A Daisy for Hannah Jane: Chapter XX


Rachel St. Louis

Art by Rachel St. Louis.

Rachel St. Louis, Copy Chief

 A Daisy for Hannah Jane

Chapter XX

“She said what?”

“I know. I’m so, so sorry. I never m-m-meant to put this kind of pressure on you. Not in a th-thousand years would I force you into an ar-ar-rranged m-marriage.”

“Oh, Janie, don’t cry. Please,” he whispered, wiping my cheeks with his handkerchief. “You haven’t forced me into anything. Listen to me,” he soothed. “It’s not your fault.”

But my gut said otherwise. “I feel awful. My grandmother hates me. She hates me.”

“I think there’s a woman inside of her, deep down, who really wants to love you. Something has happened in her life that makes her shield herself against you, whatever it may be. I pray you two will work it out, over time. Remember, Janie, we still have God on our side. God is love, and love conquers all.”

I sniffed, drying my eyes once more. I was grateful Jamison wasn’t bothered by my sensitivities. “I still don’t understand why can’t my grandmother see I’m finally loving her.”

He shrugged. “Sometimes we can’t see things the way they are until they turn out for a greater good in the end. We can’t decipher everything now. We must be patient.”

I nodded, looking at the ugly green-and-brown wallpaper in his office rather than Jamison himself.

“We’ll work through this, Janie, but we’ve got to lay it at the Cross first. If there’s anything Jesus can do, it’s helping us whether we understand or not.”

“Thank you, Jamison. Your words are always a comfort to me.”

He smiled. “They’re from the heart.” His penetrating cocoa stare locked with my blue one. “Is there something else that’s bothering you?”

I took a deep, shuddery breath. “Ever since Harriet’s stroke, when I became a Christian once and for all, I’ve been loving her like my mother would want me to. My mother was a Christian like none other. Even though I was very little when she died, I recognized a difference in her, and in my father. They both had gentle spirits that weren’t given by birth. They were avid followers of Christ.” The memories made my eyes mist. Again.  

“Without my grandmother, many things wouldn’t have taken place. I wouldn’t have been born, for one thing. My grandmother used to be sweet and kind to my father like he was her own son. I think she used to love me, too, before my parents passed away. A few days after taking me in and it was as if the candle in her was snuffed out for good.” I couldn’t get my waterfalls to stop.

Surprisingly, Jamison was on the verge of tears as well.

“She can be cruel, but she did bring my selfless, beautiful mother into this world and cared for her. But I…”

“Janie.” The look on his face was indescribable. “Janie, I love you for who you are.”

I dove into his outstretched arms and he hugged me for a very long time. My heavy eyelids closed within minutes. In fact, I woke up to the symphony of his snoring. It was a rhythmical sound I didn’t find annoying, but at least he was sleeping soundly.

He told me he had fewer nightmares now that he believed I was “saved.” Saved from hell and from the constant death he said he dreamt I faced.

From now to my grave, I would ponder what Jamison saw in me. But I did know one thing: Never since Raymie had I felt cherished. Well, except for Harriet. By this time, I realized I shouldn’t keep chasing after likability or friendship. All I needed was to be loved by a few good people. Not twenty empty souls.

I took a pencil and a piece of blank paper from his desk carefully and wrote out the names of those “few good people.” After writing down Mother, Father, and Raymie, I drew clouds next to their names because they rested in heaven. Then I wrote down those I had now:

Ethel, so far an acquainted friend

Jamison (Charles David Jamison, Jr.) C. D. Jamison ♥

Mrs. Jamison

Mr. and Mrs. Caleb Graham

I put the pencil down and pocketed the list. Maybe I could begin to pray for these people like a Christian should. Like Jamison does.

I realized I should stop by and visit Mrs. Jamison more often. After all, she was Raymie’s biological mother, too. Why didn’t they tell me when I met them? Why did the Jamisons keep their secret from me until lately? Perhaps they wanted Raymie to return from the war first.

No dew came to my eyes, but I shoved the thought of my deceased fiancé into the bottom of my mind. I am blessed to be courting someone I just learned is his brother. It seemed twisted, but then again, Grandmother didn’t know.


I hoped to scrawl Grandmother Caroline Chauldings onto the list someday.