Part Thirteen
by sarAdora


2 May
Dear Emma,

You are here! You are beautiful! And Amelia looks so much like you she takes my breath away. My sons are both in love with her and Ling Shou has a sister to share her mischief with. My sons love their sister very much and spoil her. They will spoil Amelia too.

And you! Emma! You have put on some flesh and you look as you did when first we met. I confess I am light headed with the joy of having you here. I do not think my heart knows what to do. It has been in Pittsburgh so many years it is not sure how to behave in my chest. It beats fast and slow and beats for you. You fill me with gladness that you are here.

It is fortunate I hugged you first because if I did not stand behind you, Ling Shou might have pushed you over as she jumped into your arms. I was glad too to fill my arms with your Amelia. She is a miniature of you and sweet in my embrace. You seemed to fare well when my sons gathered you to them. They are almost as tall as their father and I hope they did not crush you too hard with their love and enthusiasm for holding you.

I think Amelia was surprised when Number 1 son picked her up and held her tight. He is the quiet and serious one at times but there was no doubt in my mind that he wants more time with Amelia. For now I know he will treat her like a beloved sister and that is good. Little girls should have a big brother to watch over them and guard them well.

Number 2 son sees Amelia as another Ling Shou - to be spoiled until she is filled with treats and spends special times with her Chinese brother. He will teach her bad habits I fear. He has been known to stay up late and read with his head under the covers and with a flash light. I never did such a thing when I lived in my father's house. He will probably show her how to walk on silent feet and eat from the refrigerator at night when all are asleep. Ling Shou will share her treasures and they will whisper in the night of the dreams small girls have at their age.

And you they will adore as I do for you are their Aunt Emma! And I will open my mind and heart and accept whatever parts of you that you will share. I would share more of me if you will let me.

You have brought many packages with you and my children are anxious to open them. I, too, have prepared for you. The front steps have been washed every day to welcome you until they shine. The fire's place is dusted. The refrigerator is full! The food closet is full!

You fill my heart because you have also brought many pieces of clothing. I hope this means you will stay a long time! Amelia will share Ling Shou's room and both are excited about that. You will sleep in the bedroom with the yellow curtains that has its own bathing room. And I shall sleep with my whole heart knowing you are near.

Ah, my sweet Emma!



9 May
Dear Emma,

Your time with us is half gone. The days have passed on eagle's wings, swift and already stored in memories. Our quiet time when the children are on their own is too brief but so precious. I trust Number 1 son to keep them safe and he will do that well.

My Gods have been generous. They were pleased to see you at morning prayers and not one of them admonished when you ate your cheerios as I thanked them for you. I am not sure but it is possible there was some laughter about the way you sat in your chair. Still you cross your legs while you break the morning fast. Yes! You are not as yet too-Chinese but you are my Emma!

I pause in my thoughts to gather them so that I say words I want you to know the meaning of but not so bold to frighten you. See. My English fails me when I am unsure of how to place my words in an order that you will understand and accept. I jump in with both feet which is hard to do when they are floating me above the ground.

My heart bleeds for you. I want you in my life - not at a distance - but close to my side. I would take a position in New York at the Columbia University if that is where you would live. They have asked me to come there time and time again. I would apply to the university in Switzerland if that would be your choice. I would with full heart stay here in New Orleans if you would stay here too.

I would buy the house next to mine if that is as close as you would want to be. I would have you stay in my home if you would think that is a proper thing for a Western woman to do. I do not think my Gods would object but I am not sure of yours.

Emma! I would ask more but would temper my words for now. My love for you is not the love of youth but a man's love for a woman and all that it implies. Tonight I take you to eat your fill at Wong's House of Tea. Please wear this white jade bracelet I have enclosed for you.



10 May
My sweet Emma,

Your lips are rosy in slumber and they beckon to me. It is not yet dawn and I am too filled with thoughts to dream. I prefer to watch you in your home of sleep and you are beautiful.

I was puffed with pride that you wore a Mandarin dress tonight. You honor me. The bracelet seems large upon your wrist but I was glad it did not come off easily. You looked so very beautiful and so-very-Chinese. You did not have to do this for me but I thank you from my heart.

Ah, my heart. It is now so accustomed to lying in my chest it has no desire to return to Pittsburgh when you leave. More so now that it has beat against your own heart. Your lips are sweet, Emma. This is the first time we have touched lips and I confess, you are the descending woman of Eve's line. Were I the Christian Adam, I would have lived in banishment from Eden with no quarrel for where you are, that is paradise.

I touched you tonight - unlike any other time we have been together - and I saw you in natural splendor for the first time. I have always told you that you are beautiful but tonight I saw that I was stingy with my words. You are beauty personified and I am undone with the gift of you before my eyes. And when you drew me into you, I had no words to tell you how I felt. I tell you now.

The Gods are fickle in their ways. You were new to me in body and yet my soul knew yours from other times. The love thrusts we shared were strong and bold and later, gentle and familiar. I do not understand the way of this but I will thank my Gods at morning prayers for the gift of you in my life.

Emma! There is only you and only me. Let it be us.



14 May

My heart somersaults so quick like rabbits hop that it can not stay in one place in my chest. It bounces! When I asked you to share my life I did not expect an answer right away. And when you said yes, I thought that I was in dream sleep and pinched my arm. I was awake! And you will be mine at last.

My love for you is heated and also gently sown. I know no other like you and wonder at our destiny. It is 24 years since we first met. Do you remember that day? My car bumped into yours - we shared hamburgers with many pickles and root of the beer and much laughter. I enjoyed Mei Ling for not enough years. You and Jerome were together a brief time also. We have our children to help us remember them and we will speak of them often and with gladness.

And you who are the one with favored pen, the one who writes tales of wonder and delight, the one who loves me back. I must have done something right somewhere in the past to deserve your love. I will not look too closely for fear I was mistaken.

I will love you true Emma and I will love you long.



24 September
My sweet Emma,

Today you took my name. You did not have to do this but I thank you for that gift. Two wedding ceremonies in one day! The Christian one was beautiful. Do you take this woman for your own? As if I would tempt fate and all the Gods of the universe! Yes! I take Emma as my own! And you took me for your own!

Our many friends all smiled when we used the root of beer for our toasts. They are enveloped in our happiness. Number 1 son surprised me with his maturity. I forget he has reached the venerable age of 18 and will begin university in September. Number 2 son, at 16, remains a bit of a terror but looked well in his formal clothes. I have high hopes he will surprise us and become a proper Chinese person. And Ling Shou and Amelia are surely the favorites of our Gods. At 12 years they are youth and they are woman grown. I believe we will be fighting off their suitors very soon for their beauty shines within and on their person. We are blessed.

And now I speak of you, my almost-Chinese bride. When I expressed hope that you would accept the Chinese wedding rites, I thought you would pause to compose your answer. When words sprang forth and you said you would be disappointed if we did not receive the blessings of the Chinese men of God - Emma! Have I told you how much you fill my heart?

Kneeling in the old-world temple of my Gods, you at my side, our children supporting us. It was wonderment and joy! When we repeated the prayers - the ones you memorized in Mandarin Chinese - I felt the Gods of ages offer their blessings on our union. You honor me and you honor what we have yet to share.

For the rest of our years, we will share laughter. We will take joy in each other and we will love fully.

I am yours and yours alone as you are mine. Emma! You are mine!


~ End ~

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