Dear Lord. Please provide some clarity. I need You now more than I ever have before. How do I embrace these people who care about me without raising false hopes about my return? My name may be Ruby Prescott, but I don’t remember who that is or how to be her.
Liam felt Ruby’s eyes on him as he cradled Honor against his chest. He felt a spurt of sympathy for her. She looked a tad overwhelmed. There was a tight look to her expression, as if one little thing might cause her to shatter into pieces. Although he loved his baby sister to no end, she veered toward the dramatic. Ever since she was a little girl, she’d shouted her feelings from rooftops. As her big brother, Liam had always wished he could protect her from the slings and arrows of life, but he had learned through trial and error that it just wasn’t possible.
He felt relieved about his decision to have Boone break the news to Honor about Ruby. There was no way he had wanted to have that conversation over the phone with his baby sister, nor had he thought it wise to simply show up with Ruby in tow. It would have been too much of a shock for Honor. As it was, she had practically strangled Ruby with her enthusiastic embrace.
Ruby hadn’t seemed to remember his sister at all. There hadn’t even been a glimmer of recognition on her face.
Retrograde amnesia? Liam had heard the term, but had never dealt with a patient who suffered from the condition. As far as he knew, it was incredibly rare, which made the situation even more baffling. And he felt a little guilty about the fact that her memory loss prevented her from remembering the pitiful state of their marriage prior to the accident.
Was it right to allow her to believe things had been wonderful between them? He himself wasn’t under any illusions about that, but he owed it to Aidan to try to patch their family up. There was nothing Aidan wanted more than a family of his own.
Earlier, Boone had promised that he would keep Aidan occupied until Liam could speak to him in private about his mother’s return. A quick glance around confirmed that his son was nowhere in sight.
Honor moved out of his arms and wearily ran a hand across her eyes. She appeared emotionally drained.
“Where’s Aidan?” he asked, knowing he had to get down to the business of talking to his son.
“Boone is keeping him occupied in his room,” Honor said. “He was super excited that Uncle Boone showed up out of the blue. I bet they’re playing cops and robbers.?
“I better go talk to him,” Liam said, addressing Ruby. “Boone can only keep him in there for so long.”
“Do you know what you’re going to say?” Ruby asked in a tentative voice.
Liam shrugged. “Honestly, I’m going to wing it a little bit. There’s really no script to follow here. I’ll be sensitive and caring, and try to help him understand it as much as any kid his age possibly could.”
Ruby bit her lip. “Could you make sure to tell him that I didn’t stay away by choice...that I was sick and couldn’t find my way back home.”
“Of course I will,” he said, emotion clogging his voice, turning it raspy. Just the thought that Ruby had been out there this whole time and living in Colorado unbeknownst to him, frustrated him to no end. But he was going to focus on what today had brought him and his family. Psalm 30:5 rolled through his mind like thunder. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Ruby’s return had brought him immense joy. Mixed with that joy was trepidation. The road ahead wasn’t going to be easy. He knew it with deep certainty.
Liam turned and walked down the hall to Aidan’s bedroom. He paused for a moment to collect his thoughts, then turned the knob and stood in the doorway. Aidan and Boone were both stretched out on the floor playing checkers. It was Aidan’s favorite game. He watched the two of them, a feeling of deep love welling up inside him at the sight of his big brother bonding with his son. After the sorrow that had invaded their lives over the past few years, he felt so very blessed at this moment.
He stepped into the room, causing Aidan to look up from his game. His brown eyes lit with happiness at the sight of him.
“Daddy! I’ve been waiting for you to come home.”
“What have you been up to, A-man?” Liam bent and tousled his son’s dark curls.
“I been playing with Uncle Boone.” Aidan grinned.
“Running circles around me is more like it,” Boone muttered.
Aidan giggled and covered his mouth.
“Hey, little man. I need to have a big-boy talk with you about something,” Liam said, trying to keep his voice casual.
Aidan’s eyes bulged. “Uh-oh. Did Auntie Honor tell you about the snowball?”
Snowball? “No,” Liam said with a raised eyebrow. “Is there something you need to tell me?”
Aidan gulped. “You go first.”
Boone and Liam exchanged a glance. Neither of them could resist grinning at Aidan’s comment. For a four-year-old, he was pretty fast on his feet.