Resurrection, Part V

This is chapter V, for chapter I go here. For chapter IV, go here.

Suzanna Reeves

Suzanna looked down at little Claire as she nursed. It hurt. They had told her during birthing classes her nipples would “toughen up.” Nine weeks in, she knew they lied. But there was joy in it as well. A special closeness she felt with Claire, an intimacy only a mother and child could experience. She smiled in the dark nursery.

She detached Claire and gently flipped the babe to her left breast. She felt exhausted. The breast pump helped when John was home, but he was gone for District Conference this week meaning she slept only for the 4 hour or less spurts Claire did. The messy parsonage yelled at her every time she entered a room. There was some unidentified smell emanating from the kitchen she was too weary to hunt down.

Suzanna grew up in the small town of Vanceburg, in Lewis County. Vanceburg sits on the Ohio River, 100 miles east of Cincinnati. When she was a girl, it was remote. When the AA Highway was finally finished in the ’90s, access to civilization became easier.

She grew up poor but never knew it. It was true for many in Vanceburg. Her father worked at a saw mill, sometimes felling timber for extra money. Her mother worked at the nursing home.

She spent her teenage years between Druther’s, DQ and Chiggers, the local burger joint owned by the ever widening Bill Tom Cooper. Friday nights were Lion’s football. Wednesday and Sunday morning were church. Sunday night was United Methodist Youth.

At UK she had majored in Elementary Ed. She planned to teach kindergarten or primary students. She loved working with children and it seemed a natural fit. She looked forward to changing lives.

When she first met John, she thought he was a bit of a show off. A frat boy. Sure he was cute, and funny, but in a crass sort of way. Sarcastic. Over time he had grown on her and she had seen his gentleness, his kindness and the sincerity of his faith.

When he felt the call to ministry, she was there. It stirred her. She was proud and her love for him grew.

Now, seemingly moments later, they were through college, and had a pastorate and a new family. Though it hadn’t been her plan, she knew it was everything she had ever wanted in life.

Finally, Clair was falling asleep, her eyes closed and her lips detached, still occasionally sucking the air. Suzanna moved Clair to her shoulder, burped her, then placed her back in her crib.

As she reached her own bed, she thought about John. He had called earlier when he had a break between sessions, but it was a brief “I love you, bye” kind of talk and she craved a real conversation with him. Right now her bed seemed empty and cold. She grabbed her phone and texted him “I really miss you tonight. I love you.”

She fell asleep with her phone in hand, hoping for a text back.

What woke her was not a text, nor was it Claire. It was a loud knock at her door.