It's been 6 years since my husband's death. The hole in my heart is still there, however I am finally able to smile and laugh without feeling my heart break.

The first two years were awful. Had it not been for my family, I would have died the night Carlisle did. Actually I did contemplate suicide quite a few times, but didn't want my kids to find me. I would go to my husband's grave and in vision my gravestone next to his. There was just the
undeniable longing to be back in his arms.

It was the births of Lillian, Jacob, Leah, and the Krysta, that changed me. I realized that even though I had lost my best friend and husband, I still had my family and loved them more than anything.

I was sitting on the porch watching Edward, Emmett, and Rose, chase the younger kids around. Danny was sitting on the porch swing reading one of his books. He wanted to be a doctor when he grew up, so Edward had bought him some reading material and he tore through it.

Bella was inside putting Anthony down for his nap, he was 9 months old and looked exactly like Edward.

Rose and Emmett were doing great. Chris was 16, Danny was 13, Jacob and Leah were 5. They considered trying for another baby, but decided four kids was enough.

Edward and Bella had added to their family. First with Lillian who was 6, Sophia Rose, who was 3, and Anthony Edward who was 9months.

However, as happy as they seemed on the outside, Bella was starting to seem distant. She was a wonderful mom and loved her husband very much, but there was something in her eyes.

"Mom can you listen for Anthony? I need to talk to Edward." She said breaking my thoughts.

"Sure. Bella, is everything OK?" I asked looking into her eyes.

She hesitated for a brief moment, tears filled her eyes, but she nodded and walked away.

I watched as she walked to Edward. They talked for a bit, he was running his hands in his hair, they looked like they might be arguing, but I wasn't sure. He caught her, when she fell into his arms sobbing.

"What's wrong with Aunt B?" Chris asked walking around to me. He had just gotten there with his girl friend Emilee.

"I'm not real sure." I replied.

Chris and Emilee had been together for a year. Emmett had taken him a side and threatened him. Telling him that he and Rose were not ready to be grandparents.

Emilee was beautiful, very sweet, and loved hanging out with the whole family. Even the kids loved her, so when they needed a baby sitter, she was first to volunteer.

I could see a special love that they had for each other, when they looked into the other ones eye.

Carlisle, never really looked at the present, instead he looked at the future for all of us. While I didn't always believe in love at first sight and knew first hand the struggles that teenage couples go through, he seemed to see it differently.

When our kids brought home their first loves, he took them all aside and talked to them about safe sex. Even Alice, he believed he needed to be the one to make sure she knew about protection as well. He didn't want some boy, even Jasper getting his daughter pregnant at a young age. Alice was horrified at first, but he wanted her to know that she could talk to him about things and whether he liked what she was saying or not, he still loved her.

He told me back when Emmett was born that he was going to do things differently from our parents. He was determined to be there for his kids. Had Emmett or Edward brought a girl home pregnant, we would have dealt with it, had Alice come home pregnant, he would have never kicked her out, like my parents pretty much did to me after my miscarriage.

He said he wanted us all to be close, so when something happened to one of us years down the road, we would still be there as a support system. I believe his thoughts are what kept us going, even in the darkness of hell, we still had each other.

"Grandma, their here! I just heard daddy's car!" Krysta squealed running up to me.

"OK, lets go." I said taking her hand.

She pulled me to the front of the house, Jasper was helping Alice out of the car.

"Mommy Daddy!" She broke out of my grip and ran to her parents.

Jasper scooped her up before she could bounce on Alice. "Hey baby girl. Have you had fun with grandma?" He asked holding her out to let her hug her mom. "Be gentle with mommy, she is still pretty sore." He whispered.

"I know. Yes I had fun with grandma and everyone is here." She said.

I walked over and hugged Alice gently. "Welcome home." I told her.

"Thanks." She whispered.

"I'll help her in." I told Jasper.

"Thanks." He replied kissing my cheek. He took Krysta to the back of the car with him.

"How are you feeling?" I asked.

"Kind of sore, but mainly really tired." She yawned.

"When you get in side, go ahead and rest." I told her.

Alice had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. They named her Samantha Marie. This time around Alice had, had a pretty rough time. She had been in labor for over 28 hours. She was a trooper though and didn't use any drugs.

Her doctor got called down to do an emergency c-section and hadn't made it back when she was fully dilated. With a hospital as small as ours, they usually only had one doctor on call on the weekends. The nurse ran and grabbed Edward out of the waiting room. He scrubbed up and was able to deliver his niece.

Once Krysta was settled next to Alice, Jasper took Samantha out of her carrier and placed Samantha into Krysta's waiting arms. "She's so cute!" Krysta whispered loudly.

I helped Krysta hold her, while Jasper went and sat next to Alice, she leaned against him and yawned. "Just rest honey. We can take care of her until she gets hungry." He whispered.

I was shocked by Bella. I thought we were a perfectly happy family. Sure we had our ups and downs, but doesn't everyone?

We had been together for 16years, married for 12. We had 3 amazing kids. Things haven't always been easy, but we were together and life was going in awesome directions. Work was great They had offered me my dad's job as Chief Surgeon. At first, I was gone all the time, but once I got in there and proved myself as Dr. Carlisle's Cullen's son, I was able to work my schedule so I would be home more. Bella had encouraged me all along the way.

"Edward, I'm sorry. I really am, I just can't do this anymore." She sobbed, collapsing into me.

"OK, just calm down, lets try to work this out." I said leading her over to some chairs on the side of the yard.

We talked and cried for awhile. I was scared for us. I knew we both loved each other, and we loved our kids, but this was defiantly going to be a rough time for our family.

"Hey guys..." Rose stopped dead. "Are you OK?" She asked.

"Um." I wasn't sure how to answer.

"OK, well, I was just coming to tell you that lunch is ready." She said.

"Thanks." Bella whispered. Rose looked at us one more time, sighed, then left.

Bella wiped her eyes and got up. We walked toward the house quietly. I wanted to reach out and hug her, but wasn't sure how to. "We need to go ahead and tell everyone." She whispered.

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"Yes, lets just get it over with."

We got into the kitchen, everyone was already sitting around eating and talking quietly. We fixed our plates and sat down. "Are you OK?" Mom asked.

Bella and I glanced at each other. She took my hand and placed it on her stomach. The way we were sitting, no one would have seen it. Bella took a deep breath. "Yes we are OK. I, um, took a test today and found out I am pregnant."

"Oh my God really?" Mom exclaimed. She always got so excited when she found out about a new baby joining the family.

We hadn't planned on having anymore children, but I had been sick for the last 3 days, not just in the morning, but throughout the whole day. I panicked when the test came back positive. I felt the walls close in around me.

I sat around the kitchen table looking at my children and my husband, whom I loved more than anything, I was overwhelmed. I grabbed Edward's arm and pulled him into the other room.

Tears were falling fast as I threw my arms around him and kissed him. He chuckled at how crazy I could be at times, especially when I was pregnant. He dropped to his knees and hugged me around the waist, resting his head on my stomach.

"Bella, we are going to be OK." He whispered.

"I love you Edward."

"I love your more Isabella."

I couldn't believe how much things had changed in 6 years. Losing dad was awful and at the time we didn't think we would make it. I looked around the table, Edward and Bella's baby would make the 10th grandchild for mom. It was so exciting.

I knew dad was smiling down on us, happy that we had finished picking up the pieces of our hardest time. Our family was just as strong if not stronger now. I knew we would be OK.

There were times that life seemed totally unfair. From having a miscarriage, not getting pregnant, losing dad, and then years later, we were blessed with our daughter Krysta. She was an exact copy of me. Her first word was "dada" but her second word was "mall" I could hear Bella groan, but I jumped up and down like a crazy woman.

Samantha was only days old now, she seemed very calm and sweet. A total daddy's girl.

Once a month Krysta and I go to my dad's grave and put flowers down. She loved to hear the stories about him. It's a way to keep dad close to me. I still miss him a lot. I miss calling him and telling him about all the new things going on. The births of my daughters were pretty hard, I really wanted my dad to be there, but was thankful that I still had my mom.

I looked over to my husband, who was sitting on the couch with our daughters. I went over and joined him. He kissed me on the head. "I love my girls so much." He whispered.

"We love you too daddy." Krysta giggled.

I headed to my room shortly after everyone had gone their separate ways. I stood at my dresser staring at this stones that Alice and Krysta had painted. The first two were red, they represented Carlisle and me, then there was a green one to represent the baby I lost, two dark
blue, and one pink to represent each of our kids, then there were four light blue stones, five purple stones for our grand kids. I would be getting to add another one as soon as we knew what Bella was having.

I walked over and got into bed, I had eventually folded up Carlisle's scrubs and stuck them inside his pillow case. I still used his pillow at night. I couldn't give it up. I took my necklace off, which had his wedding band on it, I still wore mine. I tried one day to take it off, just to put it on the necklace, but it hurt too badly, so I gave in and left them on.

Eventually I found a way to stay close to him. I would go sit at his grave and journal, even talk to him at times. I probably seemed crazy, but it made me feel better. I knew he was watching over our family and was pleased with what he saw.

I laid down on the bed and kissed our wedding picture. "I love you Carlisle." I put the picture down. Some days it still feels like yesterday that I lost him, I still miss him dearly, but we are all OK.


A/N PICKING UP THE PIECES in officially done. There will be no plans to have a sequel as I don't know what I would put into it. This has been a difficult journey to write this story. I have cried through most of it. I want to personally thank each and every one of you who have reviewed and added this story to their favorites and alerts. You have all meant so much to me. I also want to thank BLUEROBIN1954. She has been with me through the beginning and has been a huge encouragement to me.

I will be starting another story in the coming weeks called BROKEN ANGEL, summary below.

Bella Swan was placed in foster care at 13, the only person who she trusted and loved was
her best friend Jake. After falling in with the wrong crowd, she is moved to Forks and was placed
in the home of The Cullen's. What happens when her true love breaks her heart? Will she ever
learn to trust the one who wants to be there for her?