Geneva was tearful as she bade goodbye to Birdie. Birdie had been with her forty years, since the day her own mother, Ella, had brought her to work with her at Geneva’s house. Ella’s healthwas failing and she had wanted to see Birdie settled before she died. Birdie cooked, cleaned, and helped Miss Geneva raise children, living in till she married and started her own family. In turn, she’d brought her own daughter to help Geneva out with the girls during their mother’s illness. Her Josie had married Bobby, one of Geneva’s farm workers and was raising her family on Genva’s farm, so he families were deeply interconnected. Birdie grieved, knowing the life they shared was ending, even though she’d see Geneva had on visits to her daughter and grandchildren at the farm. Birdie had three children and a husband at his me, so she was staying on to take care of whomever Charles found to lease Geneva’s house, though Geneva gave her a handsome check and references should she decide to move on. The women had spent more time and shared more of life than most people ever do. Birdie held her tears till Charles’s car drove out of sight, then wept her loss.
Geneva took her last look at her home and the town she’d known so long, and felt a brief, but possibly the most important part of her life was starting. She prayed God would give her the time and wisdom to guide Charley into his new life. Ginny was one of life’s fortunate s who saw joy in every day. Charles’s black Lincoln was piled high with the family’s belongings. Robert and Bessie met them at the car to welcome them home. Their grandchildren ran to get hugs and peppermints from Geneva. While the men carried bags in, Bessie put fresh coffee and tea cakes out on the bright oil-cloth covered kitchen table. “Miss Geneva, I got you a pitcher of hot water and some fresh towels in your room. I aired all your house dresses if you want to slip one on, ” Bessie said. “I got lemonade here for you young’uns.”
“Thank you, Bessie. I believe I will freshen up. Ginny, can you come brush my hair and powder my back?” Geneva asked.
In about ten minutes, the two were back. Geneva smelling of Cashmere Bouquet Talc. “It’s so good to be back home. Makes me wonder how I could ever stay away.”
“It’s so good to have you back, and me and Bessie are sure proud to be stay in’ in the house with you. Them wild chillun’ was ’bout to wear us out. That little ol’ house was Justin’ tighter and tighter.” Robert said. ” I love ’em, but they sho wears me out.”
“You ain’t gone off far enough to do no good. You know they gonna follow you right over here, don’t you?” Bessie reminded him.
“It’s good to be home.” Geneva said.