Chapter Sixteen

Editor's Note: 

Tissue Alert!

Carol was in the cabin talking with Billy and Diane when we walked in. She started to talk to Davey. He told her everything I told him on the balcony. She looked at me, smiled and nodded. She then told Davey and Billy that they were lucky to have such a wise daddy. Billy hugged me tighter and Davey grabbed my hand. I told Carol I was the lucky one to have two special little boys as my sons and a wonderful woman as my wife.

I did not realize how long Davey and I were on the balcony. It was already the middle of the afternoon. Everyone else ate lunch while we were down at the cabin. Betty made sandwiches for me, Davey, even John, while Carol continued to counsel us. The boys asked Diane when she would be going to Heaven. She told them not for another month or two. Carol explained to the boys how Mommy might be feeling over the next couple of months. She was so good at explaining in terms the boys could easily understand. We hugged, cried and shared our feelings the rest of the afternoon.

Since the boys were starting to accept Diane 'going to Heaven,' I decided to try to tell the boys how beautiful Heaven was and all the people Mommy will meet up there. Diane told them about all her relatives and friends that she would meet in Heaven. Davey asked Diane to tell his mommy, that is in Heaven, that he missed her and still loved her.

Diane told the boys that she has to go back to Edmonton tonight with Betty. She explained to them that the doctors might be able to keep her with them for a little longer if she went to see them. Of course, the boys wanted to go with her. Carol explained how bad mommy would be feeling after her treatment. Diane asked the boys to do her a big favour. She asked them to help me to fix up the old cabin. She said she would really like to see it finished before she left for Heaven. She said it does not have to be completely finished. She would just like to be able to move into it with the boys and Daddy. The boys hugged her and agreed to work very hard on the cabin so they could move into as a real family.

Carol did a wonderful job helping the boys to start to come to terms with Diane leaving and going to Heaven. She told us that the next couple of months are going to be very hard at times. There will be times that we might start crying for no real reason. The most important thing we are to do is to tell each other how we are feeling inside. She agreed to come back every Sunday to help us work through our feelings and emotions. She gave each of us a notebook and a pen. She told us to spend a little time each day by ourselves and write down how we are feeling. On Sundays, we will get together with her to talk about what we write down in the notebooks.

Carol left just before suppertime. Each of us gave her a big hug and thanked her for coming. John and Betty walked her down the lane to her car.

Diane asked the boys to go and wash up for supper. They hugged her and went into the bathroom. I held Diane close and told her again how much I loved her. We prepared supper together. We did not say too much as we ate. All of us were emotionally drained after the events of the day.

Diane went upstairs to pack an overnight bag. The boys and I cuddled on the couch while we waited for her to come down. We walked down the lane to meet Betty. I carried the overnight bag and the boys walked with their arms around her. The boys' eyes started leaking when I put her bag in the back seat. Diane hugged the boys and she promised them that she would be coming back after seeing the doctors. She explained that she would see the doctors tomorrow, have her treatment, rest at Betty's friends and then come back to them on Tuesday morning.

After Betty and Diane drove down the road, I took the boys back to the cabin. I closed the curtains then took off my shirt, shoes and socks. I went upstairs to put of a pair of shorts. When I came downstairs, the boys were already sitting in just a pair of shorts. Davey was at the desk writing in the notebook that Carol gave him. Billy sat on the couch and tried to watch TV. I sat next to Billy and put a pillow on my lap. He laid his head on the pillow and I gently rubbed his back. A few times, I would run my fingers very lightly on his back, which caused him to twitch and giggle a bit.

After a few minutes, Billy fell asleep. I carried him upstairs and tucked him into bed. As I laid him on the bed, he held my neck, half-asleep, and said, "I Love You, Daddy." I kissed him on the forehead and told him that I loved him with all my heart. He fell right into a deep sleep.

As I came down the stairs, I saw Davey crying at the desk. I knelt down beside him and started rubbing his back. He turned, wrapped his arms around my neck and started crying on my shoulder. I picked him up with his arms still around my neck. He wrapped his legs around my waist as I carried him to the couch.

"I Love You So Much, Son," I said as I rocked him back and forth. He could not say anything through his tears. For a few minutes, I just held and rocked him back and forth. When his crying slowed down, I started to run my fingers lightly around his bare back as I did with Billy. Slowly, he started to twitch and eventually a few soft giggles escaped from him. When he giggled more, I started to poke the ticklish spots on his back. He giggled more and finally sat up.

"Thank you, Daddy, for letting me cry on your shoulder and then lightly tickling my back to make me feel better." He said with a small smile.

I began lightly poking his chest and belly. He giggled more and tried to block my fingers. I stretched out my legs and he leaned backwards onto them. I continued to poke his belly until he slid down my legs. I pinned his ankles between my knees and began to tickle his bare feet. I took my cold bare feet and put them along his bare sides and ribs. He squealed and really laughed hard. I continued to tickle his feet and run my cold feet around his upper body. When I stopped, Davey curled up in a ball on the floor in front of me.

I heard muffled giggling coming from upstairs. I looked up to see Billy trying to muffle his giggles with his hands covering his mouth. I pretended to threaten him by saying he would get the same treatment if he came downstairs. Billy giggled and came bouncing down the stairs. He sat on my lap the same way he saw Davey sitting. I started poking Billy's belly. When he slid down my legs, I trapped his ankles the same way and began tickling his feet. As my cold feet touched Billy's belly, he laughed so hard that no sounds would come out. I stopped to give him a break. When he caught his breath, he told me to do it again. Davey was sitting beside me and laughing at Billy's reactions every time my feet touched Billy's belly. I did it a few more times and then pulled Billy off the floor and onto my lap.

"Thanks, Daddy that was so much fun." Billy giggled and hugged me.

"Ya, Daddy it was really a lot of fun when you tickled us with your cold feet," Davey said and hugged me.

"I had a lot of fun too, boys," I hugged and kissed each boy on the forehead.

I stood up and went to the kitchen to get the boys some milk and cookies. The boys went into the cupboard, got out my whiskey and each of them made me a drink.

"Can we bring our milk and cookies out on the veranda, Daddy?" Billy asked.

"I think that's a great idea."

The Billy grabbed their milk, Davey grabbed their plate of cookies, and I brought out my drinks. We sat on the steps and looked up at the stars.

"Daddy, do you think Mommy is looking up at the stars right now and thinking about us?" Davey asked.

"I would like to think she is," I said.

Just then, the phone rang. Billy jumped up to answer it. He came out with the cordless phone and said it was Mommy. She said she was sitting on the apartment balcony having tea with Betty and her friend. As she was looking at the stars, she decided to call to wish us a 'Good Night.' Davey thought that was so cool that she was looking at the stars and the family was thinking about each other at the same time. We all said that we loved and missed her.

"Daddy, can I go sit on the roof of the camper for a few minutes by myself?"

"Sure Davey." I did not know why but I figured he wanted some 'alone time.'

Billy started yawning, so I carried him back inside and tucked him in bed. I cleaned up the milk glasses and cookie plate. As I was finishing my second drink on the veranda, I was wondering what Davey was doing. I decided to let him continue to sit up there until I finished my drink. He came around the corner just as I was finishing my drink. He sat on the steps beside me with a big smile on his face.

"Aren't you going to ask me what I've been doing up on the camper?" I could tell he was anxious to tell me something. I decided to see how long he could keep it inside.

"No, I figure if you wanted me to know, you would tell me," I said calmly.

"You're not curious?"

"Nope." After I said that, he looked a bit disappointed. I picked him up onto my lap and started playfully poking him. He wiggled and giggled all around.

"Of course, I'm curious, Son, I was just teasing to see how long you could keep in inside you."

"Ok, I'll tell you. I wanted to go up on the roof of the camper to talk with God. I wanted to say I was sorry for yelling at Him today. I asked Him to help me understand why He wants Mommy to go to Heaven. I did not hear anything for a few minutes but then I heard my 'Mommy in Heaven' talking to me from my heart. She told me how proud she was of me. She told me it was okay to cry and get upset from time to time. She said that it was going to be hard to say goodbye to Mommy down here but she told me that God has sent me people to help me in those sad times. She also said that God brought Billy into my life so that I could help him after God takes Billy's Mommy to Heaven."

I did not know if Davey was actually hearing from his mother in Heaven or it was his own imagination. I chose to believe that he was really hearing from his mother. I hugged him and told him that I was glad that he heard from his mommy again. We walked into the cabin. I told him to go climb into bed and I would be up shortly. I went to take a shower. Davey was asleep by the time I went upstairs. I kissed each of my sons' on the forehead, as they slept and told them that I loved them.


(10th Week)

The last four weeks were very productive as far as restoring the cabin.

We sanded and clear coated all the floors and interior walls.

I had a company come in to install a complete solar power system on the roof. The solar panels would also supply all our hot water. I had a small hot water tank installed in the loft next to the tub and a large hot water tank installed in the basement.

I bought a back-up generator system and had it install in the shed behind the cabin.

I had a complete satellite system installed. Every room has two small wireless routers, one for Internet and one for television. Each bedroom had a flat screen TV as well as a DVD player. The living room had a complete home entertainment system.

It was important to me not to have wires running all through the cabin. All the 'modern technologies' were carefully hidden. The TV's, microwave, fridge and stove all hidden inside old cabinets.

Davey finished the kitchen for Diane. He bought all the old dishes in the store and carefully put them in cupboards. Hank helped him install a different sink that Davey saw in Hank's store. He picked out an old icebox for the kitchen. I suggested to Davey that we put a stackable washer/dryer in the corner of the kitchen beside the back door.

John helped Billy build the platform and gazebo around the stone hot tub. Billy restored and designed the layout for the master bedroom in the third level loft. He picked out all the furnishing including an old four-post feather bed.

After the boys restored and finished the rooms they wanted to do for their Mommy, they restored their own bedrooms.

I spent my time restoring the study/library. All the bookcases, shelves and the roll top desk were sanded and clear-coated. I filled them with most of the old books from Hank's store. I bought an old flattop desk. I arranged the two desks in an L-shape in front of the bookcases and a tall leather chair behind them. I put a leather sofa in front of the fireplace. Hank had an old small bar in his store. It was complete with four stools and the cabinetry that went behind the bar. He salvaged it out of a tavern that had been torn down. I put the bar in the study.

We furnished the cabin completely with the items from Hank's store except for the 'modern technologies.' There was not much left in the store, so Hank decided to close it. We put the remaining items in the cabins up at the resort.

The boys asked Diane not to come up to the cabin until it was completed. They wanted it to be a surprise for her. John suggested to the boys to keep Betty away too. I think he just wanted to keep Betty in suspense for all the elbows she has given him. Diane kept busy helping Betty at the lodge.

We decided, as a family, that Saturdays and Sundays were to be family time and not to work on the cabin. We went camping in the motor-home all around Jasper Park.

Last weekend, Davey wanted to go back to Banff Spring's hotel. We left Friday morning and came back Sunday morning. We stayed in the same room that Davey and I stayed in. We met Lynda and Charlie again. Davey shocked them by telling them all the events that had happened since they left. Lynda said that she did not think I could surprise her after I adopted Davey. Now I come back with a wife and another adopted son. Davey gave Diane and Billy the grand tour of the hotel, Banff, and the hot springs.

Carol continued to come out to the resort every Sunday and help us. Diane left each Sunday night with Betty to have her therapy in Edmonton. I could tell she was slowly getting weaker and I think the boys saw it too. The cancer had spread into her lungs. She would cough a lot if she overdid herself. No one said anything. As a family, we decided to take it one day at a time and make the most out of every day we had together. Davey was constantly taking family pictures as well as a complete set of the cabin restoration pictures.

Today was the day; Diane was going to see the finished cabin. The boys came bouncing into the cabin and forgot all about their usual tickle wake-up calls on us. They just jumped on the bed to wake us up. They were so excited. Last week, we brought in the rest of the furnishing for the living and dining rooms. We stocked the kitchen completely with groceries.

The boys told us to hurry up and get dressed. They said they were hungry, but they wanted to eat breakfast in our 'New Home.'

The boys blindfolded Diane and Betty as we drove up in the camper. Hank was already at the cabin. He did not want to miss this event. We parked the camper in front of the cabin. The boys lead the women down the steps of the camper. Davey stood on the steps of the cabin to capture their faces as they removed the blindfolds.

The women were completely shocked to see the restoration of the front of the cabin and veranda. They said it looked like a brand new cabin. We took them into the living room and study. Davey had put up blankets in front of the entrances to the dining room and kitchen. He wanted to save them to the end. We went up to the second floor, and the boys showed them their bedrooms and the guest room. Billy asked the women to close their eyes as they took them up the stairs to the master bedroom loft. Hank surprised all of us by lighting all the candles around the master bedroom before we arrived. Diane was so happy her eyes were leaking. Even Betty, shed a few tears. Diane hugged Billy for all the work he put into this room.

Davey announced that his surprise room was next. We went downstairs. Davey did his big 'unveiling' of the kitchen. Diane was just as just as surprised and happy as she was up in the master bedroom. She went around touching the cupboards, stove, and the sink. She loved the stain glass window. She wrapped her arms around Davey and gave him the biggest 'Thank You' hug. She turned and did the same to Billy. She told the boys that she was so happy for all the hard work they put into 'our new home.'

Betty shoed us out of the kitchen and told us that she had a big breakfast to make. Diane offered to help. Betty told her to go and enjoy her new home. Betty grabbed John and Hank's arms and 'volunteered' them to help her in the kitchen. Billy took Diane's hand and brought her out to the backyard to see the hot tub and gazebo. The boys took her around the property to see all the areas they planned for flower gardens.

Betty called us in for breakfast. The dining room table looked great. There was fresh fruit everywhere, bacon, sausages, and three types of eggs, toast, and cereal, everything you could ever want for breakfast. I asked Betty if there was any food left in the kitchen for which I felt her elbow. Everyone chuckled.

After everyone was stuffed, from the great breakfast, we decided to head back down to the resort cabin to move out of there and into our new home. We packed the camper with all our clothes, personal belongings and the boys' toys.

As we were arranging our belongings in our new home, Carol arrived. We gave her the grand tour and then went into the living room for our session. Diane told us what the doctors said last week. The cancer slowly continued to spread throughout her body. The chemo continued to slow the growth but did not stop the spreading.

We read from our notebooks journals that Carol gave us. The boys wrote how they enjoyed the family camp-outs and how they enjoyed restoring the cabin for Diane. Carol offered us some encouraging advice and then she headed off.

Diane and the boys went back to arranging their personal belonging in the cabin.

I went into my study. As I looked around, I remembered the old books on the shelves in the basement. I grabbed an empty box and went through the trapdoor to gather up the books from the shelves down there. As I organized them on the bookshelves in the study, I discovered a very rare find. It was Ted's Journals. There were four separate books that had a leather covers on them. I kept the first journal out to read and locked the others in the roll top deck.

Diane called us for dinner. I told her and the boys that I found old Ted's journals. Davey asked if there were any more hidden treasures that Ted buried. We all chuckled, but it did pique my curiosity. We found so many things that Ted kept hidden. I could not help but think that he might have written down other things he had hidden on the property.

The boys and I cleaned up the dishes as Diane went upstairs to pack her overnight back. We walked with her down the driveway to meet Betty at the lodge. Betty drove up just as we walked up to the end of the driveway. We hugged and kissed Diane and watched her and Betty drive down the resort road.

The boys went up to their bedroom to arrange things. I went into the study and started reading Ted's first journal book.

The first entry was written in 1880. Ted was thirty years old. He heard about the Rocky and wanted to relocate his family to the west coast. He had a wife and a five-year-old son. He talked about the adventures that his family had from Nova Scotia. Everyone was very excited about the adventure west. He took odd jobs along the way to pay for food and supplies in order to continue the journey. There were entries in the book about what each town and city was like as they went through them.

Davey and Billy came downstairs. I told the boys there about Ted's adventures with his family. I finished reading the first book with the boys. They were disappointed that there was no mention of more treasures.

Billy wanted us to go sit in the hot tub before we went to bed. We changed into our swimsuits, grabbed three towels and headed outside. I was a bit surprised that the boys took off their swimsuits before climbing into the tub. They said they only worn them in case someone came to the cabin. I took off mine and climbed into the tub with the boys. We discovered that there were three flat stone seats under the water. We spent about an hour just sitting and talking. As we were getting out of the tub, Billy giggled and dared Davey to streak from the tub into the cabin. Davey giggled and ran butt naked into the back door. Billy followed the same way. When he got to the back door, he found out Dave had locked it. Davey was laughing through the window. Billy was giggling and telling him to open the door. I put my swimsuit on and Davey opened the door when I came up to it. I handed the boys their towels and they wrapped them around their waists.

I went into the kitchen to get the boys their bedtime snack. Davey went into the bar, in the study, and made me a drink. We went into the living room to watch a bit of TV. When the boys finished the snacks, they each took a pillow on the couch and laid it beside my lap. The boys stretched out on either side of me with their heads on the pillows. I gently rubbed their backs until they each fell asleep. I carried each boy up to his bedroom and tucked him in.

I came back down to the study, poured myself a second drink and started reading Ted's second book.

Ted's second journal book started in 1890. The family had finally arrived on the west coast. Ted took a job with a logging company. The whole family lived in the logging camp. His wife worked in the kitchen with a few other wives. His son joined the logging crew in 1895. On their days off, Ted and his son would go on camp-outs and explore the mountains.

After finishing the second journal, I decided to go to bed. I blew out all the oil lamps downstairs. I left the one at the top of the stairs on, but turned the wick down. I took a lantern up to the third-floor loft. I put it on the nightstand. As I sat on the bed, I felt a lump in the bed. I pulled the covers down to find Billy asleep in the bed. It was late, I did not have the heart to wake him and carry him back to his bed. I just went to the other side of the bed. When I sat down on that side, I found Davey had snuck onto that side of the bed and was sound asleep. I just blew out the lantern and climbed over top of him to the middle of the bed. I kissed each boy on the forehead and told him I loved him.

As soon as my head hit the pillow, and I closed my eyes, I head Billy giggle and then Davey giggle. They put their heads on my chest and said, at the same time, "I Love You Too, Daddy." The boys really started giggling then. I wrapped each of my arms around their waists and began tickling them for tricking me into thinking they were asleep. They each 'gave up' after my fingers reached their armpits. I hugged each boy and thanked him for the trick. They hugged me and thanked me for the tickle punishment.

I walked the boys back down the stairs and tucked each of them into their own bed. As I tucked them in, I gave them a few tickle pokes and told them to 'stay put.' Then I gave them a wink. Billy was the last one I tucked in. As I turned to leave, he grabbed my hand.

"Daddy, I'm scared to sleep alone. Does that make me a baby?" Billy asked

"No, Billy, it does not make you a baby." I sat back down on his bed.

"Can I sleep with you?"

"I'll make you a deal, Son. I would like you to try to go to sleep in your bed. If you get scared, you can come up to the loft to sleep and I will not think you are a baby. But, I want you to give it an honest try to sleep in your bed. Billy, you can come to me any time you feel scared or anytime you want to talk to me. You can wake me up in the middle of the night if you need too. I also know Davey feels the same way. We both love you and always want you to feel safe."

"Thanks, Daddy. I'll give it an honest try for you."

I went back up to the loft and fell asleep.

Editor's Notes:

Is there a dry eye in the house? The way Silas111 is handling Diane's cancer and preparing the boys for the inevitable is absolutely amazing. I wish everyone that was in this situation had such a caring network of friends and family. Davey's faith and love get me every time, he is an amazing young man.
Sorry Silas & TSL I just couldn't leave this chapter as a Cliff Hanger. I must be getting soft in my old age {Misdirection Alert!}.