The four younger siblings had taken care of putting away the leftovers and Teral and Selana had returned to the village. Jarrock and Lana had turned in early as they were leaving at first light. Even Doctor Smith had retired for the evening.
Penny and T'lan had gone off for an evening stroll under the stars while Will and Brina were doing some scientific stargazing of their own.
John and Maureen sat at the table sharing one of the chairs also finding themselves looking up at the sky. In the background, the music loop for the wedding was still playing.
Nestled in her husband's arms, Maureen could sense that he was in a contemplative mood.
"Penny for your thoughts?" she asked.
"It's funny that you put it that way, seeing it is Penny that I'm thinking about. It isn't going to be much longer before we are giving her away in marriage."
"Are your thinking of letting them get married sooner?" asked Maureen.
"No, but in the grand scheme of things, two years isn't all that far away. It seems like only yesterday that we were teaching her to walk. And Judy was so cute trying to help…" he said, his voice colored with emotion.
Maureen knew her husband was still coming to terms with the loss of his little girl. She held him closer and reached up to kiss him.
"We were very lucky that Judy found a man like Don, especially when you consider some of the boys that were chasing her in school. Can you imagine…"
"No. I don't even want to think about it," John said. "But you're right, we are lucky, for so many things."
As they held each other the strains of Always and Forever filled the air and Maureen sat up and turned to her husband, "I think they are playing our song."
John stood and led his wife to the dance floor. As the very much in love couple swayed to the music, John considered all that they had been through. By rights, they should have all been killed when the Jupiter 2 collided with an uncharted asteroid, four months into the mission. But fate had intervened, when Smith became trapped aboard just before liftoff. Nor should have they survived the first year on Priplanus, or the missile attack by the cyborg planet, or any one of the other misadventures that they had miraculously survived.
As a man of faith, Robinson believed that divine intervention had saved his family's lives on more than one occasion, and with that belief, he finally found solace. If I can trust God to get us through the major issues, then I should trust him to guide us through the little things.
"I think we're going to be okay, Maureen," he said, as he held his wife close.
"I know we are, John. I know we are."