The phone rang; Ruth and Carl were outside hanging lights on bushes and trees outside. Ruth was “supervising” as Carl untangled strands of lights. Ruth rose from porch swing and walked back into house. “Hello? ” Ruth answered the phone. “Mrs. Semmes? ” Voice said on other line. “Yes, this is Mrs. Semmes, can I help you? ” Ruth wondered as she spoke. “This is Peter Arnold of Arnold, Terres and Keatan. I need you and your son to come into my office next week,” Attorney said. “What on earth for Mr. Arnold? Is anything wrong? ” Ruth said as she started to get nervous.
Well, it seems I have a will delivered to my office from your late husband, Donald Carter Semmes. It arrived in my office last Tuesday,” Attorney continued. “Well, I wasn’t aware of a will Donald had prepared. He had sold his business several years ago and paid off house, etc and set up few trusts for Carl’s college fund, but that’s all I’ve known about,” Ruth spoke. “Well, it’s my understanding there was will prepared shortly before his death that he wanted opened only on Tuesday of next week. I’d appreciate if you both could be in my office say around 2pm?
It shouldn’t take too long, just wanted to see if you both could make it in then? ” Attorney asked. “Sure, I’ll have to contact Carl, he’s in college, but he should be able to get few days free to come down and be there. Tuesday at 2pm will be just fine. Also, while I have you on phone, I wanted to let you know I have a letter addressed to Donald and my daughter, Becky Anne Semmes. She was our daughter many years ago and was adopted…. ” Ruth was interrupted. “I know, Mrs. Semmes, you just might want to invite her to be there too.
The will is sealed and I don’t presently know the contents, but Donald specifically asked that if you were reunited with Anna, for her to be present also. I look forward to meeting you all next Tuesday at 2pm,” Attorney ended the phone call. Ruth walked back outside to swing and plopped down. Carl was muttering to himself about the lights when he looked up at his mother and noticed she was staring out at front yard. “Mama, is everything ok? ” Carl asked as he walked toward porch. “Well, son, it seems your daddy had a will drawn up that I didn’t know about.
I just got off phone with attorney and he wants us to be in his office next Tuesday at 2pm for reading. ” Ruth continued with puzzled look on her face. “Will? I didn’t know dad made a will. I thought money from business he sold was it? ” Carl really started to wonder now what was going on. “Well, son, I guess we are about to find out. Do you think you can drive back down for it? I also got to call Anna and let her know too, let’s finish up these light, so we can get tree down from attic and at least get it put up. Anna is supposed to come over this evening and help me decorate it,” Ruth got up from swing and Carl continued with the lights.
The snow was beginning to fall as Ruth was making homemade cocoa on stove. Anna walked in stomping snow from her feet at front door. “Hi mama, it is so cold outside, hope this snow let’s up soon or I may have to stay the night,” Anna walked into kitchen and gave her mama a hug. “Yes, I was listening to the news earlier. They are expected 7 inches. You may want to hang here tonight. I don’t want you driving home in this mess,” Ruth said as she continued stirring the hot cocoa, “I appreciate you coming here to help me with the tree.
I just can’t do everything I use to do because of this arthritis. Its ok mama, any time you need me, just let me know,” Anna took off her coat and walked over to cupboard and got down two big mugs for the cocoa. Ruth and Anna sat drinking their cocoa at kitchen table, Ruth mentioned about the attorney calling her and appointment they had next Tuesday. Ruth had no idea what was in the will or why Donald had desired Anna to be there. She wanted to connect the dots between the letter she found and the will. She wondered what Donald exactly had in store for them all. “Well, come on Anna; let’s get started on this tree…” Ruth was interrupted.
Mama, I’ve been wanting to ask you something for a while now,” Anne glanced at her mama from her hot cocoa. “What is it my dear? Ask me anything,” Ruth said with a smile. “Well, I understand that when I was born, you and daddy named me Becky Anne Semmes. My adoptive mamma and daddy changed my first name, but chose to keep my first name “Becky” as my middle name. I know it’s been big adjustment for all of us, but would you mind calling me Becky? It means a lot to me,” Anna looked toward her mama. “Honey, yes that would make me so happy. Your daddy would be very happy too.
He chose your name day you were born, Becky Anne,” Ruth started to cry as she smiled. Anna got up from the table and walked over to her mother and hugged her. They both walked arm in arm toward living room to begin decorating the tree. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. Semmes had overcome many obstacles thrown at them. No one ever wants to lose a child, especially their first born. Ruth many times had said that she felt she would have been able to continue on in life through death of a child, even though it would be somewhat difficult.
But one thing she clung to for twenty plus years is reasoning to why she had her first baby taken from her. Becky was her baby girl, one she had rocked to sleep at night, fed and clothed. Becky was joy of her life, her first born had been girl just like her mama before her. Ruth had Becky, then a boy, Carl, just like her mamma had. She remembered the day she gave birth to Becky, Donald was there in operating room and had helped bring their baby girl into the world. Donald cut umbilical cord to his daughter.
Ruth held her daughter in her arms shortly after she was born. They knew it was new beginning for their lives and it wouldn’t be complete family without her. They didn’t have fancy home to bring her home too. Just little cabin on lake, was all they could afford at the time. Donald had job as car salesman at local Chrysler dealership in town and Ruth knew she would have to return to her job at nursing home as housekeeper. Donald and Ruth were hesitant to leave their daughter with sitter as newborn infant. But times were hard and they both had to work.
Jobs were plenty back then and you had to take what you could find to make ends meet. They had befriended young couple that lived on lake near them, whom had young daughter. The daughter loved her baby dolls and was excited to see the new baby on lake that was brought home from hospital. The young couple didn’t have any work, husband had hard time since getting out of prison few years back. Donald and Ruth invited them over couple times for cookouts. Donald and Ruth decided to ask the mother to sit for their newborn as she always seemed fond of the baby Becky.