Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dear Daddy,

How would she ever do it? How could she? Alone and pregnant with an orphaned four-year-old. How would she provide for herself and the boy? Deliver a baby out on the prairie with no doctors for a hundred miles?
      Oh, God, I’m so scared. I’m so tired. I need Your help. You have to guide me.
      She let her head fall into her hands and wept, didn’t know how long, but then she stood, wiped her face, and fetched Jacob’s ink well, paper, and quill.
            Dear Daddy,
                  I don’t know where to begin except to say that I’m sorry, and I love you. Andrew and I made the trip out to Tejas just fine, and he and his brother – they were really doing great. The business was growing, and there’s been plenty of money coming in. We were so happy, so in love. But then there was an accident. It was raining, barely at first. There was a creek, and the wagon was loaded full. The oxen slipped, Daddy, and the wagon and logs and oxen and men rolled down the creek bank all together. It was horrible… so awful. Andy… and Jacob… They’re gone, both of them.

      The tears flooded her eyes again and refused to be contained. It was all her fault. Andrew dying, Jacob, poor little Levi not having his mama and now no daddy. She never should have come. She should have obeyed her father, listened to him instead of thinking she knew everything.

      I’m sorry, Lord, so sorry. But how can I fix it now? What can I do?
      She sniffed and wiped her nose on her sleeve then dipped the quill again.

                   Please forgive me, Daddy. You have to. I need to know that you forgive me. I promise you this—and I promise God, too, Daddy—I will never marry again without your blessing. I vow before my Holy God. I’m so sorry that Andrew had to die and his brother, all because I didn’t honor you like I should.
                  I don’t know what I’ll do, but I can’t walk away and leave everything the Baylor brothers worked so hard for, gave their lives for. It’s the children’s inheritance. I can’t steal it from them. Yes, children; I’m pregnant. You’re going to be a grandfather. Andrew didn’t know before he passed. It’ll be sometime next summer, the early part.
                  Maybe you could come, Daddy, for a visit? Andy promised we could come back to Memphis next year, but I don’t know how I possibly could by myself with two little ones. I was so wrong when I told you that I was as mature as I’d ever get… I was wrong, and I know you were right now.
                  I love you, Daddy, and I am sorry. Please write me back. I pray I find someone soon headed east and that this letter finds its way to you. May God bless   you until we once again see each other.
                                                                                      Your daughter, Susannah
       She blew on the paper and waved it in the air trying to bring an image of her father to mind, but she could only hear him telling her to not to go. Hopefully, he could find it in his heart to forgive her, but how could she know? If he didn’t come or write back, would she ever?

       She glanced across the one room cabin and the little sleeping hump in her bed. Precious little boy. Well, she was all he had, he belonged to her now. With God’s help, she’d see to it that no further harm would ever come to him. Her hand went to her abdomen and she rubbed it. Maybe he’d have a little brother come summer. She smiled. Or a little sister-cousin. She’d have to think about names for both, but there was plenty of time for that.