no tears on our sixth Memorial Day. Memories of our parents had
long since faded. Even I could barely picture my mother and dad.
The major memory Julie had of her parents was the parents the dream
on her sixth birthday. "What are we going to do when they find us,
Timmy?" She had never forgotten that her mother had said that
someone would find us when she was almost grown.
ever gonna find us. And who cares? I wouldn't wanna go with'em if
they did." Jamie made a gesture to include the cave and the
island. "This is my home. I don't ever want to leave."
will! My momma told me they would find us when we were almost
was just a dream."
not, it's all I can remember of my momma, and it's true. So is my
little brother. When they do find us, though, I don't know if I
want to leave the island, the dogs, dolphins, the goats. There must
be a hundred goats that come running when we go out to Goat Field.
They even follow us into the ravine when we are down there."
know." Debbie had a serious expression on her face. "It might be
nice to see what's out there, and dress up all pretty, but I'd want
to come back."
"I think it
would be scary to leave this island." Sarah said dreamily. "I just
want me and Timmy to get married on my birthday next summer, and . .
"Who said we
were getting married?" I demanded.
When I was twelve, you told me we could get married when I was
"I did not!
Who'd marry us anyway? We gotta wait 'til we find a preacher."
preacher, Timmy," Julie wondered. "Ain't that good enough?"
can't marry themselves."
that since Jesus talks to both of us, He could marry us; like God
married Adam and Eve."
not!" I began to remember the conversation. "You said that, and I
said we'd have to wait 'til you are at least--AT LEAST--fifteen."
agreed with me about Jesus marrying us, and on my birthday I'll be
'AT LEAST' fifteen. So you agreed to it! It's all settled!"
talk about this! Privately!"
that's one bad thing about staying here," Jamie decided. "There
ain't nobody for us to marry."
guess you could marry one of the girls." Sarah offered.
marry one of them! They're my sisters. It wouldn't be right!"
Debbie exclaimed. "I'd never marry him!"
neither!" Julie agreed. "Don't the Bible say that you can't marry
know." I scanned my memory for such a passage. "Sarah was
Abraham's sister, and they were married. But that wouldn't count
for you anyway. You girls and Jamie were born to different
same as my brother," Debbie insisted. "Just like you and Sarah are
my parents. You're s'posed to be married. You're Mom and Dad."
Julie agreed. "You're the only momma and daddy I can really
remember, and tomorrow, you've already been married six years. It
says so in the Bible and you adopted us. All of our names are
Davis. I bet adopted brothers and sisters can't get married. It
would be a sin."
right." Jamie supported them.
just little kids, playing house, when I wrote that stuff in the
Bible. "That was just make-believe."
"Was it make
believe that you have loved us and comforted us when we were sick,
and bossed us around, and corrected us when we were bad?" Debbie's
eyes filled with tears. "Was it just make believe when you said we
were a family, and when you said you loved us?"
own eyes began to run over. "All that was real. Since that first
morning on the beach, when I heard Sarah tell you girls that she and
I were going to be momma and daddy, I have thought of her as my
wife, and the three of you as my children. Sarah can tell you.
After the first few weeks we were here, when we wanted to go home to
our parents so badly, I was scared sick they would find us and
separate us; and we would never see each other again. I told Sarah
way back then; it would hurt just as bad, as if you all died. Every
year since then, the fear has gotten worse. Now I fear that they'll
find us, and Sarah will find somebody else to marry, but she is so
young she needs that chance when we're rescued."
want that chance!" Sarah began to cry. "You said you've always
thought of me as your wife. Don't you think I became your wife in
my mind the day you asked me if I wanted to be married to you? In
my mind you were my husband then, and you are my husband now! There
won't ever be anyone else for me. After being isolated on this
island for so many years, how could I ever adjust to someone who
could never relate to my experiences? Don't you think Jamie and the
girls are my kids as much as they are yours? You and I belong
together as long as we live, wherever we are. I don't want to ruin
my life, trying to adjust to life with someone else, and I don't
want to give you the chance to ruin your life either."
never do that." I responded
get married on my birthday, standing on the Top of the World. Jesus
has always met us there. Every time we've been up there. He's been
with us, and He'll be there to honor our wedding. Our children can
witness our vows from the mountain below, and we'll be truly
great idea, Dad! Jamie exclaimed. "You listen to Mom."
laughed. It broke the tension a little. I agreed; and for the
first time, I took Sarah into my arms and really kissed her.
"I hope we
don't have to be in the ravine at that time." Debbie expressed our
ahead. If we stay on schedule, I should come out that day, or the
day before." Sarah revealed her plans. "I've got it all planned;
you girls can help me get everything fixed up right. Timmy won't
see me for about a week. Then, on my birthday, he and Jamie can
come up the mountain, and he claim his bride on the Top of the
they find us, now, before the wedding?" I asked. "They'd tear us
apart, and wouldn't let us go through with it. You know Julie
expects them to find us when we're almost grown, and so do I. Jesus
told me that the first time we were on the mountain. He also told
me that everything Julie's mother told her in the dream is true. I
am sure you girls have a little brother out there, and Jamie and I
have a sister and a brother. I would bet on it, and they will find
the wedding!" Sarah said emphatically. "I talk to God too. We are
destined to be together. You would know that too, if you'd listened
all the times we were on the Top of the World."
mentioned you and her being on top of the world several times,
Timmy." Jamie expressed the curiosity on all three faces. "Do you
know what she's talking about?"
know." I looked at Sarah. She gave me that little nod. "The Top
of the World is the top of the rock shelter on the mountain. The
second night of our first visit to the mountain, Sarah and I
couldn't sleep. so we climbed up there. Sarah was really
depressed. I think she said something like, she was on top of the
world on the outside, but inside she was in the world's deepest
dungeon with rats gnawing at her. I kinda put my arm around her and
prayed for her. She scooted close to me, and we sat there for a
long time. We both had a wonderful experience with God and each
other. Later we got down into the shelter with you. That was so
special to Sarah that we have gone up there to celebrate her
birthday every year. You may not have noticed, but she and I have
always tried to take a nap in the afternoon, so we wouldn't be too
sleepy. After you went to sleep we climbed up on the Top of the
World, to pray and renew that experience with God, and with each
other. I love Sarah so much. I have stayed away from her, and
tried not to touch her, so we wouldn't be tempted, but once a year
on her birthday, we spent the night on the Top of the World with
God, and each other. Up there, I have never had an evil thought
toward her. No matter how close our bodies were God was in us and
in between us, keeping our relationship pure. After her first
birthday on the island, that place and our nights there have been
more special than we could ever tell, if we wanted to. Its
private. So private we don't even discuss it with each other. We
just know. Don't we, Sarah?"
nothing. She just kissed me. She knew, and the others knew she
romantic." Debbie hugged Sarah.
Julie put her arms around me. "You are so fortunate."
day, we reminisced about the glories and the miracles of the past
seven years. There were so many of them; we could not have
recounted them in one day if we had tried. We did not just sit
around in a circle like we had in the beginning. They were the
major topics of the day. One set of miracles that were never
mentioned, was the special miracles only Sarah and I knew about.
Neither was the upcoming wedding or Sarah and I as a couple
mentioned in my presence, but our eyes communicated whenever they
met. Thanksgiving had been set aside as a special day to give glory
to God for our lives and the miracles. None of us wanted anything
to intrude on that, but I did quietly give special thanks for my
crawled like a snail for the next eight and a half months. Nothing
changed between Sarah and me. We still kept our distance, and did
not make any big display of love. It was in our eyes for everyone
to see. Now, more than before, we had to stay in control, and
remember what the Bible says about the sanctity of marriage, and the
things that are reserved for marriage. We could wait. We had to.
We never discussed it or tried to tempt each other. If we wanted
God to bless our marriage, we had to honor Him and each other by
presenting ourselves pure to each other before Him at the
appropriate time. Only during the nightly kissing ritual, which I
once despised, did we linger a moment in a tender embrace.
The days the
girls were in the ravine were pure agony. Each day lasted a week.
I tried to find something to do. The dogs were no fun. The
dolphins were no fun. I would run up and down the beach, until I
was so exhausted I could hardly climb back to the cave. I spent
hours in prayer and Bible study. One prayer the Lord did not grant
was that the hours, days, weeks and months would pass faster. I lay
awake for hours at night, and was up long before dawn. I did not
want to eat anytime, but especially when the girls were gone.
just as happy as he could be, swimming, hiking, playing with the
puppies, which we always had around the cave, or the dolphins. Only
Sarah shared what I was going through, and tried to encourage me.
some furniture," she suggested the first part of June. "See if you
can make us a bed, one that won't sag too much, but one where we
won't have to be separated when we sleep. I'll want to be snuggled
in your arms all night, even on the hottest nights. Build little
tables, like the Bible table, to put on each side of the bed so we
can have a cup of water in the night if we want one. I remember my
parent's had little tables like that in their room. Make us a big
lounge chair that we can both sit in. Build bamboo walls. Make two
rooms, or maybe, three, in the west side of the main room, so Jamie
and the girls will have their private places, when we take over the
rooms took some ingenuity without any way to anchor them, but they
took my mind off the dragging hours, and the time passed a little
faster, but when it came to the tables, and especially the lounge
and the bed, time dragged even slower than before. I dreamed of
girls began to disappear. Wednesday afternoon, Sarah, held me in a
long embrace, and promised to meet me on the mountain a little after
noon on Tuesday. "Don't go up there before that, and we'll be ready
when you get there. Don't be too late, or the others won't have time
to get back down the mountain."
our furniture, and we moved the girls' beds into their rooms. I
had made a large double door between the girls' rooms, so they could
open them, and be together if they wished. The rooms were quite
dark with the doors closed, but they could see to get around. I
still had a couple days left, so I made a little table to sit beside
each of the children's beds.
Leonard H. Hall, Sr.