Bringing her tea onto the porch, Mrs. Stockton thought about how gracious Dan Edwards’ family was at the Memorial Service last night. She found it was hard to be there for others while hurting for the loss of a loved one. She sat down at the computer to respond to an e-mail from Denise,
I am so happy I reached out to you. Thanks for being so receptive. I think I was more in shock at Marty’s service than you appeared to be last night. My husband Walter believed in dealing with things internally. At the time, I couldn’t go against the wishes of my husband, but emotionally I needed to.
Have you guys decided on when you are going to hold Dan’s burial? They say to not wait too long, so the family can have closure and a place to go to be with him.
I’ll write again soon. My Granddaughter Shelby is coming over for dinner tonight and I need to get the lasagna in the oven. Take Care of yourself!
The lasagna just finished baking when Shelby arrived. After they enjoyed the old family recipe dinner, they washed the dishes together. When the last dish was dried and put away, Mrs. Stockton went to the bedroom closet to pull out the oak box. She took a scrapbook out and brought it downstairs.
“Has your Dad talked to you about your Uncle Marty?” Mrs. Stockton asked. “He told me that he was a police officer and that was shot in the line of duty,” Shelby replied. “Let me show you a few things,” Mrs. Stockton said as she placed the scrapbook on the dining room table.
She opened the book to the first page. There was a picture of Marty with his parents the day he graduated from the Police Academy. It brought tears to Mrs. Stockton’s eyes to see it again.
“Are you o.k. Grandma?” Shelby asked with a concerned tone in her voice. “Yes honey, I’ll be fine. I just miss him so much, and sometimes it makes me cry.” “I wish I could have met him,” Shelby said, “but I wasn’t born yet.” “You were born just a couple of years later. Your brother Nick was born about a month after it happened.” “It had to be a tough time for our family.” “It was hard to lose him, but I think that the hardest time for us was after Marty was buried and the shock started to wear off. The heart felt attention from others stopped and it was time for us to start moving on. Jenny had a nervous breakdown over what she was going to do. She was now a single Mom with no job, since Marty was supporting her, and a house payment to make.” “What did she end up doing?” Shelby asked. “She wound up going back to school and we took care of Ben for her. She got a degree in counseling and ended up working in a teen crisis center.” “She’s a pretty strong woman,” Shelby said.
They looked through the rest of the scrapbook together and Mrs. Stockton was sharing memories with Shelby. She looked up at the clock and noticed the time.
“We better get working on your project before it gets too late,” Shelby said. “You’re right,” Mrs. Stockton replied, “let’s move into the porch.”
They grabbed their mugs off of the dining room table and put them onto the computer desk.
“Your Grandpa would never let me search for people like this,” Mrs. Stockton said as she sat down by the computer. “I know. Why didn’t you ever work outside the home?” “I grew up in a different time where the husband provided for his wife and family and the wife took care of the home.” “My Mom and Dad both work,” Shelby said. “Pretty nice jobs too. Keeps them busy. And keep you in school.” “My scholarship helps with that too, Grandma.”
They started their internet search through the records that they could get into.
“A lot of this information is password protected, Grandma,” Shelby said. “Some of it is public information though.” “The fact that he was arrested, what he was charged with, and what his sentence was, but not where he’s serving his time.” “That’s too bad,” Mrs. Stockton replied. “Why do you want to find him?” Shelby asked. “I want to know if he is sorry for what he did to our family.” “Did he ever say that he was?” Shelby asked. “I never got to ask him,” Mrs. Stockton replied. “Oh. I don’t think we are going to get much further with what we can get into. I’m sorry Grandma.” “No worries honey,” Mrs. Stockton replied, “I have an idea who can help me.”