Takes place after the series
“Are they here yet?” Meghan asked for the millionth time.
Oliver chuckled as he looked out the window then back at his wife, who was sitting on the couch, her leg bouncing up and down. He could tell she was fighting the urge to get up and pace again. They both were. It had been that way since they’d got the call that morning. Neither of them were really good about being patient, so having to wait hours to finally get what they were promised was hell.
“Nope. Not yet.”
“She said they’d be here at three. It’s three oh five.”
Olive laughed. “I’m sure there was just traffic or something. They’ll be here soon. Jude’s probably driving like an old man now that there’s precious cargo involved.”
A smile spread across his wife’s face, a sight he would never tire of seeing. After thirty years of marriage, Meghan was still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Of course, she liked to point out the signs she was getting older, the gray hair, the lines around her eyes and mouth, but to Oliver, they just added to her beauty.
There’d been a time he wasn’t sure they’d get to grow old together. Now that they were doing it, he wouldn’t take a second of it for granted, even if it meant wrinkles, bad backs, and achy joints.
The sound of a car pulling into their driveway had him turning back to look out the window. Meghan must have heard it, too, because she was joining him at the window before he’d even registered who was there. Excitement coursed through him as he watched his son Jude climb out of the driver’s seat. He waved at them, then went to the trunk of the car while his sister Violet slowly climbed out of the backseat with the help of her husband, Derek.
When Violet first brought Derek home to meet them, Oliver played the role of overprotective father even though he’d liked the young man instantly. He treated Violet like she was the most precious person in the world, which to Meghan and Oliver, she was. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t their biological daughter. She and Jude were their world.
When their parents passed away, Jude was eight and Violet was ten. They’d had no other family to take them in, and when Meghan brought up the idea of adopting her friend’s orphaned kids, Oliver had jumped at the chance. It wasn’t easy, but he would do it a hundred times over because he loved those kids more than anything else other than maybe his wife.
“She looks beautiful and so happy.”
“And a little tired,” Oliver added.
“For good reason, but don’t you dare tell her she looks tired. That’s the last thing she wants to hear right now,” Meghan reminded him as she pushed him out of the way so she could get to the door.
She threw it open and was halfway down the sidewalk to their children before Oliver reached the door. Her excitement was infectious, if not a little over the top. But the kids knew what Meghan was like, and if they weren’t prepared for her level of craziness, then that was their own fault. She hadn’t changed just because they were out of their house, especially since Violet didn’t even live in Seattle anymore.
Watching her move to California with her husband was ten times harder on Meghan than when both kids went off to college in different states. At least then, his wife could hope they’d come home after graduation. Now, there was travel involved and time-off requests and coverage to figure out before they could see each other.
Which was why they hadn’t seen Violet and Derek in three months. The longest three months in Meghan’s life if you asked her. Oliver could think of a time in his life that was far more trying than the last three months, especially when they were first married. Everything they went through back then gave Oliver a perspective on time that he’d never had before. One that served him well over their thirty years of marriage.
“Oh my god, she’s so beautiful,” Meghan squealed as she bent over next to Violet.
“Grandma, meet Elizabeth Meghan Crawford.”
It didn’t matter that they already knew the little girl’s name, both he and Meghan got choked up every time they heard it. For Violet to pay homage to both of her mothers when naming her daughter meant so much to them. Neither of them ever thought they’d be parents, let alone grandparents, yet here they were, meeting their granddaughter in person for the first time, and it was the most beautiful experience of Oliver’s life.
As his eyes met Meghan’s tear-filled ones, he realized meeting his granddaughter was the second most beautiful experience of his life. The first was falling in love with his wife. Without her, none of the rest of it would have ever been possible.
Without her, his life would be meaningless. Meghan was his life.
And what an amazing life it was.