Ellie Mae felt quite unremarkable in shadows of her legendary family whose accomplishments filled the pages of Dover’s history. Nevertheless, she was content with her life on Bowers Beach where the waters outside her window wooed her to come and see the mother she never knew, the father who raised her with gentle affection, and the husband she lost too soon. But there was Charlie. Tall. Beautiful. Talented. The daughter Ellie loved with relentless grace and persistent patience.
Charlie was remarkable. But when she finds her mother caught in the clutches of Early Onset Alzheimer’s, she’s forced to face the secrets that separated her from the woman she’d pushed aside while trying to establish her own identity. The mother whose music was kept hidden in a red satin box. The mother whose thoughts and prayers were preserved in the pages of her journals. And the mother who somehow knew what happened on November 16th. 1999.
Still Waters seemed to be the perfect place for Ellie Mae to navigate her way through Alzheimer’s. But it was the window overlooking the lake where healing awaited her. Through the glass she saw what no one else could see – the ways of God are not bound by time, or space, or disease. And in her journey Charlie finds the path that leads to home.
Here are some excerpts:
The walls of the delivery room dissolved into a shimmering veil of dust as the Heavenly being carried Audrey away into the space beyond. How could this be? Though everything seemed to be moving in slow motion her thoughts were spinning with wonder. Death was neither dull nor silent. The swelling sounds of music joined into the percussion of wings beating against the air and drawing them upward while shapes, and colors, and what appeared to be the clashing of swords, dazzled her senses. This was more than an out-of-body experience – it was out of this world. Clearly something incredible was happening in the life of Audrey Rose St. Clare.
Charles motioned for her to sit down. “I’ve given this a lot of thought, Mother, so I need you to listen without lecturing me. I can’t deal with being a father right now and I don’t know if I ever will. I’m sorry if this disappoints you, but you need to understand that Eleanor (Ellie) needs more than I can give her. I’ve tried, Mother, I’ve really tried. But I’m just too dead inside to care for a crying, needy, child. I won’t be taking her back home with me. I need to be alone. No, I am alone.” Having nothing more to say Charles left Esther sitting at the table in stunned silence as he paused with his hand clutching the knob of the back door. “I’ve packed up all her things. I’m going to bring them in and then I’m leaving.”
In spite of all the reasons why Charlie dreaded Monday dinners with the woman (Ellie)who had become more of a stranger to her than a friend, the truth of the matter was – she still needed her mother’s approval. So, tonight would be another night of enduring the monotonous droning of what her mother had for breakfast, how far the tide had gone out the night before, the rising costs of groceries and health insurance, and finally ending with the disgusting details her cat’s latest hair ball episodes. Princess Leia had a habit of depositing her wads of yuk wherever she had a mind to leave them.
A cloud of quiet hovered over them as their toasted cheese sandwiches sat on their plates as unfinished as their thoughts. Then Bernie leaned across the table and with her eyes dancing with a fresh batch of wisdom said, “Oh but Honey Girl, what if your Mama is seein’ more than what anyone can see? More than anyone could know? What if God is opening the windows of heaven to her right now and is showin’ her what’s comin’? Now wouldn’t that be somethin’?”