Moments in Time Chapter 2: Blessings

Here is my contribution to our group fanfic. I decided on a time that I haven't seen used very much.


She had always wanted a houseful of children, though the Lord saw fit to only bless them with one. This one child was such a blessing that his presence more than made up for the brothers and sisters that he didn’t have. Now, he was a married man himself; a doctor no less, and he and his wife were well on their way to having their own houseful of children.

She looked down to where John was playing on the Ingleside floor with little Jem and Walter, their glad baby laughter ringing in the firelight. How good it felt to be a grandmother of two such wonderful little boys, each in his own way reflecting little things she had seen in her own little boy years before.

Jem was definitely a Blythe with his chin, forehead, and general demeanor even at the unripe age of three. She often wondered why Anne hadn’t insisted on naming him for Gilbert, though it wasn’t her place to decide. Walter didn’t look much like either Gilbert or Anne, but no one really knew what Anne’s parents looked like. He was Anne’s child in attitude and imagination, but he had Gilbert’s patience already at such a tender age.

She was so content watching her husband and grandchildren that she was almost able to forget all that was occurring upstairs. It seemed like forever since John’s Uncle Dave and a white-capped nurse had arrived and rushed upstairs. Though both Jem and Walter had arrived without complications, the memory of that heartbreaking telephone call that Gilbert made on the day that Joy was born and died permeated her soul.

She had so looked forward to that first grandchild. She spent months knitting sweet little things for her to wear. She could hear the heartbreak in her son’s voice over the telephone line, and she knew the pain that Anne was experiencing. She too had known the pain of losing a sweet, white, little lady, her own dear Laura. Some pain never goes away; it only becomes dull with the passing of time. This shared experience led to a new bond between the two.

Suddenly, she heard a shrill cry come from upstairs and turned her head in the direction of the stairs. John heard as well, and brought the boys with him to the sofa to sit with her, hold her hand. They waited for word to come from Gilbert or Dave, but none came, and they quietly shared a secret fear together with their eyes. Walter soon laid his sleepy black head on her lap, and she nervously stroked his raven hair until he fell asleep.

Suzan Baker entered the room from where she had been keeping vigil in the kitchen and took him to bed. Jem yawned, showing that he too was growing tired, but he refused to be put to sleep. Even at his young age, he picked up on his grandparents’ anxiety and the general mood of the house. He picked up a book of nursery rhymes, and asked John to read it to him. John’s calming voice lulled the precocious toddler into a deep sleep.

Now the adults were left alone with their worries. John stepped outside to smoke his pipe on the verandah. There was a knock at the kitchen door, and Susan answered it. Apparently, a woman from Harbour Mouth had come up with some fish for the doctor, and meant to stay for a visit. Left alone in the living room, she roamed the perimeter, staring at photographs of her son’s family.

She though back to those two years when Anne taught school in Avonlea, and Gilbert taught in White Sands. Once Anne had forgiven Gilbert his childhood sin of calling her “carrots,” the two were almost inseparable. She was sure they would make a match of it. There certainly wasn’t another girl in Avonlea who could match wits with her son, not was there one that looked quite so good on his arm. She had always liked Anne’s imagination and ambition too. After the two had gone away to Redmond, she always asked Anne about Gilbert, implying something she thought was there. Then Gilbert came home for Diana Wright’s wedding all melancholy and depressed; not at all the Gilbert she had loved and raised. Anne Shirley had refused her son. She didn’t know how to react around Anne Shirley after that. She still liked the girl, but it was difficult to be cordial to someone who broke her son’s heart, in effect breaking hers too.

All things worked out in the end, and Gilbert and Anne were living a very happy life together as man and wife in Glen St. Mary with their two sons, possibly more. That was the most a mother could wish for her son.

Yet, what would become of Gilbert if something happened to Anne? She feared that she knew the all-to-painful truth that he would succumb to his grief. She had only seen one man love a wife as much as he loved Anne, and that was her own husband. Of course, there had been that courtship of Marilla Cuthbert in his youth, but she knew that she had her husband’s heart, and worried that if she was the first to pass away, he would soon follow. Mrs. Rachel Lynde would say that he was setting his affections on earthly things and shouldn’t. Maybe she was right, but to not know a love like theirs would be a death in itself.

The clock on the mantle chimed. Oh why wouldn’t anyone tell her something? There was another baby’s cry, somewhat different than the one before. Some time later, John stepped inside and gave her a quick kiss just as Dave came downstairs.

“Gilbert and Anne have something they want to show you upstairs,” he told them with a sly grin spreading across his face. She felt a little relief upon seeing Dave’s smile. If anything had gone wrong, he wouldn’t be wearing a smile upon his face. John ever so slightly grabbed her hand as they climbed the stairs. She could feel that he too was more nervous than his general demeanor showed.

John knocked ever so slightly on the door to Gilbert and Anne’s bedroom. Thankfully, they were greeted with a warm, “Come on in,” from their son, and his voice reflected happiness and not sorrow.

Anne was sitting up in bed, her face pale, yet overjoyed. In her arms, she held a wee babe already showing that she had inherited her mother’s hair. Gilbert was off in a corner, and appeared to be cleaning himself off. “Meet your new granddaughter, Diana Laura Blythe,” Anne informed them as she handed the little woman to her elated grandmother.

“Diana Laura Blythe?” she asked, both surprised and delighted.

Anne nodded. She is named for the friend that is closer to me than a sister, and the sister that Gilbert never was able to know.”

“Well I’ll be. I don’t know what to say,” John said.

“Just wait until you meet your other granddaughter, Anne Elizabeth Blythe. I’ve named her for the two greatest women in my life; my wife and my mother,” Gilbert called from where he had been working. He turned around, and held in his arms another baby girl with brown eyes and brown hair.

Another baby?” his mother asked in disbelief.

Twins appear to be my destiny, Mother Blythe,” Anne joked. “You don’t mind that we’ve named her for you, do you? We plan to call them Nan and Di?”

“I don’t mind at all!” the thrilled grandmother exclaimed. TWINS, John! Can you believe it!”

“Well I do see the both of them with my own eyes, Beth,” he told her laughing.

Gilbert handed little Nan to her grandmother, and she happily held both babies in her arms. They called for Susan and even the visitor to come up and take a look at the babies.

Have you ever seen two such beautiful baby girls?” Beth Blythe asked them.

The visitor only smiled and watched the grandmother who was proud as punch over her twin granddaughters, carrying them around so happily. Susan agreed with Mrs. John Blythe that no, she hadn’t ever seen two such beautiful girls before.

John and Beth Blythe returned to Avonlea several days later, telling everyone they saw about their twin granddaughters. Some thought they were overreacting. After all, they already had two healthy grandsons. They just didn’t understand the blessing of having so many children in a family. They thought they were more trouble than anything else. Beth Blythe knew different. She might not have had a houseful of happy, healthy children, but Gilbert and Anne did. With their blessing, she too was blessed.

Every night before going to sleep, she would pull out a photograph of Gilbert, Anne, and their four children. She would look at the image of each person in the picture, and thank Heaven for them. She would then fall asleep thinking, “What a family!”

A few years later, she stared at an updated photograph that had an added baby boy. Her breathing grew weaker, and she knew the end was near. With her husband, her son, and her daughter-in-law by her side, Beth Blythe departed this world for the next, thinking of her many grandchildren; especially the double blessing she had received that night while visiting Ingleside.

She died knowing that each of her grandchildren would have their shares of joy and sorrow, but that they would never be defeated by the sorrow if they always remembered the blessing of family. Together, they would share the good times and the bad, and always look fondly back at their times together.

10 Responses
  1. lovejag Says:

    Oh wow! This was an amazing chapter. Thank you!

  2. I'm glad you liked it. This is your baby, and if it doesn't fit, just give the word...

  3. iffie21 Says:

    That was beautiful adriennelane

  4. geeruby Says:

    love it. :) We so often hear anything abou tthe twins' birth.

  5. Wonderful chapter! LMM told us so little about Gilbert's mother. I'm glad that you've filled in some of the gaps.

  6. Wow! Amazing chapter! One of the best works of fan fiction I've ever read! It was beautiful, Adrienne. I am so glad you picked Gilbert's mother- LMM never did write as much about her as she did about John Blythe. I loved it. You're setting the bar really high for the next person who's going to write the third chapter.

  7. Rachel Says:

    That was a wonderful chapter!!! I like the time period you picked because no one has written anything on it. Great job!

  8. Una Meredith Says:

    I like it very much. It is rare to read anything about Gilbert's mother. Good work. :)

  9. lovejag Says:

    I don't think there's anything I wouldn't accept except for character assaination, but from the great writers here I would doubt that would happen.

  10. DylanLeeLo Says:

    that was so perfect and sweet. my art teacher says that a good artist knows when to stop and you always seem to have that sixth sense with your stories. Any takers for the next chapter yet?