When Love Shows the Way – Extended Epilogue

“So, tell me all about him.” Lizzy leaned forward toward June, eager to hear her latest news.

It had been a good while since Marie, June and Lizzie had gotten together. Now that they all lived in separate places, it seemed harder than ever to find time to get together.

“He’s kind, and he’s handsome, and he’s a blacksmith in town.” June blushed, “I don’t know though, maybe I am rushing into things.”

Lizzy shook her head. “If you think it is worth it to get to know him, then you should.” Lizzy was happy for June. She knew that she wanted to find someone, and it was time that she did. She deserved it.

“What about you, Marie? What is new with you and Timothy?”

Marie blushed, “There’s nothing new with me and Timothy, but I spoke to Pa the other day.”

“Really?” Lizzy’s stomach fell. She knew that the relationship with Marie and her father was tumultuous. He had been the one to send her away and the reason for so much hardship in their family.

“Yes. But it wasn’t all bad. He apologized.”

“He did?” June chimed in. She looked shocked.

“Yes. I guess I’ve seen him around town a few times and we’ve had a few conversations. I feel like I’ve gotten to know him a little and the other day, he said he was sorry for everything he’s put me through. I believe him.”

Everyone was quiet for a moment.

“Maybe he is changing. I think that losing everything makes you see the things you had at one point,” Marie said softly.

“I hope so. I should talk to him sometime. I’ve seen him around town a few times but have sort of been avoiding him.” June sounded skeptical and Lizzy didn’t blame her.

She wasn’t sure she would be able to give her own parents that sort of trust again. She had exchanged a few letters with them since she’d married Jake, but they were still quite distant and she wasn’t planning on visiting them any time soon.

Hope came running up to them, her cheeks flushed pink. Lizzy smiled. It was nice to see how big Hope was getting. She was happy and healthy, and she was going to the one room school house in town.

She was learning something new every day and had even had some friends.

“Did you hear that the orphan train is going to be passing through town in a few days?” June asked Lizzy.

“Really? It will be the first since the new tracks were put in.” Lizzy had thought about adopting a child from the orphan train. She had already discussed it with Jake and he had agreed that they would go and look at the children, just to make sure they found homes with people in town at least.

“But you both will already have two children soon,” June said with a grin, nodding towards Lizzy’s growing stomach.

Lizzy put a hand on the baby that was growing in her middle. June was right. In a few months, they would have their first baby together.

She had Jake had moved into a house that was a few minutes away from where June and his mother lived.

They still saw each other quite often, but didn’t often have the time to sit down and talk about things the way they were doing now.

“I need to go. It is getting late and it sounds like Timothy is already here to pick me up,” Marie said with a smile.

“Really? I don’t see him.” Lizzy looked around. There was no sign of Timothy yet.

“I can hear the wagon, I am sure you will see it in a second.” Marie looked proud of herself and Lizzy knew she had a right to be.

True to her word, Timothy pulled up in his wagon a moment later.

Lizzy stood and gave her sister-in-law a tight hug. “We need to do this again soon. I miss you both when I don’t see you very often.”

Marie nodded, “As soon as we can, we will get together again.”

Lizzy watched Marie get into the wagon and ride away. She knew they were three separate people with different lives, but they were still so entwined. It felt as if they were one family most of the time.

“You should come in and say hello to Mother, I’m sure she wants to see you,” June said, intertwining her arm with Lizzy’s.

“How is she? Is she doing better?”

“She is. Since two weeks ago when you saw her, she’s put on more weight and has had a lot more energy. I can’t believe that such a short time ago we thought she wouldn’t be with us anymore.”

“I know. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.”

“You do enough to help by bringing Hope around. My mother loves having her around. I can’t lie. I like seeing her too.”

“I know you both do. I wish that I had more time. Lately it has been hard keeping up with everything with the new ranch and the garden to take care of.”

“I know.” June shook her head. “Maybe one of these days I will come and help you a bit.”

Lizzy smiled, “Maybe.”

June’s mother was waiting for them right inside the door.

“Lizzy! I am so glad you came, it is too quiet around here without you and Hope.”

Lizzy gave June’s mother a hug. “I know. We are going to try and come around more often. Now that we are properly settled into the new house, we should be able to.”

“I can’t wait. Will you come in to have some lunch?”

Lizzy nodded, “That sounds lovely.”

Lizzy hoped that Jake would take his time. She could visit with his family for the entire day if she was left to do so.

—*—

Jake jerked awake. He wasn’t sure what had woken him up. It was time to get up anyway. The sun was already peeking above the horizon, making the sky a light grey color.

Lizzy was asleep in the bed beside him and Hope was in the trundle bed by the wall.

Jake padded over to the window and looked outside. It was another day, the day that he’d agreed to take Lizzy into town to see the children on the orphan train. People he had talked to told him that maybe they should reconsider before taking another child into their home.

Jake wasn’t sure that they would take a new child in, but he agreed with Lizzy that they should see if there were any children like Hope or Marie that no one wanted. If there was a child who needed a home and who no one wanted, he knew already that they would bring them home.

It was the right thing to do and since both he and Lizzy had experience having someone they cared about in that situation, he knew they would never stand by and let them go unwanted if they could help it.

Lizzy stirred and sat up. “The orphan train is coming today, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Yes, it is. I didn’twant to wake you yet.” Jake walked over and sat down beside her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.

Lizzy rested her head on his chest. “It’s fine, I needed to get up anyway. What are you thinking about?”

“Not much. Just wondering what today will bring. Remember the days when we would talk with every single orphan train we heard of? Or every single Children’s Aid Society worker?”

Lizzy smiled, “Yes, I do. I don’t miss those days, I have to say. I enjoy having her here with me. Every single day I remind myself to be grateful for the time that we have together because I never know when we might be apart.”

Jake shook his head, “If it is up to me, you will never be apart from her again.”

Lizzy gave him a tight hug. “Thank you, Jake. It means so much to me that you care about both of us.”

“How could I not? Come on now, we’d better get Hope up and get our morning chores done or we will miss the train.”

Lizzy nodded and her eyes lit up. Jake could tell that she was excited about going into town.

She hurried to get dressed and Jake followed her into the kitchen. As if she could sense that both of them had left the room, Hope walked into the kitchen a few seconds later.

The new cabin was small, a lot smaller than the home that they had shared with his mother and sister. But Jake liked it. He’d helped build it with his own two hands and it was their beginning. He enjoyed seeing the fruits of his labors.

He also liked living on a ranch that they had made together.

He hurried out to the barn and tended to the horses and the chickens. He made sure to check the cows in the pasture and milk the one that had milk.

When he got back to the kitchen, the cabin was filled with the delicious smells of hotcakes, scrambled eggs, salt pork and coffee.

Hope was laughing and Lizzy was setting a plate of food in front of her.

Lizzy’s face lit up when Jake walked into the kitchen.

“There you are. I was about to go find you.”

Jake smiled. “I could smell the food all the way from the barn. I had to hurry in.”

Lizzy laughed, “I doubt you could, but it’s nice of you to say. I’ll get you a plate.”

Lizzy came back a second later with a plate heaped full of food. “You look hungry.”

“I am starving. Let’s pray.” Jake took Hope and Lizzy’s hands in his and then said grace for their food and their blessings. He knew that everything he had was because God gave it to him.

After breakfast, Jake got the wagon ready and soon the three of them were off to town. They could hear the sound of the train whistle long before they arrived in town.

By the time they pulled into the main street of town, they could already see some people leaving the new train station with a child beside them or between them. It seemed that there were many families willing to take in children.

When they got to the train platform, most of the children were already gone. Jake left Lizzy and Hope nearby and went to speak with one of the Children’s Aid Society workers.

It certainly wasn’t a new experience and he half expected the young woman to recognize him, but she didn’t.

“Is this all of the children who came today?” Jake asked.

“Yes. There were a lot adopted in the last couple of towns. But there will be a new group of children in a couple of weeks.”

“Thank you,” Jake said.

He went back with Hope and Lizzy. The three of them watched as different people came up and picked out children from the line.

The children who were waiting were all wearing spiffy clothes that looked clean and well kept. Their hair was brushed neatly, and they had on smiles that might have fooled most.

But Jake could see that they were nervous and worried. One little boy caught his eye. He was around five or six years old and had the biggest blue eyes. Several people went up to him, but they walked away quickly and picked a different child soon after.

Jake was curious. Why was everyone avoiding this boy? Soon, the other children had all been taken home.
The little boy was still standing there, staring down at his shoes as if he were resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t be finding a home today.

“I wonder why no one took him,” Lizzy said sadly.

“I don’t know. I will go talk to him.” Jake crossed the emptying platform and knelt down in front of the little boy.

“What’s your name?” Jake asked.

“Nathan.” The boy looked up at him with big untrusting eyes. “You won’t want me either, just like everyone else.” Nathan’s voice was sad, and it sounded as if his tears were right on the surface.

“Now why would that be?” Jake asked.

“Because, I can’t walk right.” Nathan pulled out a short walking stick from behind him that Jake hadn’t been able to see before.

He took a few steps, showing Jake that he had a bit of a limp. One of his legs was just a tiny bit shorter than the other.

“Have you been on the train for long?” Jake asked.

“Yes. I have been on lots of trains. But no one ever takes me home.” Nathan lowered his head, his blonde hair falling in front of his eyes.

“Okay, Nathan, do you see that woman over there?” Jake pointed to Lizzy.

Nathan put his chin up just a tad and nodded.

“She’s my wife, and the little girl standing next to her is my daughter. How would you like to come and live with us?”

The little boy’s eyes widened, and he perked up for a second. “Do you really mean it?”

“Yes. I really mean it. It’s time you found yourself a home.”

The little boy turned to the Children’s Aid Society worker who had come up. “This man says he’s going to take me home!” Nathan exclaimed.

“Really?” the woman looked at Jake in surprise. “Do you know about his…infirmity?” She motioned toward Nathan, as if she were embarrassed to say it out loud.

“Yes, I am aware, and it is of no matter to me. I think he will be a nice fit for our family.”

“Okay, there are a few papers for you to sign.” The woman still looked uncertain.

“You wait for me here, Nathan. I will be right back.” Jake followed the woman and quickly filled out the papers that she gave him. Soon, he was signing on the line.

When he got back to Nathan, Lizzy was there in front of him. She and Hope were talking to Nathan as if they had known him their entire lives.

Lizzy stood with Nathan’s hand in her own. “I see that you found the perfect little one for our family,” she said with a smile.

“Yes, I did. It looks like our family is growing a lot faster than we expected.”

Lizzy giggled. “Who knows? Maybe we will have those six children after all.”

Jake followed the three of them to the wagon. When they got there, he lifted Nathan into the back along with Hope.

“Come on then, let’s go and see your new home.”

Nathan looked as if he were dumbstruck and didn’t understand a single thing that was happening. He had a happy smile on his face and kept looking between Jake, Hope and Lizzy.

Jake had a feeling he was going to like his new home and his life as their son.

—*—

Jake stared out the cabin window. Hope and Nathan were running around in the front yard. It was a sunny day, perfect for two children to be rough housing together in the breeze.

“You’d never know they weren’t siblings,” Lizzy said from beside him. “It’s like seeing a miracle.”

It had been nearly three weeks since they had brought Nathan home. He had fit right in to their family, like he was the missing piece of the puzzle. Jake knew that their new child would also fit right in and soon they would be a family of five.

“Yes, they do look like siblings, and that is what they are.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and brought her closer. He placed a gentle kiss on the side of her head. “You know, maybe we should always check the trains when they come through, just in case there is another Nathan.”

Lizzy giggled and nodded, “Maybe it would be a good idea. But I don’t know how many children we have room for.”

“Don’t worry. I am sure that my mother would lend us some room, or even June or Marie if need be.”
“It is something to consider for the future.” Lizzy sounded hopeful.

“Did you ever think this was where we would end up when you saw me in the hotel that first time?” Jake asked.

“Absolutely not. I guess in a way we have Eddie to thank for all of this. If he hadn’t taken my daughter and prolonged our stay in Sequoia, maybe we wouldn’t have ended up together.”

“We would have ended up together, I am sure of it,” Jake said with a grin. He’d started to have feelings for Lizzy on their way to Sequoia. Even if things had happened differently, he would have found a way to make her fall in love with him.

“Did I ever tell you I am the luckiest woman in the west?” Lizzy asked, looking up at him with bright eyes full of love.

“Well, I am not the luckiest man in the west.” Jake shook his head.

“You’re not?” Lizzy laughed.

“No, I am the luckiest man in the world.” And Jake meant it. He had every one of his dreams, right there on his tiny little ranch. He was a happy man and could ask for nothing more.

THE END


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120 thoughts on “When Love Shows the Way – Extended Epilogue”

    1. thank you so much for an entertaining day. I read the book and loved the storyline and the characters and Gods place in this story too. Dont want to be a a person that would ruin a great read so I can only say , If you get this book you will love it way to go 🙂

      1. Good, clean, endearing story stirring up sad but hopeful emotions for some of the characters that I can identify with – and I am a rough and tumble man!

    2. I think your story is very aptly named. It seemed many of the characters were in rather difficult and frightening situations at times but the happy conclusion is the result of them finding love.

    3. Thank you for a wonderful story i found it a very moving story and really enjoyed it
      I hope to see more of your books and can’t wait to see what you do next

        1. This was a great story, a great read. I had to put it down around 3:00AM. I don’t do that often with stories, just great stories.
          You will find great characters in turmoil, sadness, come out with peace.
          I don’t want to tell to much.
          Just read the story & enjoy.

    4. So very enjoyable to read. This books is filled with so many emotions & kept me reading to know more. & the extended epilogue was a wonderful final ending.

    5. What a wonderful story of love, mercy, and forgiveness. You touched my heart about love for the handicap. I have a sister who is Down Syndrome. She means the world to me. God puts these special people in our lives to love and protect them. Blessings to you.

    6. I loved every minute of this amazing story, filled with moments of faith,hope and love . This unbelievably heartfelt and beautiful story of people who find themselves against prejudices about how some one looks was a story that speaks to the heart of everyone that has ever faced these issues. Thank you for writing a truly inspirational story.

    7. This was a wonderful love story. I really enjoyed reading it and liked the extended epilogue. Thanks for sharing your book with me. I hope to read more of them in the future.

      1. What a wonderful read. Thank you so much for adding the extended epilogue. I fell in love with these characters and was happy to get even more of them.
        I have my fingers crossed for a story featuring Marie or June!

    8. I loved reading this book and extended epilogue with Lizzy and Jake. Oh how beautiful this book was and seeing children with imperfections get their homes at last was a wonderful experience. Great job once again Carol Colyer

    9. What a wonderful story, I enjoyed it from beginning to the end. I was so happy Lizzy found hope and true love with Jake. A very happy ending.

    10. I enjoyed the book, the epilogue was hard to find and since I have a kindle reader I had to read it on my I Phone. Why not put it at the end of the book like other authors

    11. I loved this book so much, and can’t wait for the next one.. I was so happy that they got together and are so happy together, you do a good job. Thank you. Ada G.

    12. I loved the book! It was a wonderful read. It contained plenty of adventure, love, sorrow, danger and I loved the ending!!

    13. That was the best story I have read in a long time and I read everyday and have read lots if books .
      is was wonderful and the extension filled my heart.

    14. Thank you Miss Carol for this wonderful epilogue to an amazing book. I enjoyed reading about Jake and Lizzy and their family. Thank you for your wonderful clean writing

    15. Enjoyed this story very much. It has many lesson for this day about being a foster home for 25 years. I have no regrets to this day of the differences whether they be physical or mental capacity I love them anyways and always treated them like my family. I loved the love story and look forward to reading more of your books. Thank you.

    16. I absolutely enjoyed every bit of this story!! Started reading it and couldn’t put it down! Thank you so much!! So anxious to read another of your books!!

    17. Thank you so much for this book. I cried so much reading it and I could hardly stop reading it. I really got a great blessing from it. You are such a great writer. I can not wait until I read more of your work. Again thanks and God bless you

      Always a fan

      Mary

      1. I am truly humbled by your heartwarming comment my dear Mary! I really hope I can always write books you enjoy as much! Your sweet support is what keeps me going! ❤️

    18. This was such a wonderful story of love, forgiveness, acceptance and so many more things. Unconditionally comes to mind as well but I guess that goes hand in hand with acceptance. Though I never remember the names of the books I’ve read as I read so many, the plot and characters of this book will not be forgotten. Thank you Carol for this great book!

    19. As always your books are special.
      Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Epilogue was the perfect ending, showing the love of Jake and Lizzy for each other and their capacity to share their love.

    20. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed your book. It was well written and had a great deal of characters to keep track of. I liked the story and the deep meaning associated with the story. It was a clean book and they are pretty hard to find these dsys. Thanks again for the real read.

      1. I truly appreciate your kind feedback and your support dear Jeannie! I am glad you liked it as much and I hope you find more enjoyable reads among my novels!

    21. I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down ! So happy that everything worked out so well for everyone in this story! There should be more men like Jake in the world today!

  1. What a heartwarming story and the extended epilogue is one of the best that I have read. I look forward to your next book.

  2. This is a very enjoyable read and the characters are determined and emotional The extended epilogue is very good and I am glad for such a happy ending

  3. This was a truly an interesting story with a lot of excitement with strong characters and very heart rendering family issues. It was great how it all came together in the end.

  4. I found this book to be heart rending. It shows that good can come from bad and that children are something to be thankful for no matter what.

  5. Loved the story. I love you as one of my favorite authors. These stories are always uplifting and enjoyable. Thank You

  6. I enjoyed this book so much. In fact, I have enjoyed every book you wrote that I have read.
    Thank you for interesting westerns. My favorite subject.
    I highly recommend your books.

  7. I admired Jake and Lizzy’s tenacity in pursuing their lost children and how their determination paid off in the end. I loved that in the struggle of good versus evil, good prevailed. I really loved the emphasis on the fact that each person regardless of their outward appearance is unique and very valuable in God’s sight and should be in ours as well. This novel was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to one and all! As the author, you are to be commended!

  8. I was a foster home for twenty five years and took care of them like they were my family. I even took them on vacations with me. If I ever heard anything negative about them I always protected them with wise words. I enjoyed your book and know we need to thank the good Lord for things he does for us. My niece has epilepsie and it makes no difference to me as we all need love. Thanks for showing us how people can love others who are special.

  9. A very touching and creative story with lovable characters whose lives were were saddened by cruel and selfish people. There’s drama, suspense and a sweet romance, everything that a good story needs to make it interesting.

  10. Two single persons looking for missing family members which had imperfections found love at the end along with God answering their prayers and hunt. Many happenings involving poor familial relationships, danger, and unfounded religious beliefs occurred to make this a book one you couldn’t put down!

  11. I was on pins and needles, to say the least, while reading this story. Though there was cruelty by close family members and others which caused me to step back and regroup to continue reading, there was also love and hope that made me see it to the end.
    This story has also given me insight and motivation to overcome my writer’s block on a couple of stories I am writing that deal with my characters’ physical maladies.
    An awesome read!!!

  12. I loved the story, Ms. Colyer! The epilogue was your best one yet, touching the heart as it did with Marie forgiving her bigoted father, then Jake and Lizzie adopting Nathan. I love kind people. Wish there were more in real life.
    Singing

  13. There have been few books that have mentioned an “orphans train” and that is very much a part of our history. Thanks for a very good story. Enjoy!

  14. Thank you for a good story! I was glad Marie found her
    Way back to her family bringing her husband with her.
    Jake helps Lizzie find the daughter her husband stole
    From her, and they finally open up to their love for each
    Other

  15. Thank you for such a sweet captivating story that shows how God can and will work things out in our lives. Evil is determined to ruin the future for Jake and Lizzie, but brighter days were ahead for everyone.

  16. Another brilliant read, I could not put the I pad down, I read this book in two evenings, the characters were so real. The epilogue, was wonderful, finding a little boy and giving the love he deserved. Thank you again. My husband passed away before Christmas, and I live for thes books they keep me going.

    1. I’m deeply moved that the book provided solace during this tough time. I’m sorry for your loss. Your words mean a lot, and I’m grateful the stories offer some comfort. If you ever want to share your thoughts or need anything, feel free to reach out. Wishing you strength and moments of joy.

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