The next few days passed slowly as Mary and Bert did their best to bring some sort of normalcy back to the Bank household. Mrs. Banks began eating lunch with them, but retiring after tea and taking a light supper in her room. The children ventured outside, but did not make any effort do anything. Both Mary and Bert decided it was all a start. Mary and Jane began to spend the day shopping and stitching together. Bert and Michael often went on walks. They let Mrs. Banks do what she wanted when she wanted, no one invading her grief.
The week was coming to an end. It would soon be time for her to go. No one was happy about it, but everyone understood.
Sunday evening, they were sitting on the porch before Bert went home. The children were in bed, Mrs. Banks was in her room reading and Mrs. Brill had gone.
"Mary, do ya think ya should be leavin' us again?" he asked quietly, breaking the silence.
She looked up from her knitting. "I have no choice, Bert," she sighed. "And like it or not, they are going to have to find a way to move on... with or without me."
"Do I have to find a way to go on without you, too?" he asked, bowing his head.
She closed her eyes for a second before reaching out, cupping his chin in her hand, lifting his head and meeting his eyes. "No, of course not. I'll never leave you. And you will never leave me," she assured him, smiling softly and lightly.
"How'd ya figure that? Yer leavin' again, ain't ya?"
"Bert, when you... love someone, they are always with you... In your heart." She had finally said the words. She loved him. His dark eyes began to shine. That made her smile even more watching him comprehend the meaning of what she had spoken. "Just like if... when... someone you love dies, they are still alive inside you."
They leaned their foreheads together and closed their eyes. "I like that idea, Mary... I'm glad we learned that before it was too late, eh?" Bert chuckled lightly and softly. Mary nodded.
"In time the Banks' will learn that, too," she replied.