Kelly's Journey-Chapter 25-Legacy

Kelly's Journey
Chapter 25: Legacy

By Stanman63

Edited By Nora Adrienne with Special Thanks To Terry Naut
and to Heather Rose Brown for the Illustration!

Synopsis:After accepting Johnny's proposal, they consummate their Love, then tell the good news to their family and friends who celebrate with them. During the days leading to the wedding, Johnny finally unlearns his bitter defeat and his Heart beats brighter as he feels the bitter dregs of his betrayal wash away as his Love for Kelly heals his hurt.

During the wedding, Kelly's Journey is revealed as her family and friends tell of important events that shaped her life. In the wedding, Kelly gets a secret wish granted as her Father appears and gives his daughter away. When he goes back to Heaven, Terri finally gets to say Good Bye to her husband.

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* * *

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Johnny hugged me close, weeping, "Oh, Kelly! I have been a fool! A fool for betraying you, and since then, not being able to propose to you, until now!" ['She forgives me! How lucky can I be?']

I kissed him, "That's OK, My Love; I wasn't truly ready until, now. So, in that, you are not a fool." ['It has taken way too long for our reconciliation, but now we are together again.']

He held my hands, "But I was a fool for betraying you."

"Yes and a fool for getting up when your back might be broken. Is this a prank?" ['Pranking is our favorite past time,']

Johnny smiled as he blushed, "Well, no, not really. At least on my part," he laughed. ['I wonder what prank it is that SHE has in mind?']

I smirked as I pondered the possibilities, "Let me guess, our parents. Right?"

"Exactly! I hit the awning on the patio, NOT the concrete, below. It cushioned the fall enough that when I landed on the sofa, it just knocked the breath out of me." ['She is planning something.']

"OK, So, THEY sent me the message about you being at Death's Door. Right?"

"Well, Kelly, I agreed to it," he sighed.

"Why?"

"I had to know if our Love was still true. I did not know if I had lost you."

I reared back and slapped him, "DON'T YOU EVER DOUBT OUR LOVE, JONATHAN STUART WOODS! NEXT TIME YOU DO, I WALK!" ['I need to lay down the Law between us, now. Or else he will continue to waffle along about us.']

He rubbed his cheek where I slapped him and smiled, "SHIT! Kelly, THAT hurt, but I deserved it, too." [She'd only do that if she was sure, or mad at me. Probably both.']

I hugged him and cried, [sob] "Oh, Johnny! [Sniff, sniff I didn't mean to slap you, [sob] but you set me off with what you said. I will Love you, forever!" ['Damn! I nearly broke a nail, slapping him.']

He lifted my face up by cupping my chin, and gently kissing me, "Don't you dare apologize for that slap. You simply knocked some sense into my head. Now about the prank," he chuckled. ['I'm glad that she ain't pranking me. No, we've settled our differences here.']

I smiled mischievously, "Get in bed, and disconnect the monitors. THAT way, they will think that you are dead," I giggled. ['Never prank the Prankster! I guess that they'll NEVER learn.']

He hopped back in bed, grinning like the Cheshire cat, "Got'cha!"

"No, Silly! THAT'S what we say after we prank," I giggled.

Johnny laid down after disconnecting the monitors, causing them to emit warnings. So, I went over to him and began to wail," NO! DEAR GOD, NO! PLEASE DON'T TAKE MY JOHNNY AWAY FROM ME!"
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* * *

I could see him trying not to laugh as the room was invaded by everybody. When they saw my tears, they began to weep, too. Momma, like Momma Woods was wearing a sundress with sandals and summer hose. Mom's was red, Momma Woods was white. Julie was wearing red and blue work out togs that hugged her body, revealing that she had regained her svelte form. Mark and Poppa Woods wore wearing white Tri-County sweats and Aunt Debbie came in wearing green hospital scrubs. She had peed in her panty, so she 'borrowed the scrubs.

Momma came over to me, tears in her eyes, "Oh Kelly! He wasn't that badly hurt! But I guess that we were mistaken."

"Kelly, even though you can't marry him, now, you will always be my daughter."

"And my sister."

"My sister in law."

"And if you ever do marry, I'd be honored to walk you down the aisle."

"Don't worry, Poppa Woods. You'll walk me down the aisle. Right, Johnny?"

Johnny opened his eyes and shouted, "GOT'CHA!"

Their flabbergasted faces were well worth it. I waited as they got over the shock, then said, "NEVER try to out prank the Prankster!" I giggled while Johnny chuckled.

Finally, Mark let out his braying laugh, "Kelly, old girl. The culprits weren't expecting this! But they SHOULD HAVE!" ['Looks as if the lovebirds are back together, again. At least the plan worked.']

"OLD GIRL? I'll have you know that I'm the same age as YOU! Geezer," I giggled.

Julie got up off of the floor where she had slid to when she had her laughing fit, "No doubt about it, Sister, NOBODY can out prank, you!" ['I knew that this'd happen.']

Momma hugged me, "Kelly, we did it to get you two together." ['Getting pranked was well worth it.']

Momma Woods went to Johnny held out the monitor leads that Johnny had replaced, "Johnny, I ought to ground you. But if I did, I'd be grounding an upcoming broom, wouldn't I?" ['I misspoke on purpose.']

"Mom, I'm NOT a broom," he chuckled.

"You know that your mother meant groom, son," chortled Poppa Woods.

"I know, Dad. And I did propose to Kelly, She accepted. Now, may we please have some time, alone?"

"Yes, come along, they need to be alone," admonished Aunt Debbie.']
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* * *

After a few moments saying good night, Johnny and I finally consummated our Love. He was gentle as he entered me, slowly taking my virginity, claiming me as his. Now, I truly knew what Julie felt when she gave herself to Mark. And I knew why Momma had never remarried; no man could replace Daddy in her Heart.

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It's hard to believe it, but here we are, snuggled together upon Johnny's hospital bed. He was very lucky in his fall. Instead of hitting the concrete patio, he hit the awning over the gazebo. When I heard that he'd been hurt, I rushed to his side, not knowing if he'd live, or die.

I know that it was God Who had brought us back together. I was ready to move on, and Johnny was still in denial. It took God's Intervention to restore our Love. All that He did was bring us together, WE finally declared our Love after we had spoken about what happened, and saw each others pain. Now we were healed of our hurt and ready to continue.

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"Kelly? Why are you here? Johnny needs to rest," implored Doctor Way. ['They look so peaceful, but rules are rules.']

Johnny opened his eyes, "She is my fiancée, Doc. She's allowed." ['I can get used to waking up with Kelly.']

The Doctor smiled at us, "Well, Kelly, looks as if you're getting your WAY with Johnny," she snickered. ['I love being able to pun with my name.']

I threw a soggy napkin at her, "Just because you were the doctor in the E.R. when Johnny came through is no reason to be a smart aleck," I giggled. ['Too bad that Erin 's not practicing here. But Johnny might get squeamish about his jewels if she operated on him.']

"OK, Kelly, You win. I am glad to see that Johnny has such a tigress to protect him. I still remember my kids talking about you at Ronzi's. Do you ever go back to that cafe?"

Johnny sighed, happily, "We both do. Even when she was at her Grandpa Joe's farm, she'd return for lunch after Church. And I go when I'm not in school."

" Doctor Mia Way ?" ['Time to prank her, now.']

"Yes?"

"Do you go to Burger King, a lot"

"Why yes, my daughter is the manager at one, why?"

"I just wanted to know if you like things your WAY." I deadpanned.

After we had a good belly laugh, she went about her rounds, leaving Johnny and I to talk, I knew that he had something he needed to talk about from the look in his eyes. I was getting better at reading him, as he was with me.

* * *

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"Kelly, I have a problem that I must deal with before we marry," he sighed. ['God, please, let her understand.']

"Does this have to do with your former betrayal?"

"Yes, even now, I do not feel worthy of your love. THAT'S why I've spent so much time working out. If I don't, I have nightmares of that night."

I saw his terror well up in his eyes, a terror that I could not defeat, he would have to, "And Then you need a fresh perspective from someone who you trust. Only then will you defeat that demon, My Love." ['Will he seek out Mark? He helped to knock some sense into Johnny, before.']

He looked at me with hope in his eyes, "You know anybody who can help me?" he sighed. ['She seems so wise, now. I never saw it before.']

I smirked at him, remembering how dense he tended to be, "Duh! Johnny, you can be so dense at times. But, yes, I know who. Just wait. OK?"

"So, you're saying that I need to keep on with my workouts, right?"

"Yes, and your jogging, too. Just be ready for meeting the help that you need." ['DAMN! I sound so cryptic, or is that mysterious?']

He smiled at me, "I guess that if I knew, I wouldn't need to talk, I'd already be free."

"Yep, pretty much. Besides, I can't answer your question, for you, but you can, with help."

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We slept together, that night, and Johnny was discharged in the morning. I found out later that Momma had used her connection to arrange for our time together. The doctors that she works for are residents at the hospital, and she has told them about me. Truth to tell, I was not all that happy about it, but they each sent me a red rose, letting know that they cared about me.

I was still a bit jittery about strangers knowing about my secret, even after linden had died. [Yes, I will always refuse to capitalize his name. He does not deserve that respect.] But these doctors had adopted me as their daughter in their hearts. When we got home, there was a celebration where my friends and family celebrated our engagement, at least after Johnny proposed to me in front of them, that is.

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It was the Monday following the celebration when Johnny got back into his training routine. Even though he was not on any teams at the time, he kept in shape for the local teams in the Tri County Community Center . With his athletic prowess and leadership, he was picked as the Team Captain. Well, his habit would end his doubts, that day as my prediction made in the hospital bed came true.

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We were wed six months later by both Pastor Patrick and Father Downing. We were married in Pastor Patrick's Church with both of our families in there as well as the students from the school and the hospital faculty that had been there for me. Luckily, the expansion of the auditorium was able to seat everybody when the choir loft was filled.

In the Bridal Room, I was helped by my family and the doctors who had been there for me. I had just showered and refreshed myself when I was gently led to the lounge area where they helped me to don my white pantyhose and one piece undergarment over the hose. Then they helped me to don the white wedding dress. I truly needed their help to button up the buttons on the chest and the cuffs on the sleeves as well as the gloves.

Then Momma passed me an ornately wrapped package, "Kelly, as per tradition, here is something old." ['I never thought that this would happen when she was born, now I can see her as she opens my gift.']

I opened the gift and saw a beautiful gold necklace with a rose pendant hanging on it, "Momma, this is your favorite necklace."

"Yes, and now it is yours. I received it from my mother on my wedding day just as she it from her mother on her wedding day."

I kissed and hugged Momma and Granny, "Thanks, I will cherish it and pass it on to my daughter."

Julie passed me a jewelry box, "Kelly, as per tradition, this is something new."

Inside was two roses intertwined, "It's beautiful, but why two roses?"

Aunt Debbie answered, "Let these roses remind you of your's and Johnny's journey to reach this day. You have both come though a bitter winter into a spring of renewed Hope."

I began to cry as I saw the Truth of what she said. Johnny and I had both changed from the children we were; I had become a woman and overcome my demons while Johnny had faced his. We both had gone through a most bitter winter that could have destroyed us, but our Love for each other brought us through unto a spring of new hope, "I hope that my Johnny has a copy. He is my other half."

Sarah wiped my eyes, "Yes Kelly, he has two, one on his lapel and one on his cummerbund that doubles as a tie clasp."

Terry handed me a gift wrapped in silver paper, "Here is something borrowed from Sarah, and me."

I opened it and saw two lacy garters sewn together, "Two garters?" I laughed.

"These are our wedding garters. We had them sewn together since they were a bit natty. Your Granny mended them and now they are yours," replied Terry.

I hugged all three, "Thanks guys. That means that whoever catches the garter will have a most interesting marriage if I understand the tradition correctly."

"Kelly, your marriage will be far more interesting than any others," laughed Granny

"Well, I know that my life so far has been interesting, the rest will be more of the same, no doubt."

Erin handed me the final package, "Kelly, here is something blue."

I opened the gift and saw a diamond tiara with a blue sapphire and blue diamond setting in the center with a lacy train flowing behind, "It's perfect for my dress. Is this why y'all kept me from adding a veil?"

"Yes dear child. Father Downing and I want for you to have this. It is a family heirloom and we feel that you are our adopted daughter," informed Sister Mary.

"But what about your daughter? Does she not need it for her wedding?"

"She is already married and she has a ruby tiara to pass onto her daughter and loads of other heirlooms to boot."

I hugged her as I teared up yet again, "Thank you Sister Mary, I will save it for my daughter, maybe daughters."

Momma dried my eyes, "Kelly, this is your special day. It has taken twenty one years to reach this day. I know that your father would be anxious about you wedding Johnny. He would remind you of the old but true axiom: A son is a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all her life."

"I know, Momma, and I will always be your daughter, but now you have a new son and the Woods have a new daughter."

Then Constable Sebastian knocked, "Ladies, time to go down to the pulpit for your part in the wedding."

"Julie, are you ready to sing?"

"Yes Kelly, more than ready."

Then the ladies filed down to the strains of "How Could I Live without You" from the movie 'Con Air'. Each lady was accompanied by her husband, fiancé, or a selected gentlemen, many had been chosen to tell about a chapter in my life, followed by a song that Julie would sing. After the bridesmaids and groomsmen filed into their seats, the audience was expecting for me to walk the aisle, but was pleasantly surprised.

Father Downing spoke, "This wedding is far different from a traditional wedding. The Bride and Groom want to tell of her journey each chapter will be accompanied by a song sung by Julie Woods-Hart."

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Julie stood behind the Cantor's stand, "I am Julie Marie Woods-Hart, Soul Sister of Kelly Lee Moore. I remember when she was the son of Stuart Moore who died in the Line of Duty as a Police Officer. She proved then to be a Daddy's Girl when she climbed into his casket and sang "Daddy's Hands" to her father. That song became hers as she truly lived that song. She started having nightmares that only stopped when she slept with me or my brother Johnny." Then she sang "Daddy's Hands" which left every heart softened.

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Then Momma replaced Julie, "I am Terri Lynn Moore, Kelly's mother. Kelly finally found out that by wearing either Julie or Johnny tops or shorts, that she did not have nightmares. That was the beginning of Kelly's dressing as Kelly girl. And yes, she always remembered her daddy Stu. In fact, at the funeral, she told me that she could have sung "Daddy, Don't You Walk So Fast", but thought that "Daddy's Hands was better." Then Julie sung "Daddy, Don't You Walk So Fast" which caused the daddy's to hug their children.

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Momma Woods then spoke, "I am Andrea Lynn Woods, Mother of Johnny and Julie Woods. It was at a Halloween party that Kelly girl was born, thanks to me. I had gotten the costumes for the kids, but instead of Captain Hook for Kelly, it was Tinkerbell. Well, Kelly became Tinkerbell and found that she liked wearing dresses and tights. We let her be Kelly girl at home while she was a boy in public. It was then that Kelly found out how much fun being a girl can be,” Then Julie sang "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" which caused quite a few chuckles as the congregation remembered the antics and misadventures that their daughters had.

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Sister Mary spoke next, "I am Sister Mary, wife of Father Downing. We met Kelly and her mother when they were on their way to see Kelly's grandparents after the funeral. We hold Services at the Exit 51 Rest Area Chapel. We serve the many drivers and transients that ride on the freeway. Well, years ago, my husband had lost his sister and young Kelly helped us to renew our Faith in God. If not for her, we would have retired as bitter, resentful towards God Ministers, unable to be used by our Lord, anymore. But it was her love for her daddy and innocence that broke through our despair. Even then, she was Blessing others," Then Julie sang "It Is Well with My Soul" which made the audience think about finding God through your grief.

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Then Granny spoke, “I am Elizabeth Jane Moore, Kelly's Granny. When Kelly and her mother arrived, I saw a wonderful young man who loved his parents. It was then that we told him about his Uncle Jonathan Murray Moore who died years ago. Kelly mourned for him and said a prayer for him as well. I knew then that Kelly would continue to love others even when he was hurting. He taught me then about how there is a time for mourning and a time for joy," Then Julie sung "Turn, Turn, Turn", which made the audience think about the seasons and God's control.

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Grandpa spoke next," I am John Carter Moore, Kelly's Grandpa. When Kelly and his mother Terri showed up, I saw a perfect mirror image of my daughter. I knew then that Kelly would have a difficult time being a boy. My son, Jonathan Murray Moore was attacked one Halloween night, and as a result, became Deborah Leanne Moore. I saw in Kelly the very same future that Debbie had gone through and I vowed then that I'd be there for Kelly, for I'd not been there for Jon and he paid the price. If not for Stu, Kelly's father, I'd not have been able to accept Debbie," Then Julie sang "My Tribute" Which made the audience think about their tribute and vow to God.

* * *

Then Aunt Debbie spoke, "I am Debbie Leanne Moore. When I saw young Kelly, I saw my sister Terri, his mother all over again. I wanted to let Kelly know then, but I was not ready. Kelly in mourning for my former boy self gave me the strength to be there when he needed me. I knew that Kelly would need me one day," Then Julie sang "I'll Be There", making the audience think about commitment.

* * *

Then Mister Woods spoke, “I am Charles Tyler Woods, Kelly's Godfather. Well, little did I know that I would be seeing the development of a very precious girl in Kelly. It started when Kelly was Tinkerbell for Halloween one year. After that Kelly found that being a girl was what she wanted to do at times. Lynn and I accepted Kelly girl as well as our children. Boy or girl, Kelly is a rare gem and I am glad that she is marrying my son Johnny. And I know that if my best friend Stu was alive, that he would be here to escort her down the aisle. As it is, I see her as my daughter, too," Then Julie sang "Butterfly Kisses and Nighttime Prayers" making the audience think about a dad's love for his daughter.

* * *

Then Julie spoke again, "Yes, Kelly did dress as a girl at the house and a boy at school, she loved being able to roughhouse as a boy or girl and under Mom's tutelage, she learned about being a host and hostess. One time, Daddy needed a couple of escorts for a pair of boys our age, so Kelly and I agreed to be escorts. Well, those boys proved to be ruffians and Kelly trounced them good! She had earned Karate and taught them about treating girls correctly," Then she sang "One of These Days, These Boots Are Gonna Walk Right over You", which got several chuckles because they knew that I was dynamite!

* * *

Then Coach Rudy spoke next, "I am Rudy Jacob Franklin, Principal of the Tri-County Central High School . The students call me Coach Rudy. Kelly was often asked by fellow male students to dress as Kelly girl to help them with their girlfriends. Kelly would meet them at Ronzi's and would work that special magic and help to heal their relationship. Thanks to her, the school has very few teen mothers, nor date rapes,” Then Julie sang “My Way”, which drew a few chuckles because I did it my way.

* * *

Then Doctor Benjamin spoke, "I am Doctor Isaiah Ezekiel Benjamin. I am the schools physician for the Tri-County Central Junior High School . In his junior year, I saw that Kelly was showing definite female attributes that only his athletic prowess was halting. Conferring with a gynecologist confirmed my fears. Kelly had been given hormones turning him into a girl. Luckily, the damage was minimized so he stayed a boy," Then Julie sang "The Skeleton Song" to alleviate the sourness of that time.

* * *

Then Coach spoke next, "I am David Lee Hornsby, the Head Coach at Tri-County Central High School . Young Kelly would dress as a girl on special days such as: Career Day and others where students could dress casual instead of in the school uniforms. Kelly was a natural and won many an award for his athletic achievements. Unfortunately, in his Junior year, he suffered an injury that caused him to be sidelined for the season," Then Julie sang "They Call Him Mister Touchdown" and the audience chuckled because they knew that it was Johnny and I together that had won so many games.

* * *

Then Momma spoke again, "It was at one of the 'home' games that Kelly attended as Kelly girl. She wore one of my old cheerleader uniforms and met her best friends Julie and Johnny there. It was truly dangerous for her to do that because Linden Avery was once again causing trouble with his bigotry and anti-T.G. propaganda. Yet, all that happened was that Kelly and Johnny made out in the back yard. That's when I knew that I had to help Kelly find her way. It was a gamble as to who she would be," Then Julie sang "The Gambler" which caused a few grins because there was no gamble involved, I am Kelly girl.

* * *

Then Aunt Debbie spoke again, "Kelly and Johnny truly loved each other with a deep passion that threatened both of them. Neither could control their lusts nor their feelings for each other. If Kelly would have stayed, they would have hurt themselves and others without meaning to. That is why I took her to live with me and my parents. With us, she would learn control of her passions as Johnny's parents taught him control. It was then that I saw one song that was truly hers," Then Julie sang "The Rose" and not a dry eye was in the house for the audience too saw it as MY SONG.

* * *

Then Granny spoke again, "Upon arriving, we made Kelly feel comfortable and told her about her Aunt Debbie's secret. Kelly accepted her as his and mourned the loss of his uncle. Debbie, like Kelly was born a boy, but became a girl. Even at such a tender age, Kelly was working that special magic that blessed others. Kelly's innocence has always been a testimony to her Lord's Love for others," Julie sang "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." because I would always respect her.

* * *

Constable Sebastian came up, wearing his dress uniform, "I am Renee, Sebastian, Romero, The Tri-County Chief Constable. That was when Julie was captured by a certain former pastor who I will not name. When Kelly heard about it, she rescued her sister, from her ordeal, but not before she was raped. When Kelly learned this, she nearly killed the kidnappers, and would have, if not for me. When she woke up, she despaired of Life, because she had hurt others," Julie then sang "Karma Chameleon", because I at that time could not feel and emotion.

* * *

Father Downing came up, "Then, young Kelly visited Heaven in her dreams where she was healed of her hurt by talking with her Earthly Father, Stu, and her Heavenly Father as well. There, she learned to give up her hatred, and forgive herself for her actions. I was the one that stopped her; otherwise, she would have hurt them far worse. The men that she attacked did recover, and became model prisoner who once paroled, have stayed on the straight and narrow." Julie sang, 'He's Still Working on Me,' because I knew then that I still had a lot of growing to do.

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Johnny came forward, "My name is Jonathan Stuart Woods, Kelly's husband to be. Yes, I love Kelly with all of my heart, but I made a dreadful mistake, too. I listened to some others and let their poison eat away at my Heart so much that I betrayed our Love. When I did it, I dropped her off at her home, and went to confront my tormentors. I trounced them and won a pyrrhic victory. Kelly couldn't live anymore with her despair, my betrayal destroyed her." Then Julie sang "Queen of the Silver Dollar", for like her, I had been betrayed.

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Grandpa spoke again, "That was when Kelly despaired of life and took her life. If not for Debbie, she would have died then, and we would not have the joy of this wedding. Debbie applied C.P.R. and kept her heart beating until we got Kelly to the hospital. It was touch and go for several hours, but Kelly returned to us. If not for Debbie, we would have no Kelly." Then Julie sang "Let It Be Me" because she knew my heartache and was there for me.

* * *

Then Sarah Lynn Morgan spoke, "I am Sarah Lynn Morgan, Tri-County Medical Center 's Administrator. I was worried about the wrath of the bigots that hated girls like Kelly, and was ready to kick her out and let them have her... But instead, the fire in her Heart convinced me to stand with her when she held a press conference to thwart any attempt to harm the hospital. Thanks to Kelly, I was able to conquer my fear of such bigotry." Julie sang "I Did It My Way", because I refused to let them keep me down.

* * *

Terri Anne Volkirch spoke next, my name is Terri Anne Volkirch, I am a psychologist at the hospital. Kelly was seen by the staff to be pushing her self into an exhausted sleep. I knew that she needed to overcome her inner doubts before she could be free of her despair. So, I saw her, dressed for a workout. By that simple act, I was able to connect with her and in time, see her free of that doubt. She doubted herself because of the betrayal. But when she stopped doubting, she regained her spark, she no longer ask 'Why me'." Julie sang "Why Me Lord," because at the time, I was still searching.

* * *

Nurse Holly entered wearing her classic whites dress, she was quite young and loved showing off her trim figure in form-fitting clothes that allowed her to show off her legs. She had been a cheerleader in school and even now, dedicated an hour a week to maintaining her figure. She had graduated years ago and was happily married to her husband Richard Hart who was the heir of the Happy Hart Corporation that had bankrolled most of the local business enterprises in the area.

I am Holly Hart; I served as Kelly's nurse. When I saw those two all worn our, yet ready to continue their competition, I knew that young Kelly was on her way back. I had seen her back when she was on the team with Johnny, and those two would often parody the Mickey Mouse Club song when not on the field. And, back then, she never quit. I saw that fire awakened within her, again." Julie sang the "Mickey Mouse Club Theme", eliciting chuckles from the congregation as the remembered those games.

* * *

Nora Adrienne Doret spoke next: "I am Nora Adrienne Doret, a psychologist. I met Kelly in the hospital. Her family had her there for psychiatric evaluation. They wanted to see if Kelly would try to suicide again. I found her to be quick witted and overcoming her despair. She truly regretted her suicide attempt and wished that she could go back and undo what she did, but she also realized that if that happened, that we'd not have met." Julie sang "Yesterday" by the Beatles, causing many tears has the congregation thought about past regrets.

* * *

Erin came up next: "I am Doctor Erin Joyce Melton, Kelly's surgeon. I met her at the hospital, and saw in her that vital spark of life that she needs. Gone was the cloud of despair, and she was filled with a new strength. She now wanted to have the surgery for herself. No longer was she relying upon Johnny's acceptance to vindicate her existence. She had grown beyond that need. That is why I agreed to do her surgery, so she could turn away from her old self." Then Julie sang 'Turn, Turn, Turn' by the Byrds for that surgery was a turning point in my life.

* * *

Johnny spoke next: "At first, I was not sure about whether or not I should be there for her surgery. Kelly wanted me there, but I was afraid of being rejected. But later on, I went and I was there to see her awaken from her surgery. I was also there for her recovery, but I was still full of bitterness and doubt, so I left her there and went to college. But in leaving her as I did, I left her questioning my love for her." Julie sang 'And I Love Her' because no matter what, Johnny did love me.

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Poppa Woods spoke next: "Kelly went back to live with her grandparents, believing that was the best thing for her. But Andrea, Teri and I knew that she and Johnny loved each other, but they needed something to kick start their love into high gear. Well, opportunity came when Johnny had an accident. We convinced him to play possum to see what Kelly would do. She zoomed down to Johnny and they found their love again, and Johnny proposed to her, she accepted." Julie sang 'Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong' because now we were to be married.

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Momma Woods spoke again: "Yes, Kelly did zoom down to see Johnny, thinking the worst. And she did accept his marriage proposal, but they did pay us back, too. She had Johnny play possum and she wailed like a banshee about his death. That was her best prank yet, and we learned NOT to mess with the Prankster. And that night, they finally consummated their love." Julie sang 'He's Everything To Me' because that was how I felt about Johnny again.

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Pastor Patrick spoke next: "Now it is time for Kelly to walk the aisle. But instead of the traditional Wedding March, Johnny will sing a song as Kelly is led down the aisle by Charles Woods."

Poppa Woods took my hand, "Are you ready, Kelly?" ['I am blest to be able to escort to daughters down the aisle. Kelly as my Goddaughter is a daughter to me.']

I kissed him, "Yes, Poppa Woods. This day I have been waiting for all of my life."

Then, we both saw Daddy appear beside me in his Police Officer Dress Blues. He looked as young as the day that he went to Heaven, "Charles, if I may, I'd like to escort my daughter down the aisle."

I hugged Daddy, "Why are you here? I thought that you had to stay in Heaven!"

"Charlie, Kelly, Jesus gave me this Gift to honor your journey, Kelly. Through it all, you Kept the Faith."

"But I tried to commit suicide, Daddy!"

"True, but even in your despair, you never lost your Faith, you simply wanted to go home."

"OK, Daddy, but can you let Poppa Woods esscort me too? He has been a daddy to me."

Daddy looked at Poppa Woods, "What do you say, Chuck?"

"My pleasure, Stu."

Then they both escorted me down the aisle.

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Johnny sang 'Lady' by Kenny Rogers as I was led down the aisle. I was silently crying. My dream was coming true. I was marrying my beloved Johnny. Ever since that Halloween when I was Tinkerbell, I was heading to this day. We have been through our trials and ordeals only to become refined into two roses that are now being united in Holy Matrimony.

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As Poppa Woods, Daddy and I reached Johnny, Father Downing spoke: "Now, Kelly will sing her song in response to Johnny's." I sang 'Momma, He's Crazy! Crazy Over Me' which got Johnny crying.

"Kelly, from the beginning, you have been sure of our love for each other. Even when your Heart was broken, you still had the hope that we'd be together again. Only now, am I sure of our love."

"Johnny, we've been through the fire, and are now ready. Of that, I am sure."

Father Downing spoke again, "Now, Johnny and Kelly have a song to sing, together." Together we sang 'Love Will Turn You Around, Turn You Around' because our love for each other had kept us turning away from disaster.

Pastor Patrick held the Holy Bible, "Jonathan Stuart Woods, do you pledge to cleave to Kelly Lee Moore, to honor, love, and cherish her, forsaking all other before the Lord?"

"I so swear."

"Do you, Kelly Lee Moore, pledge to cleave to Jonathan Stuart Woods, to honor, love, and cherish him, forsaking all other before the Lord?"

"I so swear."

"Then with the Authority bestowed upon me by the United Methodist Church , and the state of Alabama , I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss."

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* * *

Then, Momma came up to Daddy, "Stu, for years, I have wanted to say goodbye to you properly, now I can," she wept.

Daddy swept her up in his arms, "Teri, my Love, I have until midnight to stay here. Come, let's go home."

They faded away and reappeared in her room at the Woods Estate and said goodbye properly. I should know, because that's what Momma and Daddy told us when we went home.

Daddy got to meet Julie's husband, Mark, and their son, Stewart as well as seeing Momma Woods, Johnny, Grandpa, Granny, and Aunt Debbie. At midnight, Daddy faded away, but we knew that he was in Heaven.

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It is hard to believe, but I am now complete. My journey is finally over and I can now live happily ever after. And to think, that it almost never happened, but it did. Here I am, with my beloved husband beside me asleep after our passion has been sated. And to think that we almost never made it because of our fears. We both had fears, but we have both overcome our fears and now we are together forever.

I began this journey as a confused boy wearing a Tinkerbell costume, now I am the woman that I was inside and the blushing bride of my best friend. I almost lost him, because he was confused about his feelings towards me. but he returned and now we are both complete


The End...For Now



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