Fields of Barley, Vol. 20
(If you want to read this from the beginning, click the Stories, Short & Otherwise Link above)
Mark could only stare at this woman. With complete joy in her voice she said, “You will soon know everything about me, about what I will do and where I will live. You’ll know when I bruise my knee as I fall down running after butterflies, and even feel my pain when my heart breaks for the first time. You will see it all and know my every wish and desire and thought and dream, because you…are my father, and I am your daughter. I am the one you wished so desperately to meet. I’m the child you’ve waited for all those years.”
Now it all made sense. The man standing in the room looked upon his child—father and daughter communicating in an unspoken language heard only by hearts, the two speaking together as members of the same family.
This time is was Mark’s eyes that could not stop the tears, nor dare he even try. He grabbed his daughter and held her tight and she held him, both seeing each other for who they truly were.
"Daddy," she struggled to say. “I’m so glad you’re here, but I can’t wait to go, to meet Mom and grandma and everyone else. I’ve been living here with those who’ve gone before you. I’ve spent so much time with Grandpa. I couldn’t love him more and he’s waiting for you. He can’t wait to see you again.”
Mark broke the hold between them and said, “But you’re not supposed to come now. Janie’s only seven and a half months along—you can’t come now. Janie’s not ready. It’s too….”
She stopped him with her eyes. Again Anna-Lisa had an answer for everything. “Dad, she’s ready. It’s going to be okay. She’s been safe with people who love her all day. This day will not only be remembered for you leaving, but also for me arriving.”
She looked deep into his eyes and said, “Don’t worry. This is how it was meant to be, how it was supposed to happen. And in time I will return to you and grandpa an mom and everyone. We will be together again.”
He knew this was true. Of all the revelations heard this day, this last completed the circle. For Mark now knew it was truly his time to go and he also knew it was time for Anna-Lisa to begin her wonderful adventure.
The couple hugged one more time, a long, lasting hug that would resume at some future date. Anna-Lisa moved to her path and walked to the door. She turned and looked at her father one last time, smiled again and brushed away the last of her tears. And then she did something completely unexpected. She brought her hands together, cupped them under her chin and with a little hop she giggled with joy, just like a young girl anticipating Christmas morning. Anna-Lisa winked at him, turned, and was gone.
Mark stared at the void where moments before held his daughter. An inner warmth ran throughout his body. He looked down and noticed once again the path that shown brighter than the sun at noonday. Slowly he walked to his own door, paused, and then left the room completely empty. He was now truly home.