“I looked at the long dirt road that crawled across the plains, remembering the morning that Mama had died, cruel and sunny. They had come for her in a wagon and taken her away to be buried. And then the cousins and aunts and uncles had come and tried to fill up the house. But they couldn’t.”
“Caleb read and read the letter so many times that the ink began to run and the folds tore. He read the book about sea birds over and over.
‘Do you think she’ll come?’ asked Caleb. ‘And will she stay? What if she thinks we are loud and pesky?’ ”
“Papa said nothing. But he put his arm around her, and leaned over to rest his chin in her hair. I closed my eyes, suddenly remembering Mama and Papa standing that way, Mama smaller than Sarah, her hair fair against Papa’s shoulder. When I opened my eyes again, it was Sarah standing there. Caleb looked at me and smiled and smiled and smiled until he could smile no more.”
″ ‘We thought you might be thinking of leaving us,” I told her. “Because you miss the sea.”
“No,” she said. “I will always miss my old home, but the truth of it is I would miss you more.’ ”
“Sarah brushed my hair and tied it up in back with a rose velvet ribbon she had brought from Maine. She brushed hers long and free and tied it back, too, and we stood side by side looking into the mirror. I looked taller, like Sarah, and fair and thin. And with my hair pulled back I looked a little like her daughter. Sarah’s daughter.”