Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Rose walked through the yard, laughing as Josephine raced ahead of her, chasing a butterfly. Her daughter was a bright, happy child, as full of life as her parents.
Josephine lost sight of the butterfly and stopped, plopping down in the shade of a tree. She giggled as Rose sat down beside her, tickling her and singing Come Josephine in my Flying Machine. The little girl loved the song, which had been her song as long as she could remember. She often talked about really flying someday, and Rose was sure that her daughter would one day fulfill that dream—as Rose had herself learned to fly.
Two years earlier, in June of 1913, Luke had been offered the opportunity to buy a small newspaper in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He had decided to take a chance on it, and the Calverts had moved to Cedar Rapids that summer. The newspaper had been a success, with Luke's experience with the New York Times and Rose's new-found talent for reporting on everyday happenings. They had worked together to make the newspaper a success, and, in 1914, had hired Ruth to work for the paper as well from her home in New York, sending them the latest news of society and fashion. Ruth had found this far more to her liking than working in a sweatshop, though she was never quite so snobbish again.
In addition to caring for Josephine and working for the Calvert newspaper, Rose also helped to establish a small town theater, at last becoming an actress as she had dreamed. And in April of 1915, she had fulfilled another dream—that of learning to fly.
The newspaper had done well enough that there was some extra money, and during the previous year, Rose had met and interviewed a man who built and flew airplanes. He had never been one to teach anyone else to fly, but he thought well of the Calverts, and had accepted Luke's offer to pay for flying lessons for Rose, something she had told him she one day wanted to do.
And now she could fly. She was still taking lessons, and was still learning, but a week earlier she had taken an airplane out alone for the first time, thrilling in the experience, and was already setting aside money to buy an airplane of her own—or at least the parts to build one, since she had also learned a great deal about putting them together.
Sighing contentedly, Rose leaned back against the tree trunk, Josephine's head cradled in her lap as the child blinked sleepily. She had truly been blessed. She had a happy marriage, a child that she loved, and a career that she enjoyed. She was learning to fly, and had become an actress—all dreams that she had thought impossible just a little over three years before.
Rose stroked her daughter's head, closing her eyes and listening to the sounds of summer. Yes, she had been fortunate, and another blessing had made itself known to her. She moved her hands to her middle, smiling to herself. By December, there would be another baby. She had confirmed it that morning, and would tell Luke in the evening, perhaps over dinner, or later, when they were alone in their room and Josephine was asleep.
Opening her eyes, Rose looked up through the canopy of branches to the cloudless blue sky. The sinking of the Titanic had cast her adrift in an unknown world, but those who cared for her had been her anchor, guiding her through her new world even after they themselves had left it. Hope had been there all through those first difficult months, and through Josephine's birth, but it had been Jack who had given Rose what she needed to become a new person and start a new life.
She smiled as a gentle breeze rustled the leaves on the tree, the sunlight moving over herself and Josephine. "Thank you, Jack," she whispered, knowing that he was watching. She looked up at the sky, her smile growing wider.
Jack had freed her from the hell that her life had been, giving her hope, setting free her spirit and her ability to love. The Titanic had taken him, and, in a way, it had taken her, too. For on that night, Rose DeWitt Bukater had died, and Rose Dawson had been born in her place, full of life and love. That night had changed her life forever.
She had truly been reborn, for the better.