Chapter 6 – Epilogue
AN: see end of story.
Harm nervously stood in his bedroom at his grandmother's farm. Looking in the mirror on the bureau and adjusting his tie for what had to be the hundredth time, he sighed and went to sit back down on his bed, only to jump up again so that he wouldn't wrinkle his suit.
He wasn't nervous per se, just anxious. This was exactly the reason why he was always late for everything! Waiting around went against every part of him that wanted to grab for control. That was something he had been working on for months now, trying to relinquish some control in his life. He knew he would never change, but he could try to compromise just a little.
Harm was also working on communication. Taking a big deep breath before jumping to any conclusions. Trying to listen and take the time to think about what he was going to say before he said it. A lot had changed in just a short time and he couldn't be happier. Change was something he tried to avoid. Not that he didn't run from permanence, but he liked everything to be in his control and change and permanence took control away from him. He was glad he had Sergei, Grams and Mac to remind him to loosen up every now and then.
A lot had changed since Christmas at Grams' farm. It was a chance for him and Sergei to spend time together and really get to know each other. He found that he loved being an older brother and imparting what little wisdom he had on Sergei.
Maybe the peace he had gained from that Christmas had helped him make the biggest change. After that Christmas he began to court Mac. And he did mean court, gain her trust. A kiss on New Year's Eve. Flowers a week later. Spending time together doing mundane things like laundry. Calling to say goodbye at night. And fun, non-pressure dates. Six weeks later, by the time Valentine's Day came around he was ready to make his move.
It all may have seemed like a snap decision, but he knew he loved her and knew she was it before that Christmas in Pennsylvania. He was ready to take a chance on having what his grandfather's letters had talked about. Sometimes when he reread them (his grandmother sent them home with him after the Christmas break) he could swear that he had written them.
Needless to say, once he made his move there was no stopping them. They had all but moved in together before they had to leave for Afghanistan. On Mac's birthday in July he proposed. It was pretty bad as far as proposals go. I mean deciding you can't wait another moment at 0430 and waking her up to give her the ring wasn't too romantic. He didn't even use the speech he had been planning for years now. But it was simple and judging from the smile on her face (once she was awake enough to comprehend what was going on), all the flowery words in the world didn't matter. Of course the next day he did take her out to a nice restaurant and buy her flowers to make up for it.
They both wanted a short engagement and to start their lives together as soon as possible. That was why, just a month later, he stood in his bedroom at his grandmother's waiting to be told it was time. When he heard the knock on the door again he was sure that his mother had sent Frank back up here to check on him again.
As he turned around he saw his grandmother holding another familiar envelope. "Harmon?"
"Hey, Grams. Is it almost time?"
"Almost. I just wanted to give this to you. This letter wasn't in the box with the rest of the letters because it was special. I knew this day would come and that it would be perfect to share with you now. So take a deep breath, say a prayer, read the letter, and then go marry that girl of yours," she said with a wink.
When Harm was once again alone he took the yellowing paper out of the envelope and began to read:
I know that I usually write to you from an ocean away. But it has always been easier for me to say something with written words. You are asleep in our bed and while I watch the moon reflect off your face like I did so long ago, I am also captivated by another beautiful face, our son.
When you sent the letter telling me we were going to be parents I knew that I had to come home safely and hoped that I would be home in time to be with you. But as you know, the Navy and the war had other ideas and I was a few weeks late. This is my first night home and no matter how tired I am, I cannot seem to fall asleep. I seem to be afraid I am going to miss something else that you or our son does.
One of the things that keeps running through my mind is all that I want to teach Harmon. How to play ball and ride a bike. The pride of serving our country. The hard yet rewarding work of a farmer. The thrill of flying through the sky. But most of all I want to teach him about love. Though we haven't spent much physical time together, you are with me everywhere. I may not know the day to day of marriage, but I know how much I love you. If he can find a woman like you, he won't need for anything else. It's just overcoming that fear and realizing it that is the hard part.
Thank you, Sarah, for all that you have given me.
Harm had spent many nights of his youth wishing that either his father or his grandfather had been around to teach him all those things. Maybe he would have had the courage to figure it all out years ago. But he also knew, and was reminded frequently by Grams, that everything that happens to you in life forms you into who you are supposed to be; every heartbreak and every joy all has a purpose. He was determined to teach all of those things to his own children, one of which, Mac had found out last night, was about 8 months from being born, about a year and a month early on that deal they made. And he couldn't wait.
In the next room Mac was smoothing her dress and could barely contain the butterflies in her stomach. Sure it could be a little morning sickness, but mostly the anxiousness. The past eight months had been a whirlwind. If you asked her last year at this time if she would be standing here about to be married and newly pregnant she would have thought you were crazy. She thought Mic was her chance at happiness and so much had happened between she and Harm that she thought they would never get it right.
She had definitely found a peace with the Rabb family Christmas weekend in Pennsylvania and had seen a side of Harm she hadn't seen in years. The carefree, playful and little boy Harm that being on a farm brought out in him. When they had started officially dating they quickly skipped through the "get to know you" phase and went right to serious relationship. While this was a little scary at times, there were also moments, like Bud's injury, where they were reminded that life was precious and didn't wait for plans to be perfect. Although it had only been about 5 or 6 months since their first official date, she woke up on her 35th birthday an engaged woman. And she hadn't stopped smiling since.
Looking in the mirror she could see that Sarah had been standing in the doorway. Mac also saw the smile and twinkle in her eye when she noticed that Mac's hand was resting on her midsection.
"Oh, Sarah, you make a beautiful bride! You're glowing!"
"Thanks, Grams. And I can't believe that you remade your dress for me, I didn't know how I was going to find one in less than a month!"
"Oh, dear, it looks perfect on you. When we came across it in the box of letters, I knew you had to wear it. Of course I took off the sleeves for you and changed the neckline, but I am so glad it fits. I hope it brings you as much luck as it brought me."
She leaned down and gave Harm's grandmother a big hug. As they both stood back up with tears in their eyes, Mac realized it was time to go meet Harm. She made her way down stairs and outside to the little hilltop by the farm. The same one on which Henry and Sarah danced was now set up with a tent and chairs for the wedding ceremony. It was going to be small, just friends and family, but it was perfect. Sergei was waiting next to Harm and Chloe would be walking down the aisle in front of her.
Taking a deep breath she started walking towards the brilliant smile and green eyes that had been her beacon for the past 6 years, and would guide her for the next 100. At that moment all her worries vanished and she knew that nothing could be more right.
Later that night while Mac was sleeping next to him in their room at the resort they had booked for their honeymoon. She was so cute when she was sleeping. Not that he would ever tell the Marine that…
After they had discovered that Sarah was pregnant he had cracked open an old journal he had found in his room at the farm. Having grown up on his father's letter tapes and the now treasured love letters from his grandfather, Harm decided to continue the idea and began writing letters in a book to Mac and their child. Some would be just to Mac, telling her how much he loved her. Others would be life lessons to pass on to their children. He decided that someday when his grandchildren were looking through the attic, he wanted them to find a book about great love and family that would help them find their way. As he signed "Always, Harm" to the first "letter", Mac began to stir and notice that he wasn't lying next to her in bed. He closed the book and settled down next to his wife with a smile on his face. They finally had found their family.
FINAL AUTHOR'S NOTE
Hey everyone! Thanks for sticking with this story! I hope you enjoyed it.
OK, the basis for this story comes from real life. When my grandfather passed away not too long ago, we were cleaning out my grandparent's house. In the attic we found a large box. Inside was a white lace wedding dress that was my great-grandmothers (explains the odd appearance of the dress in this story), my great-grandfather's shaving kit, and oddly enough, an old shoebox crammed full with letters.
My grandfather was drafted into WWII a month shy of his high school graduation. My great-grandmother received his high school diploma for him. He was an Electrician's Mate in the Pacific theater. All of which was part of Henry's story.
One difference with the story was that Harm's grandparents started writing letters during the war. My grandparents really did not start writing until after my grandfather came home and went to college on the GI bill. During his freshman year of college they began getting serious and by sophomore year they were writing everyday. Reading those letters written by my grandfather at an age just slightly younger than mine was amazing. I included some of his insights into Henry's letters.
The rest of the story is JAG fanfic, but I just thought some of you would be interested in the background.
Thanks for following the story and thanks for the reviews!