Authors: Debbie Macomber
“But you left me,” I whispered.
He shook his head, denying what had happened between us. “No, my love, you left me. You go to Sean; he need you more than me. I never leave you, never forget. Always you right here in my heart. I know you come back one day. I wait. I pray. I trust God to bring you back. God hear my prayer and He send you to me.”
I could feel myself weakening as I studied Nikolai. His heart was in his eyes as he spoke.
“You bake me bread,” he continued. “You say with bread what too hard to say with words, same as me. Minute I hear about bread my heart sing and I know you not forget me.”
“Never,” I whispered. “I could never forget you.”
“I know. Deep down I know. I wait, but waiting is hard. Every day I light candle.”
“No, for you. I pray because I know you. I pray you remember me. Mostly I pray you feel my love.”
“I doâ¦I did.”
“Six months is all I can give you. You need more, too bad.” His smile nearly blinded me.
“Do you have any idea how much I love you?” I asked him.
He shook his head. “No, but I let you show me.”
“I will show you,” I promised.
“I show you, too. Every day for the rest of our lives.”
That was good enough for me.
I never expected to find love like this. How blessed I was to have found the courage to move on.
Three Years Later
My friends and fellow teachers from Portland High threw me a surprise baby shower a month before Rocco's and my baby boy was due to be born. They had plenty of help from Kaylene and Shawntelle.
Rocco got me out of the house early on a Saturday afternoon, insisting he wanted to buy a new family car. Being the good wife, I agreed to accompany him, although I had no interest in car shopping. The problem was my dear, loving husband refused to let me out of his sight. From the way he acted, one would think I was the only woman on earth who would ever give birth to a child.
When I complained, Rocco replied, “Argue all you want, but you're the only woman on earth who's giving birth to my son.”
From the minute the test strip turned blue Rocco had hovered over me. He attended every doctor visit, and went to birthing classes and everything else. He couldn't seem to do enough for me. He loved me before I became pregnant, but I swear his love increased tenfold after he found out we were having a baby.
Many a morning I'd wake up with his hand over my protruding tummy and hear him talking softly to his son.
The only thing we disagreed on was the name. I wanted to name him Jaxon Rocco Nyquist and Rocco wanted a more traditional name: Matthew Saul Nyquist. He'd had an uncle Saul he'd been close to as a kid who died when Rocco was ten. No way was I naming our son Saul, and I definitely wanted him to be named after his father.
When we returned from our car-hunting expedition, I noticed all the cars parked down the street.
“Neighbors must be having a party,” Rocco suggested.
“And they didn't invite us,” I joked.
When we walked in the front door the first two people I saw were my sisters, Karen and Cassie. The room exploded with cries of:
Cassie had her two-year-old son, Myles, with her and was pregnant with a little girl.
I looked to Rocco, accusing him with my eyes. “You knew about this?”
He smiled and shrugged. “I did, but if I said anything I don't think I'd live long.”
“No, he wouldn't,” Shawntelle insisted. “That baby best be born soon, because I don't think one of us at the office can stand to be around him much longer. Every time the phone rings he is ready to head to the hospital, and the phone rings a lot at a towing company.”
Leanne and Nikolai were there, and I could see that they'd provided a huge batch of yummy cinnamon rolls. The two worked together now, baking bread and rolls for area restaurants. They had become so successful that they hired two additional bakers. Leanne had been happily married to Nikolai for two and a half years now. No one could look at them and not see the love flowing effortlessly between them.
I was happy, too, happier than I ever imagined possible. I remembered how heartsick both Leanne and I had been when we'd left our husbands. We'd never believed a failed marriage would happen to us. We left defeated, depressed, convinced we were unloved and unlovable. Rocco and Nikolai had shown us otherwise.
“Mommy, can I help you open the presents?” Owen asked.
“Of course,” I assured him. At seven, he was a big helper. Rocco and Jake were strong father figures to my son, and I appreciated how they worked together. It helped that Jake was with Carlie. The other woman brought balance into his life. I doubted he'd be able to get away with the same thing with her that he had with me. I didn't know Carlie well, but I appreciated that she was a good stepmother to Owen.
Everyone gathered around as I reached for the first gift and handed it to Owen, who sat cross-legged in front of me. He tore off the card and handed it to me to read.
I glanced up and saw Rocco standing on the other side of the room, talking to Nikolai. Our eyes met and I remembered the day I backed my car into the ditch. At the time I'd been furious with myself, never realizing that was perhaps the luckiest day of my life.
When Leanne and I created our list for moving on, I never dreamed where it would lead me. The list had helped pave the way, leading us to healing and love.
To Rocco and Nikolai.
Jim and Dolores Habberstad
in appreciation for the joy and friendship they bring to Wayne and me
Rose Harbor in Bloom
The Inn at Rose Harbor
Blossom Street Brides
Dashing Through the Snow
Angels at the Table
A Girl's Guide to Moving On
Last One Home
, the author of
Dashing Through the Snow,
Silver Linings, Last One Home, Mr. Miracle, Love Letters, Blossom Street Brides, Starry Night, Rose Harbor in Bloom, Starting Now, Angels at the Table,
The Inn at Rose Harbor,
is a leading voice in women's fiction. Nine of her novels have hit #1 on the
New York Times
bestseller list, with three debuting at #1 on the
New York Times, USA Today,
lists. Her holiday novels,
Mr. Miracle, Mrs. Miracle,
Call Me Mrs. Miracle,
were all top-watched movies on the Hallmark Channel. In 2013, Hallmark Channel produced the original series
Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove.
Macomber has more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide.