Chapter 183 – Skirl of Bagpipes

Arabella bursts into the room and throws open the curtains, shouting “Sunrise.” The glowing red sun pierces the blue sky with a perfect warm radius.

My two boys rub their eyes, leap off their bed, and join their sister. We spend the morning dressing in black and make the return trip to the south of the island.

Our carriage pulls into the churchyard, where five hundred eyes watch us disembark. Grief-bound suspicion rolls around with a straightforward question. How did we survive, but all else did not?

We take our place at the thirty-first pew, with the rest of the families taking a side each.

“God has a house with many rooms, and they will all have a place waiting for them.”, said the Minister, which is the first part of his ninety-minute sermon.

Following the service, sixty people gather into one group and are each given a large stone to carry before the Minister leads them in a slow walk through the village.

The bagpipes play as each mourner places their stone in a stacked Memoriam at the Cemetery. A sound and sight I will never forget.

Two days later, I stand alone at the harbour, waiting for the Glasgow bound ship.
I will return, but I have many things to do, and there is no time to waste.

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