I take it that’s a yes?”
“Yes!” she screamed and kissed me once more. “Yes!”
I got to my knees, helped Kellie to hers, then patted the top of Lillian’s headstone. “Well, Lillian, what do you think? You’re not angry are you?”
To this day I swear I heard her answer, “I’m so happy!”
It was my turn to kiss Kellie. And that’s exactly what I did.
And the voice between heartbeats said, “It’s almost time. Listen to your heart. It will tell you what to do. It won’t ever lie to you.”
We left the cemetery and headed back to our home. That’s what it was. What we wanted. Our home.