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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Chapter 2: Hope

June, 1943
With the passing of Livy's Mother, Livy found it difficult to get up in the mornings. She missed her mother, her friend. Livy's father tried to comfort Livy, but nothing helped. Livy stayed at home and went nowhere but church services on Sunday. She came home immediately after the service. She could not bear to hear one more person say, "We are so sorry for your loss." Livy's father told the church congregation that the passing of her mother was too much for Livy.
Rev. Dunne tried on more than one occasion to talk to Livy. But for once in her life, her father could not make any of the pain go away. The grief that he carried for his love, his wife, and the loss that his daughter felt became too much for him.
In late June, Rev. Dunne was found in the sanctuary after an apparent heart attack. This loss was surely great for the church congregation. But not as great a loss as to Livy. Within a month of each other, she had lost the only two people that she had loved forever. Livy was not seen by anyone after the burial of her father. Even her best friend, Katherine, could not persuade Livy to let her come and visit. The knocks were not answered either.
The congregation didn't know what to do. They felt helpless. The head deacon of the congregation decided to contact the preacher that had performed both funerals of the Dunnes. Rev. Case was his name and he was from Wilson,CO. He was a close and dear friend of Rev and Mrs Dunne. When the phone call was made, Rev Case said he would be more than happy to come see about Livy. He had been contacted by the courts of the reading of Rev. Dunne's will. He had planned to arrive in Denver on Monday for the reading of the Will. He would make plans now to arrive on Sunday, the day after tomorrow.
Rev. Case made arrangements for his own church. Slim, a member of the church, and upstanding citizen would deliver the message on Sunday morning. The congregation would understand Rev. Case's obligation to his friend.
Rev. and Mrs. Case left for Denver early Sunday morning in hopes to arrive by mid-day. Harry Morris, the head deacon of Rev. Dunne's church, met the Cases at the train station. He filled them in on Livy and how hard she is taking her loss, and rightfully so.
In the understanding of counsel, Rev. Dunne told Mr. Morris what he wanted to offer Livy, but had not had time to consult the Board of Education in Wilson. He would do that as soon as he got back home. Mr. Morris was sad, but felt that it maybe a good thing. "God's will, may be at work for Livy. That would thrill us all here. She deserves so much more than she has now."
When Rev. and Mrs. Case arrived at the church parsonage, Livy did not answer the door. Rev Case expected that. But he had a key. The church owned the house, therefore the head deacon had a spare. Mr. Morris respected Livy's desire to be alone, but at this time he realizes that she needs someone. Hopefully Rev Case is the one she needs.
Rev and Mrs Case entered the house carefully and announced themselves to Livy. They made their way to the parlor. There they found someone who was lost and very lonely. Tears had been dropped many times over the past months. When Livy saw Uncle Marion and Aunt Betty, she ran to them. "I miss them so much, I too, want to die." For a long while Rev Case held Livy while she cried. Mrs. Case went to make some hot tea. "Hot tea always made your mother feel better, Livy" Mrs. Case told Livy. Livy nodded in agreement.
Rev. Case said that the congregation was very concerned about her and didn't know what else to do, so they called him. He came as quickly as he could. Livy told Rev and Mrs Case how much it meant to her for them to come. They were dear friends to her parents. Brothers were the best description for Rev Case and Rev Dunne.
Rev Case did not tell Livy about the reading of the will just yet. He would wait until he felt she could handle it. The three of them visited all day. Livy looked so much better by the day's end. And she felt better, too. Rev and Mrs Case were getting ready to leave to go check in to the Denver Inn and Livy asked them to stay. "It would mean the world to me, if you would stay here with me. I get so lonely in this house." So they did. Mrs. Case fixed supper and the three ate. Livy only dabbled at the food, but she was fed with good company.
The next morning, Mr. Morris came by to pick up Rev Case and take him to the reading of the will. Livy knew he had business to take care of.
Mrs. Case and Livy cleaned up the house. They didn't touch her parents room. Only to dust it. Livy cried most of the morning but felt comfort from Mrs. Case.
Rev. Case was back by lunch time. They all spent the afternoon together. Livy laid down for a nap in early afternoon. That is when Rev Case told his wife about the will.
"This house, you know belongs to the church? Not that the church wants Livy out, but they need a preacher to preach. They were not expecting this passing so suddenly." Mrs Case said with a smile, " But , Marion, we have some hope for Livy. I just want it to work out. I want her to come home with us." Rev Case understands and wants it also. But he needs to speak to the Board of Education. He cannot do that until later this week. "Maybe we can convince Livy to come home with us for awhile. Give her a break from all the memories here." Mrs. Case said hopefully.
When Livy woke from her nap. Rev and Mrs Case asked Livy about going home with them for a few days. Livy declined adamantly. Nothing that they said could convince her.
The next day, the Cases boarded the train to Wilson while Livy waved goodbye from the platform.
Later that week, Rev Case met with the Board of Education about Livy beginning work at the school in Wilson, in the fall. The Board went with Rev. Case's recommendation and decided to offer Livy a teaching position at the upper grade class. Rev Case was thrilled and wanted to go back to Denver to ask Livy to come to Wilson to work. This was already in the making before Rev Case heard Rev Dunne's will. Rev Case was asked to see about Livy and make sure all was in order for her. And he did.
When Rev. Case showed back up in Denver at the end of the week, Livy knew he had something up his sleeve.
"Livy, in Wilson one of the teachers has gotten married this summer and will not be returning to the position next year. I have asked the board to consider you. They have and they are offering you the 6th and 7th grade history position. I want you to think about it and consider it. Will you do that for me?" Livy was taken aback by what Rev Case was proposing. She had thought often of leaving Denver. But in the last year with her mother's sickness it had not even crossed her mind. Livy told Rev Case she would think about it and pray about it. Rev Case told her that she could live with him and Mrs Case. The school was within walking distance of his house. He and Aunt Betty would love for her to come and be a part of their family. He had no intentions of replacing her loss, just easing it. Rev. Case had made arrangements to stay at the Denver Inn, so Livy could think without feeling pressure. He left and Livy thought and prayed about the position. Her decision became clear before morning.
Rev. Case came by late in the morning to let Livy know that he would be leaving. Livy let Rev Case know of her decision. It was hard for her to decide what to do. She had always had her parents to help. But in light of her position in Denver-living in the church's house-she knew she needed to move on so that her father's congregation could also. She would be happy to accept the position in Wilson for the upper grades. "I feel this is God's will for me. Maybe not one he intended from the beginning, but from the hand that has been dealt to me, this is His will." Rev Case was relieved to hear Livy's decision. And it was the right one he felt. They decided then when Livy would come to town. She had her own car so she needed to drive it to Wilson and bring as much of her things as she could fit in it. They would send for the rest later. Rev. Case felt better this time waving to Livy on the platform as he boarded the train. She would be in Wilson soon, in God's will.

June, 1943
Ray had prayed often for God to bring him someone to love. That was his constant prayer.
At church that Sunday, Slim was delivering the message. It was announced in church that the Rev and Mrs. Case had to go back to Denver to tend to some personal business.
Ray thought about how Rev Case had just been there twice within months of each other to bury one of his best friends. Ray knew what a loss it was to loose two people you love so much within a short amount of time. And knew even better the loss you feel when you've lost the third. As he sat in church he thought about Rev Case's friend and hoped his family was doing well. It would take time but the loss would not sting so bad, only throb.
At church, Ray spoke to Carl and Jamie Moss. He congratulated them again on their marriage early this summer. Jamie had taught at the school. Ruth, Martha's oldest child, had hoped that Miss Rung would return after getting married but that was not the case. Ruth was worried about who her history teacher would be. Ray teased her about it being his old history teacher Mr. Kroger. Ray said, "He's the perfect history teacher. He is history"
At lunch that day, Ruth asked her father, Hank, if the board had made any decision on a teacher to replace Miss Rung. Hank, who was on the board, said that they had some applications to look at this week. They were hopeful of finding the right one. Ray smiled.
All week as Ray worked, he could not help but feel hope. Was it from his prayers or just adjusting to the way life was going to be. Ray was unsure. But one thing he knew for sure, was he wanted God's will in his life.
At night, when Ray was all alone, he felt hope. When he prayed , he felt hope. When he woke in the mornings, he felt hope. Surely God was at work with His plan.
The next Sunday, Mrs. Case was at church, but Rev Case had to go back to Denver. It was told that the teaching position had been offered to their deceased friend's daughter and she had accepted. Rev. Case was on his way home now. Miss. Dunne was scheduled to arrive on Wednesday. She would be living with the Cases.
Ray felt hope in church that day. He had no idea how hope was coming but only that it was. That day in church Ray prayed silently to himself and God. Thanking God for hope.

On Wednesday of that week, Livy Dunne drove into town. The town that would bring her hope.......Wilson, CO.

To Be Continued
Chapter 3: The Meeting