Healing Hearts (New Hope Falls #6) - Kimberly Rae Jordan


Sophia Haldorson shut off the car’s engine, then turned to look at her almost-five-year-old son who sat in his car seat behind her. “Ready to go see Nana?”

He nodded, his unruly curls dancing with the movement of his head. “I can color there, right?”

“Yep. You know Nana has crayons and coloring books for you.” She smiled at him. “You can undo your buckle now.”

“Thanks, Momma.”

She pulled the keys from the ignition and dropped them in her purse before getting out of the car. When she opened the back door, Bryson climbed out holding a small bag and immediately took her hand.

Together, they hurried toward the entrance of the personal care home where her grandmother now lived. Small puddles from the rain earlier in the day dotted the asphalt of the parking lot, but unlike many kids his age, Bryson wasn’t drawn to them. Despite Sophia’s best efforts encouraging him to indulge in things like puddle jumping, he wasn’t having any of it.

Hoping that the rain was over for the time being, Sophia looked up. She was happy to see that the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds that were streaked across the sky like a diaphanous white veil.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

The verse flitted through her mind, catching her a bit off-guard. It had happened a lot over the years she’d been away. Something would trigger a verse or a song, always things she had memorized growing up. Somehow, she thought that it would be a less frequent occurrence now that she and Bryson were back home.

She didn’t have time to dwell on that thought right then, however, as Bryson practically dragged her to the doors leading into the building. As they walked through the foyer of the care home, the nurse behind the receptionist desk smiled at them.

“Hiya, Bryson. How’s it going?”

Bryson pressed closer to Sophia as he looked at the matronly nurse who greeted him. “Good.”

Sophia was glad that he responded, except she knew that it was an automatic response, born out of a fear of repercussions. Not from her. Never from her. But they were both still having to relearn their responses and reactions.

“I’m glad to hear that.” She gave Bryson a wink. “I know Nana is looking forward to your visit.”

Bryson nodded, then looked up at Sophia.

“Yep, and we’re looking forward to seeing her too,” Sophia said. “We brought her a treat.”

When Bryson lifted the bag, the nurse said, “Well, I won’t keep you because I know Nana loves treats.”

They said goodbye and made their way to Nana’s room. It was a corner room at the end of a long hallway, and on sunny days, it was flooded with light.

“My sunshines!” Nana greeted them with a broad smile and held out her arms.

With only the briefest of hesitations, Bryson moved to where she sat in her wheelchair and gave her a hug. Sophia wanted to weep with relief at seeing how Nana’s love was drawing him out of his reserved shell, even if it was just a tiny bit at a time.

“Look at you, my handsome boy.” Nana cupped his face in her hands and kissed his forehead, then looked up at Sophia. “And look at you, my beautiful girl.”

Sophia bent to kiss her cheek. “You look very nice. Did you get your hair cut?”

“I did.” Nana fluffed her white curls, then held her hands out. “And I got my nails done too.”

“That’s a very lovely color for spring,” Sophia said, admiring the bright shade of pink on her grandma’s nails.

Bryson climbed up on the chair he always used at the small table that sat next to the window. He leaned over and put the bag on the table in front of Nana. “We brought you cookies.”

“Oooh.” Nana picked up the bag and opened it, inhaling as she did. “Snickerdoodles? My favorite.”

“I helped Momma,” Bryson told her as Sophia settled into the other chair at the table.

Nana took a cookie out of the bag and bit into it. “I can taste your help, Bryson. This is a super yummy cookie.”

Bryson beamed at her words, and Sophia couldn’t help but smile as well. If there was one thing that her grandma excelled at, it was at loving. Sophia knew that firsthand.

“Here.” Nana held out a cookie to Bryson. “I think your help deserves a cookie.”

“Thank you, Nana.” Bryson took the cookie and settled back in his chair.

Nana turned her soft blue gaze to Sophia. “How was