Title: From the Journal of Liriope M. Hermitage

Author: DeJean Smith

Rating: M

Summary: Take a peek into the past of the infamous L from Evermore Experience through her journals.

Greetings and salutations, friends!

I have been given the great honor of peeking into the journals of Liriope Missouri Hermitage Lawrence, which she has so graciously allowed to be published as part of Mostly A Lurker's fundraiser. She understands how invaluable a good service dog is and knows that Leo will be a godsend to MAL. She wanted to help out in any way that she could.

As we know, L is quite - how shall we say - verbose and her journals took up most of her cabin in the woods of the Great Smoky Mountains between what is now Maggie Valley and Valle Crucis, North Carolina. Below are just a few excerpts from her life story, the highs and the lows. They are unedited and should be viewed as for the mature reader only.

We do hope you enjoy this look into her life. While it is by no means complete, perhaps in the future, she will allow more looks into her rather colorful existence.

DeJean Smith

October, 2011

Kindest reader,

When my friend DeJean told me there would be a fundraiser for the lovely MAL, I knew immediately that I had to help out! So, I've allowed DeJean access to my journals and let her pick out some of the stories she thinks y'all would like to read about. That doesn't mean I won't step in and make my own commentary. Bless my own heart, you know I can't keep quiet when there's something to say. And when you pick and choose snippets from the 161 years of my life, there's a lot to say!

My comments will be in bold, the journal entries will be – er - normal? Yeah. Like I'm anywhere near normal.

Happy reading!

LMHL

Sundie, September 1, 1844

Mother bot me this heer book ter rit in. She din't want to do it but peple in town said the new skool marm was coming necks week and said I had to cach up and lurn how to mak muh letters. I think I will like Miz Liz. 3 big crats of books came with hur nam on them. I lick books and wan to larn to reed. And rite.

Mother wants me to larn so I can b a teecher and ern muh keep, she says. After ahl, she caint be spendin good muny on somone lick me she says.

Oh, Law. That was painful to read, was it not? My first time taking pen to paper. You had to go there, didn't you, DeJean. Sigh.

Okay, here's the story—Mary Frances found out Miss Lizabet Harnett was going to be arriving and would be teaching the local children. I may have only been four years old by the calendar on the wall at the general store, but I was as tall and as wiry as a fourteen year old girl. Not that many people knew about me. I was a bit of an embarrassment to Mary Frances. But more on that later.

I think the next selection DeJean picked out is a peek at my first few days of school.

Mundie, September 2, 1844

Weel, tha was fun. Went to skool skchul schull. Miz Liz say tuh kep at the lettrs and the words weel com eventchaly. Mother walked me to schul thar n the ran. She n my cuzn Chris rod the mul we had an I walked. Chris is ninteen but I am almos as tal as hes. Maks him maddern a hornet but I cant hep it. He tol erryon I wuz his cuzn from Tenesee visitin for a wile an went tuh sit on the boys side of the rum. I think it wuz becuz Mother tol him to do it. Chris usally is rit nic to me evn when it gets him the swich.

Bak to school. Miz Liz wuz so nis. She shod me muh seet and gavv me a McGuffey Reader – I coppd the titl frum the book. She sayd she gonna teech me to red out of this book.

Mother tole Miz Liz I culd sweeps the flur for a penni a week. She says yes. Mother tole me to gives her the penni if I wanted to be abl to sits. I says yes. I don lik tha strap belt Mother haz. It don hurt much but she alwas makes me sit in the celar with the spidrs after a walin. I don like spidrs much.

Wendsdie, September 4, 1844

Todays Chris walked me to school and askd bout the girl that sits next to me. Her nam is Marie an she is as sweet as shugr. He tryd to act lik he was a talkin about the wethr but I saw his ears get red. Chris has always been nic to me so I tol him she is right sweet. He smiled when I says that.

Miz Liz said I could sta in for reces an she da hep me larn mor words. She is really heppie with how much I can member. Remember? Somtime she looks at me funnie like I has sayd somthin rong but then she jus shakeses her haid and moves on. I think she is prod of me when I gets something right.

Miz Liz sat at her desk whiles I swept the flor after school. She asked me to romp down the fire and I fergit to us the gluvs to do it. She was afeared I burnt my hands but I showed her I was aright. She just shook her head again. She shore dos that a lot.

It has been brought to my attention that some of you poor souls may not know what it means 'to romp down' upon something. Bless your heart! To romp down upon is akin to turning up, putting the spurs to, stoking the fires, put the gas to and so forth and so on, et cetera et cetera et cetera. Hope that clears things up!

Friday, September 5, 1844

Miz Liz had me stay later yesterday. I'm not quite sure why, but she seems to like my company. I do know I enjoy hers. Chris is always kind to me, especially when Mother is on a tear, but he has his limits. He has to go have his time with the boys in the class.

Miz Liz just is genuinely kind. She doesn't care what the other kids whisper or how the other parents look at me.

She let me stay late yesterday and read to me. I sat next to her at her desk, and she would read the words with her finger underneath each word. It was if a door was opened. Every word soaked into my brain. I can remember every detail of every story she read, every letter, even every smudge on the paper.

Miz Liz told me I could take the teacher certification tests in the spring if I wanted to be a teacher. She said she had never met anyone who could learn so much in such a short time! A teacher! To always have books around and learning! Oh, that sounded like the best thing ever!

I ran home and told Mother the good news. She just stood there a moment, her mouth agape, as I bubbled on about how impressed Miz Liz was with my progress. Mother sent me off to help Chris with the evening chores, and I was so excited I did it without a worry in the world.

I should have known better.

The last line was added two weeks later. Mother let me go the entire weekend without a care in the world. I thought I was going to go back to school and take the teaching exam in April. Unbeknownst to me, she went to Miz Liz' home and talked about what had happened over the week. Out of the entire conversation, Mary Frances took away the fact that I had touched a rocket hot wood stove without getting burned. She had already suspected that I did not feel pain like everyone else in the world and this information just made her more curious.

Sunday, my supper tasted off. I later found out, Mary Frances had mixed lye soap into my meal in an 'experiment' to see what would happen to me. The answer was not a thing. It was the first time she actively tried to cause me harm, but it would not be the last. I was withdrawn from the school without a word and taken to the few agricultural fairs in the area. News spread and well…I spent the next several years earning a pretty penny for performing - whether it be drinking poison, being shot or stabbed or whatever new idea Mary Frances came up with that she thought people would pay for. But it wasn't all bad. Mostly, but not all bad.

Monday, January 1, 1849

Happy New Year!

Last night had to have been one of the best nights of my life! I could not tell you how much fun I had. First, my dear Chris got married! He and his beloved, Marie, got hitched after preaching yesterday. They were so happy!

Chris pulled me aside before the service started and with sad eyes, told me he wanted to talk. I was a bit scared because Chris is about the happiest thing alive, and he was getting ready to wait for his bride. That is a time for joy, not sadness. Chris told me that he was sorry he was leaving me alone with Mary Frances. He's always been able to call her Mama. I have to call her Mother. But, he knows what she is like to me and for that, he was ever so sorry.

He said he wanted me to know where I was from since Mary Frances refused to tell me anything and obviously, I cannot remember everything. Just most things. Chris told me my mama's name was Genevieve. Isn't that beautiful? Apparently I don't look anything like her other than my eye color. She had blue-green eyes, too. She was very short, slender, and had straight black hair. I'm … not. But she loved stories and was loved by the community. Apparently, she could sing like an angel and the neighbors could hear her clear, pure voice float over the mountain.

She was a good girl until one day, she disappeared. Everyone was heartbroken—well, everyone except Mary Francis. Chris said his mama didn't seem all that upset when Genevieve vanished. Mother had raised Genevieve since their mama died giving birth to my mama and their daddy ran off and left pretty soon afterward.

No one saw Genevieve for almost a month. When she came home, she was different. Her face was pale, her eyes sunken and dark. She was sick, they thought. Possibly worse. Then one day, she was found dead in the yard with me laying next to her in a patch of liriope.

They did not know what had happened but she was buried quickly and Mary Frances was stuck with me. My earliest memory is of her coal black eyes glaring, her nose turned up as if I smelled like three day old fish.

I know it sounds terrible, but I was so happy to know that I am not the daughter of Mary Frances. I thought she just didn't like me or some such. People can be mean for no good reason but at least I know that somewhere in the dark recesses of Mother's mind, she has a reason.

I thanked Chris for telling me what he remembered. Goodness, he was only fourteen or fifteen when I was born but he told me in fifteen minutes more than Mary Frances had said my entire life. He apologized for not knowing more, kissed my forehead and then disappeared around the church to meet up with the preacher.

After the service, we had dinner on the grounds. Food and talking and laughing. It was the first social I had ever been allowed to go to. After it started getting dark, some of the men brought out fiddles and Jew's harps and got to playing. There was dancing and singing and stories and I got to hear it all! I think one of the men called my favorite tune 'Crystal Schottische.' I could listen to it over and over and over. And Mother got into the drink a little too hard so she did not even notice I was there.

Oh, my dearest Chris. He was so kind to tell me what he knew, even though Mary Frances had often ordered him not to do so. It was a reverse wedding present, I suppose. He gave me some little joy to look back upon which I was going to need. Not fifteen minutes after I had written those words, Mother returned home. Drunk. Not that she needed any loosening for her tongue, but it was truly set free that night. I try not to focus on bad things in my life anymore, but the words that came out of her mouth were not of the glorifying type. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Tuesday, April 3, 1849

Chris is gone. He and Marie have moved west. We won't know where until he writes. If he writes. They are both afraid if they have too much contact with me, SHE will track them down and ask for more money. Chris came by last night to warn me. They were going to just load up their few belongings and leave first thing in the morning. Since they live in town, Mother wouldn't know until the afternoon at the earliest.

Chris apologized for not taking me with him. I understood. No new bride wants to be saddled with another mouth to feed, though I dare say I could have been a help to her since come December there's going to be another in the house. Chris and Marie haven't said as much, but I can tell. I hear two heartbeats when she's near. One is her own soft beat while the other is fluttering fast like hummingbird wings. I didn't say a word, though. Too much could happen on a long road trip like that.

Years later, Chris did send word through a friend that returned east that they had welcomed a baby girl on Christmas Day, 1849. They named her Clara Louise. She would end up being Charlie Swan's several times back great aunt. Charles Andrew would follow about two years later and then the twins, Michael and William. My research found they had three children that survived infancy which tickled me to no end. In those days, to have three of your four children live was quite a blessing.

Wednesday, March 13, 1861

This is our last carnival, or so says Mother. She is getting too old to travel in a godforsaken cart (her words, not mine) from town to town. Fortunately, this carnival is close to home so I'll be in my own pallet on the floor tonight.

At least she gets to ride. She is seventy something, after all, though she would threaten to skin me alive if I told anyone that. Ever since Chris left to go west, Mother wishes to ride alone so I walk. Rain or shine, I walk. No one sits in Chris' seat next to Mother. He might come back, she says. Not likely, I think. He and Marie have three little ones and are quite happy since they moved west. That was over ten years ago.

Of course, it does give me a few minutes of being out of earshot so I don't have to listen to her constant ramblings about the demon child she was saddled with twenty-one years ago. Twenty-one years ago today, in fact.

The blessing in the day is we're going to stop traveling. No more Girl who cannot be tamed. No more Girl with skin of iron. No more Girl who cannot be poisoned or whatever hokum Mother has printed on a flyer this week. I never have a name. Just 'girl.' Though I suppose it is better than some of the names Mother has called me.

The curse in the day is that we're going to stop traveling. I will be in a small cabin with Mary Frances twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days of the year. Isn't that just…there are no words.

I will be back to write more later.

I have never gone from one extreme to the other so quickly in my life! Tonight, on my 21st birthday, I got my first kiss! Oh, it was so sweet. CT called me over to talk after my show. Tonight, a man paid to throw knives at me. I think the side bets were high as there were a lot of people upset when they just bounced off me. Unfortunately, I now have several holes to repair in my better dress. Can't say best because that would require me to have more than two.

Anyhow, Cornelius Tiberius Sunday (is it any wonder he wanted to be called CT?) called me over to talk after the show. He kept looking around while we talked. I finally asked him if he was waiting on someone else. He said no, he was waiting for everyone to leave so he could do this, and he kissed me on the cheek! I think I turned five shades of red! After the kiss, CT told me he'd come calling after church if that was okay with me. I said it was and had to go pretty soon afterward.

Best birthday ever!

Unfortunately, CT never came to call. I later found out from Mary Frances, who was furious that I had been so loose as to kiss a boy behind a carnival tent, that his daddy, the Right Reverend Sunday was none too thrilled to know his son was planning on courting a carnival worker. CT had gone to his daddy to ask to borrow his carriage to take me on a ride and Rev. Sunday had gone straight to Mary Frances. No amount of explaining could undo the fury that was Mary Frances and it was a long, long time before I was allowed to do more than work inside the cabin much less be out of earshot of her barbs.

Wednesday, March 13, 1878

Happy birthday to me again. 'Twas an odd day all around, I must say. First of all, Mother awoke me with a swift kick to my ankle before the sun even arose with shouts of 'murderer' and such. Seems this is what she enjoys doing on the day of my birth to remind me of who I am and where I came from. For. Hours.

After the third hour, I lost my temper. Listening to every fault, real and imagined, over and over for the past 38 years, I really had reached my limit. In a fit of frustration, I closed my eyes and pled at the top of my lungs for her to believe me that I wasn't as evil or God forsaken as she had rallied. In my frustration, I demanded she go find a bear cave and leave me alone. No sooner had the words fallen from my lips than I began to feel a bit lightheaded. I sat down at the table to steady myself. As someone who had never had even a headache or a scratch on her skin, this was a new sensation. A new and very odd one at that.

Mary Frances suddenly fell silent. When I opened my eyes, a strange gray mist filled our cabin and off in the distance, I heard thunder. My first thought was a spring storm, but I didn't have much time to think about that for Mother had a strange, strange look on her face. Without a word, she gathered herself up and hobbled out the door.

I called her name. Nothing. It was as if she could not hear me.

So I followed her. She made her way through the woods surrounding our home and up the mountain. I'd like to say I tried and tried to stop her from entering a cave near where I had seen black bears roam. But I didn't. I stayed and listened until the woods went eerily silent before I returned to my home.

Alone.

So, yes. Mary Frances was finally gone from my life. And that gray mist? Turns out I had a gift that I never knew about. I discovered it quite by accident but it sure did come in handy. Still does. With a little extra concentration, I could make anyone believe whatever I wanted them to believe. After Mother, I wasn't about to trust anyone else to know my abilities so I kept hidden. Every so often, I would need to go to town for something or other, and with a little concentration and a few words, I could make sure no one would take note of my appearance. I could be a ghost walking among them!

Thankfully, Mary Frances was a miser and most of the money she had earned from my performances was safely stored in a box at the foot of her bed so I could pay for anything I needed. I'm many things, but a thief, I am not. And, it was that money that led a certain brother-by-another-mother to my cabin door years later. But that is another journal entry.

Now, some may ask why I stayed with Mother for as long as I did and all I can say is that you have to understand the time I was born in. Young women did not just up and leave their families because things happened that they didn't like. I probably would have been dragged back to Mary Frances and then things would have been worse, I reckon. Besides, where would I go? I didn't know much about the world other than the woods and mountains I had been born into. Most of the people I had contact with were those that placed money on whether or not I would be hurt when shot or stabbed or poisoned. Not exactly a rosy view of the world, eh? Also, I had no family to vouch for me now that Mary Frances was dead and Chris was now in what would become Washington state. But, I would get my happily ever after, that's for sure which you would well know of if you've read DeJean's telling of the most recent Evermore Experience!

Thursday, June 12, 1902

Today was a most interesting day. After getting the garden weeded and my washing out, I walked down to town for supplies. Just on the outskirts of Valle Crucis, I summoned up my nerve and cast my for lack of a better term, spell, on the people so that no one would pay me any mind. After a few minutes to regain my balance, I hopped-to to get to Taylor and Mast General Store before it got too busy. Seems like every time I conjure people to believe something, it affects me a little more. Most odd indeed. And the more people I try to make believe, the more it affects me.

Like always, I lay my shopping list on the counter and stood back to people watch. I knew one of the clerks would find the list and fill it eventually, and I have all the time in the world so I rather like it. I regarded Mr. Brodie as he cheated Mr. Mast in checkers yet again while they talked about some new doctor fellow that was coming to town.

The words 'speak of the devil' came from Mr. Mast's mouth just as the door opened and in walked possibly one of the most handsome men I have ever seen. But something frightened me for he had no sooner crossed the threshold when his eyes fell upon me. I could tell right then and there that he could see me. After years of solitude, this frightened me beyond all reason.

I knew that I needed to get home and to the safety of my mountain so I grabbed my order and threw down some coins to pay for it and then some and dashed out the door, ever the while feeling a pair of golden eyes follow me around the store and out the door. Once outside, I quickly looked back to see the man pick up one of the coins I had left and study it briefly before he looked up at me. The man gave a small nod of his head as if to say 'your secret is safe with me' before turning back to the checkers game.

I don't rightly know if I should be afraid. That man seemed a bit different than anyone I've ever met, and I've certainly never seen someone who could see me when I didn't want to be seen.

Most, most odd.

But, he'll never be able to find my home. There's just too many ways for someone who doesn't know his or her way around these parts to get lost.

Well, I'll give you three guesses as to who this mysterious doctor was. Oh, and just a word—never say never. So glad I hadn't placed any money on that prediction.

Sunday, June 15, 1902

So, I was wrong. You can mark this day down. Liriope Missouri Hermitage was wrong.

W. R. O. N. G.

Yes, I know…it doesn't happen very often.

This morning, I was out tending to my garden, pulling off the cucumbers if you must know, when I felt like I was being watched. Every now and again, I would look to the surrounding woods and see nothing. I'd wipe the humidity from my brow (I am fortunate enough not to sweat. Oh, sorry, I am from the South—glisten. Hogwash. Most people sweat like pigs this time of year) and look up at the cloudless sky and get back to tending my squash and beans.

After the sun began to set, and I'd put away everything for the day I heard something outside. Figuring it was a raccoon searching for scraps or somesuch, I took a quick peek out the window and saw the man from the general store standing in the front yard. He held up one hand in greeting and carried a bag in his other. You could have knocked me over with a pin.

The man, who later introduced himself as Doctor Carlisle Cullen, called out a friendly greeting, and I told him he needed to just get away right now. It's not proper to come calling after dark, me a woman alone and him a rather handsome stranger. I shuddered at the lack of propriety this hussy had and told him in no uncertain terms, through a closed door, mind you, that he was not welcome here.

Did he listen? No. Instead, he said he knew what I was. Or at least, he thought he did. And then, he commenced to tell me details about myself (all generalities, mind you) that no one would know unless they had lived with me. He talked of my accelerated growth and how I didn't seem to age and how strong I was and how fast I could be and…well, he gabbed quite a bit.

Sometime while he was talking, I opened the door and stood on the front porch and listened, my mouth agape. I'm sure I was quite a sight having not cleaned up from my chores and it being late in the day but he didn't seem to mind. He never approached my door while he spoke, giving me a good deal of space as he revealed more and more.

When I finally gathered my thoughts, I asked how he knew such things. In the blink of an eye, he was standing next to me. He dropped his case and as quickly returned to the yard. I'll never forget it when he said, "I think we're more alike than different."

So I met the great Carlisle Cullen or more appropriately, he found me. The coins I had used to pay for the goods at the general store were over 40 years old. The people in town didn't care—money was money. But he realized there was something different about me and tracked me to my home.

Over the next few days, we talked and talked. I learned more about myself and what I was, and I learned his secret, too. Carlisle had come to Appalachia on his way west, searching for a little taste of home, I guess. A lot of people don't know it but the Appalachian way of talking is quite similar to Elizabethan English. Carlisle's not that old, but it was certainly closer to his past than say, New Jersey accents of the time. He and I could sound so alike that it was no problem at all passing him off as my brother to the people in the surrounding areas.

People didn't know who I was so they just assumed I had arrived with him. This whole lie gave him a safe place to stay overnight and me my first true experience of community. No one remembered Mary Frances at all so I was free to be whoever I wanted to be. That was quite liberating and set me well on to the road of recovery emotionally.

Carlisle stayed for a few years before he needed to leave. Life was harder then and while those around us aged, it was hard to pass off that we were not changing. He asked me to come west with him, but I said no. The mountains were my home, and I wasn't ready to leave quite yet. In time, I would, but not in 1915.

Over the next several decades, Carlisle's family grew. He changed a young man you may have heard of—Edward. Edward became Carlisle's son and my (by extension) nephew. Then came Esme, whom I love as a sister, and Rosalie and Emmett and finally Jasper and Alice. They asked me to move in with them which I thought was very um…no. I loved them all but I wasn't quite ready to leave my cabin. And I certainly was not ready to go live with six mated vampires. They may not have to sleep, but I do and that's all I'm going to say about that.

No, it's not…I pitied Edward. A lot. He couldn't sleep if he tried, bless his heart. And it's always the quiet ones that end up being the loudest, if you know what I mean. Meek on the streets equals freak in the sheets.

Tuesday, November 18, 1969

I received a letter from Alice today. Well, more appropriately, it was a book. In it, she described this whole full immersion experience that came to her in a vision. Carlisle thought it would be great therapy for me and encouraged her to write it all out and present it to me. He knows me well enough that I'll just say no outright if she had called but if someone sends me a book, I'll read it cover to cover and then some.

Somehow, through this Evermore Experience as she called it, we would gather together college students and with my gift and the Cullen bank accounts, we could create the world of my youth and replay my entire childhood. Create some happy memories to help me work through the bad ones.

130 years is long enough to spend cooped up on some mountain in a 12x12 cabin, Auntie! Alice had written. You need to get out and experience this big, beautiful world we live in!

Demmed meddling pixie. She's neglecting the one time I went to visit them. Took seven days by train just to get there and it rained the entire way. Okay, it rained the last day, but still! I was cold, miserable and scared out of my ever loving mind. At least I was until I met this delightful older woman who was going west to visit her grandchildren. We talked and talked and talked. When she got off in Denver, it was like losing a long-time friend. At least I saw there were friendly people out in the big, scary world.

I guess I'm just frightened to change and they all realize that and just want to help. Changes are coming whether I want them to or not. I have a feeling Alice has seen something and doesn't want me to worry. But I can see it. They are building more and more homes and towns are growing. My mountain isn't as quiet as it once was, and someday, I may have to move away just to keep my privacy.

And my sanity. Have you listened to a radio lately? Good God. Someone told these people they could sing? I know Edward is just going into seizures every time he turns on the AM. I don't have a television. Not much reception up here. Alice says it's coming but will be a few decades down the road. I have the time. And if they all keep sending me books, I'll be happy. Just wish there was an easier way to order the blasted things.

Evermore Experience. Hmmm…

The idea is quite appealing, to be honest. I'll just have to ruminate a bit on that.

I think it took me about two weeks to finally decide it was a good idea. Two weeks and two minutes later, I got a phone call from a rather excited Alice who apologized for the delay, but she had been out talking with Andy Warhol about soup can art or some such nonsense. I'd call her a namedropper, but she'd already know it and just laugh it off.

Alice did say there would be a price to pay, though. For every time I brought the group assembled into whatever decade we decided, I would have to pay a pound of flesh, to paraphrase the Bard. No longer would it just be a headache and some dizziness. I would age physically. A few gray hairs, a few wrinkles, a little sagging. She could not tell me what exactly, that part was fuzzy. But it would happen.

I thought long and hard. I had already lived almost 140 years, mostly alone. I figured I'd just keep existing with my books and my mountain with occasional visits from the Cullens. What did I have to lose?

So we gave it a try. I came down off the mountain, took my first automobile ride and began truly to live. The first Evermore Experience was based in the 1840s, the time of my birth. I got to portray Miss Lizabet Harnett, my first school teacher. Alice managed to find a little girl, bless her heart, that looked a lot like me at the time. It was amazing! And I was finally able to put a happy ending on my far too short days in an official classroom.

The second Evermore Experience would be set during the Civil War. Jasper really got into it on that one. He teased that he wanted the South to win this time just to make things fair but I wouldn't let that happen. History is history, and we shouldn't go changing things just because we don't like how it turns out.

The third was during the Reconstruction, though from where I sat, I really didn't experience much of it. It primarily focused on the time when Mary Frances was at her nastiest and up until her death. It was nice to say farewell to that memory, I will tell you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In a few days, the latest and greatest Evermore Experience will begin. I am rather nervous, to be honest.

Hush. It does happen from time to time.

This will be the first time that the experience is not from my past. We're going back a few years to 1827.

Years ago for Christmas, Carlisle sent me a computer complete with an Internet connection and explicit directions on how to set it up. It only took a week to get it up and running, but I love it. The entire world is at my fingertips, and I could finally find out what happened to my cousin, Chris. Turns out, one of his descendants was still living. And in college, just the right age for an Evermore Experience.

I'm nervous to meet this Isabella Swan. I want to know all about her. What she likes; what she hates. Who she admires and who inspires her.

I do know she loves the time period we're going to do this experience on so getting her on board was no problem whatsoever.

I'm excited. I never thought I'd meet a blood kin.

I do hope she's nothing like Mary Frances.

God bless her.

I think you all know that Bella, as she preferred to be called, was nothing like MF.

And, you all know that this was truly an experience like no other. Bella got her happily ever after. I found my Will and came down off the mountain for good. Life truly is a grand adventure after all.

A/N: Special thanks to my pre-readers, Genevieve Blanc and Javamomma0921. You truly made the story better.

Thank you, Readergoof, for the wonderful banner. I tossed out a few ideas and you gave me perfection.

And thank you, dear readers, for contributing toward uniting Mal and Leo. I have seen just how effective service dogs are and know this will be a true blessing for her.

**Part two of the journal will be written asap for the lovely Marijee who purchased one of my FGB offerings.