*One year later*
Christy closed her journal and stretched, rubbing her aching neck. She had thought that George was asleep until he spoke.
"I know what you're trying to do," he muttered, grimacing in pain.
"Neil!" Christy called out. She heard a kitchen chair quickly scrape across the floorboards downstairs.
Neil's boots thundered up the stairs and he rushed into the room. "Is it the baby? Did your water break?" He knelt beside his young wife's chair and placed a warm hand on her round belly.
"No," Christy shook her head, watching George anxiously. "I think he needs another dose."
Neil straightened up and began to prepare a syringe.
"Yeah, the medicine would be better than another dose of your stories! You think that faith can move mountains?" He yanked the blanket away from his legs and thrust the stump at her. "I can't even move out of this bed!"
"Go and heat up the soup, please, Christy," Neil said quietly, but resolutely. "Rose and David brought us a pot while you were reading."
Christy stood up, rubbed her back and then kissed her brother's clammy forehead.
He caught her hand as she turned to go. "I'm sorry. I'm just..."
"In pain," Christy nodded. "I didn't read you my journal to preach at you, George. I read it to remind you of all you did for me. Just because you can't walk, doesn't mean you can't help Neil to build the next extension on this cabin." She tucked the blankets back around him.
"You're not happy with having the first indoor plumbing in the Cove?" George teased her, remembering the wedding gift he had helped Neil to install.
Christy smiled and rubbed her belly, "Believe me, I'm grateful for it! This little one has had me up and down like a 'crawldaddy' for months."
She dropped his hand and turned to go.
"Stay, Christy," he called out, the pain from his wound spiking.
She looked to Neil who tilted his head to the chair. He was happy for her to stay as long as her brother wasn't griping at his heavily pregnant wife.
Neil swabbed George's arm and injected him with the opiate. He would have to send for more supplies. The number of young men returning from the Great War and needing their infected limbs amputated was almost too much to bear.
"You know that I wouldn't have walked back across these mountains and found happiness if it were not for you," Christy said, squeezing George's hand while she waited for him to drift off to sleep. "I shared my journal with you because I wanted you to see that you can overcome this horrible tragedy. God is..."
Her brother drowsily tried to focus on her face. "You won't let mother and father take me back to one of those city wards, will you? I'm sorry that I yelled at you. Please don't shut me away in..."
"We'll look after you right here," Neil assured him.
George slowly loosened his grasp on Christy's fingers. Neil tidied up and then walked over and pulled his wife to her feet.
She giggled as he scooped her up into his arms. He kissed her tenderly as he carried her to bed. Christy sighed contentedly as she snuggled against him.
She could not wait to start writing the next chapter of her journal. Christy knew that God would help them to carry all of their burdens and delight in all of their joys.