Autumn's Wind

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Chapter 72: A Day of Reckoning
(by NativeRose, added on 29 March 2008 12:19 AM)

"Even forgiven sin has consequences," Lynn muttered as she watched the happy couple strolling through the cancer ward. Autumn was back in her second home--the hospital--for another course of treatment. Lynn stood at one end of the hallway, watching Jason and Sariah as they walked toward Autumn's room. True, Lynn and Jason now had an amicable relationship, but Lynn knew they would never be together again. After all, Jason and Sariah were engaged! They had told Autumn and Lynn this news on Autumn's first day back in the hospital. That announcement sure brightened Autumn's day, and she spent some of her time helping Sariah plan for the wedding. Although Lynn was happy for them, she felt a deep regret beyond anything she had ever experienced before. She knew she had messed everything up. She had been the source of all the pain her daughter and former husband were dealing with. She was the reason Jason's loving gaze was fixed upon Sariah and not her. How could she be jealous of Sariah? It was all her fault. Could she say she was truly happy for the newly-engaged couple? If she was honest, she would have to admit that she envied Sariah. All of her jealous notions were quickly followed by feelings of regret. She knew it was all her doing. The divorce was even permitted based on Biblical principals; after all, she was the adulterous woman. Lynn firmly pushed these thoughts from her mind. She was here to support her daughter, and standing around reminiscing and regretting the past wasn't going to help Autumn!

But the words Autumn spoke and the pure joy on her face shattered Lynn's resolve.
"you'll marry soon so I can be there, right?" Autumn was asking--no pleading--with Jason and Sariah.
"Well, I don't know..." Sariah's voice trailed off when she saw Autumn's disappointment. She looked to her fiance, and Lynn saw unspoken words pass between them. Their eyes spoke of tender affection for each other, and Lynn was again reminded of what she had given away...for a man who wasn't her husband! She also saw fierce determination on the faces of the others who loved Autumn, and she knew Jason and Sariah wouldn't deny Autumn's request. As Lynn watched Sariah flush Autumn's IV line and squeeze her hand for encouragement, she wondered if Sariah was the mother Lynn couldn't be. Lynn remembered times when she hadn't been attentive to Autumn's needs, even when she had something as simple as the flu. Maybe God put Sariah in Autumn's life during this time to give her the care she would need. Maybe He knew Lynn didn't have it within her to give Autumn what she needed. All manner of accusations rose up to denounce all of Lynn's repentent desires and actions. So she now wanted to be a real mother to Autumn. What did that matter? Autumn was dying, and Lynn had wasted so much time in the bottle. She wondered if she could truly make anything right before it was too late. At least Jason would find true happiness with Sariah, and they would ease Autumn's transition into the next life. If Lynn couldn't find solace in anything else, she could take comfort in that.

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