No Shoes to Fill
I do NOT own the rights to Bonanza
The wind whistled through the trees as Jamie skipped rocks across the lake. He was upset and frustrated. All he'd been hearing in town was 'he's not Adam', "Adam wouldn't like …" Adam , Adam , Adam; that is what he'd been muttering the whole time he'd been skipping pebbles. Just as he went to mumble some more he heard a horse approaching.
"Hi, mind if I join you?" Jennifer got off her horse and sat down on a rock and watched him throw rocks.
"Guess so." Jamie kept tossing the pebbles into the lake and Jennifer continued watching until her newest stepson turned around and started venting.
"Why do people in town act like it's my fault Adam left?" The young man looked as if he wanted to punch something -or worse yet -someone.
"The same reason Widow Hansen acts like it's my fault Ben didn't choose her for a wife, or others complain I'm here instead of Marie." The woman he called Ma patted a rock next to her had invited him to sit down - Jamie relented. "This isn't the first time the people in town have participated in that kind of talk is it?"
"No, it's not." Jamie twisted his fingers together. "Part of me wants to meet him real bad - just as much as they want him back - and the other part wants to beat him up, but I know that's not right."
"Thought so, that's why I wrote a letter awhile back." Jennifer handed him a letter which had just came in the mail. "I think you need to read this reply."
"Who's it from?" Jamie hesitated to reach out and take the envelope.
"Adam, who else?" His Ma smiled and encouraged him to take the letter -which he did.
Jamie slowly opened it and began reading. Adam nixed any idea that he was disappointed with life in Australia- or any other place which his business took him to. The idea he'd not like Jamie reading 'his' books, using 'his' bed etc. were soundly squashed. Big brother also pointed out that even if he did come back, he'd not want to displace Jamie. As his eyes fell on the last part Jamie sat up and smiled wide.
The idea of anyone thinking you should be expected to fill my shoes is right down ludicrous. Crumb, half the time I couldn't fill them and they were supposed to be mine! So don't worry- you have no shoes to fill.
Jamie, you will make decisions in life that may dissatisfy many of those around you, but when you lay down at night if you have a clear conscience of what you are doing -and why - then what they say matters very little, if at all.
Sure, I'd like to meet you face to face, but that's not going to happen simply because my obligations to my work and to Celeste -not to mention my children- take top priority over any visit to a country that I no longer live in.
Closing the letter he asked his new Ma. "Did you ever meet him?"
"For a short period. When I first married Ben. But he only stayed a short time. And when he - and Celeste - left we all knew it was for good." Jennifer laid a hand on his shoulder. "How about we get back to the house for dinner? I happen to know - as much as Pa and her brothers love Brenda - they can only take so much of a very cranky one year-old when she gets hungry."
"Okay." Jamie smiled and placed the letter in his pocket -it would be one item he would read when talk in town got to much for his teenage brain.