With Ellen’s general improvement and desire to resume her social life, Charles knew it was time to reacquaint Ellen with her two youngest children. She had no clear memory of her hospitalization and referred simply to her female troubles. With Cousin Jean’s death, Geneva would be back home. It was time she was relieved of the responsility of the girls. She was past seventy. The worries put on her with Ellen’s illness and care of the girls had gone on too long. His family must be reunited.
Cora laid a light lunch in anticipation of Geneva’s arrival. The mother and daughter embraced. “Mother, it seems like forever since I saw you. Why didn’t you come see me when I was sick? You’ve been away so long. I missed you.”
“I missed you, too. I came to see you every day till I had to go to Cousin Jean’s. You were on the mend, but you just don’t remember.” Geneva explained.
“How is Cousin Jean? I need to get out to see her. I’ve thought of her often lately, for some reason. She is odd, but I love her.” Ellen told her mother.
Geneva looked to Charles for help. “Ellen, we’ve suffered a loss. Cousin Jean died during the night. Geneva found her this morning. “This has all been really hard on Geneva. You know Cousin Jean was like a mother to her. She’s going to need us, now.” Charles took Geneva’s hand.
Tears sprung to Ellen’s eyes as she moved to hug her mother. “Oh, Mother. I am so sorry. I know how much Cousin Jean meant to you and to all of us. I always loved our times on her farm.”
“It’s hard to lose her. I feel like a ship with no anchor. I’m the last of the old ones left now. It won’t be too long till I’ve gone to her.” Geneva mourned.
“Oh Mother, don’t say that.”
Charles spoke softly, “Ellen, I need to talk to you about your illness and some family matters. I know you’ll have questions, and I’ve been dreading this talk, so please let me get it over with. This will come as a shock to you, but you didn’t just have simple “female trouble.” You surprised us all by giving birth to a baby girl several months ago. I know you’ve heard of “baby blues. Well, after the baby came, you had a nervous breakdown. You were a danger to yourself and everyone around you. You were admitted to a hospital in Dallas. It took a while but you’re getting back to your old self. Do you remember any of this?” He asked.
“I have had a lot of terrible dreams, but it’s not like I really remember. Did the baby die?” she asked.
“Oh no. She’s fine. She’s eight months old now. Geneva has been keeping her at Cousin Jean’s. I didn’t want to spring her on you till I felt like you were back to yourself. When you were so confused, I didn’t think she needed to be around you. You haven’t mentioned our other little girl, Charlotte either, Do you remember her?”
Ellen’s eyes clouded. “Charlotte! I do remember Charlotte! I thought I dreamed her up. How can a mother forget her own children?”
“You were in such a state after the baby came suddenly, it was all too much for you and your mind shut down. You didn’t notice the boys either, when you first got home. I thought I’d lost you. I thank God you’re better every day.” Charles spoke. “Now you’re better, we need to bring the girls home.”
“Yes. I want to see my girls.” Ellen whispered.