Fawn Jackson stood as straight and tall as her five foot, five and a half inch frame would allow and tried hard not to look as if her black mourning clothes were swallowing her alive. She would not allow her sobs to break forth. If she had learned anything at the finishing school Senator Browning had sent her to, it was that a lady kept her emotions in check when in public. She had just received the telegram the day before, urging her to return home immediately. Holding the tears and fears in check was no easy task.
Her grandmother, known by everyone in the holler as Nana, used her elbow to press the cane in her left hand to her side as she swiped away her tears. Then with her other arm she pressed the other cane to her side using her elbow as she squeezed Fawn’s hand.
It would just be the two of them now and Fawn would need to find employment if she was to take care of Nana and be able to hold on to the six acres of land that had been leased to them. She would not be able to return to school. She was needed at home.
The minister finished the graveside service and the few friends and neighbors there came by and offered their condolences. “If there is anything we can do,” was murmured repeatedly, but what could anyone do? They all had their own lives, their own families, their own needs to attend to.
Fawn and Nana stayed a little longer so they could weep together in private. The dirt would be shoveled over the pine box later. It should have been raining but the sky would not weep for Fawn’s mother. Fawn longed to get away and pray to her native ancestors for her mother’s peaceful entrance to reunion with their great chiefs, warriors, and medicine men, and the wise women whose spirits still guided them today.
The two women carefully made their way back to the borrowed buckboard and their only remaining horse. Fawn helped Nana into the wagon, loosed Midnight Sun from the shr...