Chapter 13: The Funeral Party
I’m the pillar of strength while planning Bill’s funeral. I can feel Tommy watching my every move judging every single thing I do. One thing Bill and I had in common was that we aren’t sappy, emotional types. I haven’t cried much in the last few days. I couldn’t help it when Sarah got home or when Bill’s body came off the plane.
I have yet to hear from Sookie but after a little detective work, I was able to locate her address. I overnighted her an envelope with the funeral arrangements in it. So far things have gone smoothly. Per Bill’s funeral plans he’s going to be buried in the Compton family plot over in the Home Sweet Home cemetery. I don’t know if Sookie is planning on coming to the funeral or not. It’s a morbid idea, I know.
Yet I feel like even though she’s as responsible as I am for what happened, they had a relationship. I don’t know if it was love but it must have been if Bill proposed to her. Trying to write a touching eulogy for a scumbag I came to abhor isn’t easy. My sons are pallbearers and Sarah is planning on singing his favorite song. She actually has a lovely voice so I’m sure she’ll do justice to it, assuming she can keep it together.
I’m in the process of choosing Bill’s burial clothes when my other cell phone rings. I’ve left it on for the last few days just in case. I’m guessing Sookie must have received the package.
“Hello, Governor,” I answer just in case the kids overhear me. They shouldn’t, but they can be sneaky little shits when they want to be.
“How are you these days?” she asks in response.
“Stressed, tired, ready for some quiet,” I reply. None of my emotions circle around being sad that Bill’s gone.
“You don’t regret it?” She sounds just as tired as I feel.
“No, I don’t. I thought I might and it breaks my heart how hard the children are taking it, but no.” I close the bedroom door and throw the lock before going on to my bathroom for more privacy.
“If they would’ve heard what he said when he figured out I’m pregnant, they’d be rejoicing,” she mutters. “I got the funeral information. Are you sure it’s okay that I come?”
“I don’t see why not. I spoke with a detective from Mississippi over the phone and he isn’t pursuing an investigation based on the emergency room doctor’s ruling on the cause of death. A tox screen was performed when he came in to make sure the heart attack wasn’t drug related, but given that he was in the middle of banging a younger woman, there are no questions about why he took Viagra,” I tell her. “The case is closed, Sookie. Bill knew a lot of people through his work. No one will question why you’re here.”
“Okay. How are the kids doing?” she asks. “That’s what I’m having the hardest time with, taking their… you know.”
“That’s been the hard part,” I sigh. “My daughter has been sleeping in my room with me. Tommy blames me and it’s pissing Lee off. There may be a fist fight before Tommy has to go back to school for finals.”
“That’s got to be tough,” she sighs. “I’m still kind of numb, if that makes sense.”
“It does. Look, if you don’t want to come, I’ll understand. I can imagine it would be awkward for you. If you would like to be here, the offer is on the table.” Either way she goes is fine with me.
“I think I want to be there. It sounds morbid, but I feel like I have to be there. I don’t know if he was being truthful in how he felt about me, but I did care for him. I was angry as hell at him, but I’m going to miss him in some weird way. It would feel wrong not to say goodbye,” she tells me.
“Then I’ll see you the day after tomorrow,” I say.
“Is it awkward or rude if I bring Eric, the baby’s father?” she asks.
“I think it’s an appropriate fuck you to Bill,” I reply.
“Hmm, okay.” I can hear a smile in her voice. “I’m moving in with him. I haven’t gotten to tell anyone…”
“Good for you,” I say sincerely.
“Thank you. And thank you for the advice you’ve given me. You have no idea how that’s changed our relationship,” she says.
“You’re welcome. Even a broken watch is right twice a day,” I chuckle.
“That’s very true,” she giggles softly. “You’re a good woman, Caroline. I’ve been thinking and if I was in your shoes I would’ve made the same decision.”
“I could have chosen differently, but I’m not sorry for the decisions I made.” I look at the dark brown suit that Bill liked the most. I hate that suit. I’ve always hated it. I’m not going to miss it.
“Good. I would hate for you to regret it now,” she says.
So would I. The decision wasn’t made lightly. It’s going to be a big secret to carry around. I hear one of the kids knock on my bedroom door.
“I have to go. Does this mean you’re coming?” I ask Sookie.
“I’ll be there,” she replies.
“Alright. Let me know where you’re staying. I’ll see you tomorrow,” I say and hang up. I tuck the phone away in the closet after putting it on silent and then open the bedroom door to find Lee standing there.
“Who was that?” he asks, eyeing me skeptically.
“A friend,” I reply. “I have your father’s clothes ready to go to the funeral home. I picked the brown suit he liked so much.”
“I don’t know why he liked it so much. It’s hideous,” he sighs. He looks at me for a moment and says, “You know, if you’re having a hard time with the eulogy, you don’t have to do it. We can find someone else, like Uncle Andy?”
“No, I can do it,” I tell him. “Granny will probably spit nails when I mention his wandering eye, but it’s who your father was. Andy said she cussed up a storm when she saw in the paper that your dad was with another woman when he had his heart attack.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t. You’re not as upset as I expected,” he says. “Did you know about her, or was it just a suspicion when you guys got in that fight?”
“That fight made me suspect something,” I sigh. “And then when I called the governor’s office to confirm the meeting, the secretary had no idea what I was talking about. I was pretty sure at this point that there was someone else.”
“I’m sorry, Mom.” He comes over to give me a hug. I suspect it’s more for him than for me.
“So am I, sweetheart. I’m sorry he’s let you down so many times,” I tell him. It’s not just that Bill cheated on his mother, but it shows the wrong way to treat women.
Tommy appears in the doorway, looking like he’s ready to explode. Now isn’t the time for that.
“Are you okay, Tommy?” I ask, trying to diffuse the situation before it comes to a head.
“No, I’m not okay, but it seems you are,” he snarls.
“I’m not okay, but I’m not going to take a swing at anyone either,” I say, glancing at his balled up fists. “And you can be mad at me all you want to about this, but I am still your mother and this is my house. If you can’t respect that, you can leave at any time.”
“Yeah, of course I can,” he huffs and turns to walk out.
“I’m not kicking you out, Thomas, but I’m not going to have you stomping around here like a petulant child, trying to intimidate someone into fighting with you,” I say firmly. “I know this is hard for you. It’s hard for all of us. I’m sorry I’m not handling this the way you think I should, but there are things between your father and me that you don’t know anything about. I don’t have to pass any litmus test for proper grieving techniques so you can knock it off with the attitude. You’re not the only one who lost someone they love.”
He looks at me for almost a full minute before he says, “It’s better if I’m not here,” and turns to walk away.
“That’s fine. I love you,” I remind him. Despite how nasty he can be to me, I love my son.
He doesn’t acknowledge my comment. He keeps walking, stopping in his room to grab something before he disappears. I take a deep breath and slowly let it out.
“I have to take the suit over to Mike’s,” I tell Lee. “I was thinking of making tater tot casserole tonight so I have to go to the grocery store too. Do you want to come along or should I ask Sarah?”
“I’ll come.” He’s been extra clingy since we got the call.
“Alright. Will you grab the bag hanging on the closet door? I need to see if your sister needs or wants anything, and I have to make a list,” I say.
Food has been coming to the house at a near steady flow, but I’ve been asking people to donate it to the church to be dispersed to families in need. While I appreciate the gestures people are making, I actually enjoy the distraction of cooking. Plus my kids, Tommy included, are big on comfort food. For Sarah it means my chicken fried chicken and mashed potatoes with extra pepper gravy. For Tommy it’s crock pot Italian sausage, peppers, onions and potatoes. Lee’s favorite is the tater tot casserole. I haven’t made it for a while but now seems like as good a time as any.
“Sure. I’ll meet you down at the car,” he says.
I go looking for Sarah and find her in her dad’s office downstairs. She’s sitting in the darkened room, just staring at the wall.
“Sweetheart, are you okay?” I step inside.
“No.” Sarah shakes her head. This has been a punch in the gut for her. I cross the room to give her another hug. “It’s not fair, Mommy. I know Daddy did some bad things and I’m so mad at him for it, but it’s not fair.”
“I know, baby.” I rock her gently and rub her back while she shakes with sobs. I’ve decided that Sarah is crying the tears that I can’t. “You know he adored y, right? He was so proud of your accomplishments and he was looking forward to you making him a PawPaw.”
Sarah cries a little harder at that but it’s better for her if she lets it out. I don’t want her to be walking around, holding in her emotions like her brother. I end up sitting with her for a good ten or fifteen minutes before she calms down.
“I have to take your dad’s suit to Mike’s and Lee is going grocery shopping with me. Do you want to come along, or is there anything you want me to get you?” I smooth her hair back.
“I’ll come along. It would do me good to get out of the house,” she sniffles.
“Okay. We’ll be outside when you’re ready.” I kiss her temple and then turn to leave her be.
I opt for black slacks and a blouse for the funeral. I’ve been up for hours. I got in a nap last night but thunder woke me at about three in the morning and I’ve been awake since. I checked my extra phone and found that Sookie had sent a text message to tell me she’s staying at the Holiday Inn over in Monroe, so I decided to order a car for her pick up too.
Word has traveled far and wide about Bill. I have a tent set up out back for the wake with rented tables and chairs. I hired caterers to take care of the meal because I’m expecting several hundred people to show up, if not more than that. It’s going to be a long day.
I pin my hair back in a neat twist and select a pair of black flats. By the time my children are awake, I’m already dressed and in the kitchen working on my fourth cup of coffee while I finish my eulogy. Sarah trudges in first with puffy eyes and a grump on her face. A cup of coffee will help her perk up. It’s still raining outside. I can’t decide if I want it to clear up or not.
“How’d you sleep, sweetheart?” I ask as Sarah pours her coffee. I’ll have to start a new pot.
“Like shit,” she mumbles. “Thunder kept waking me up and I swear I heard a girl in Lee’s room.”
I sigh heavily. She doesn’t know about Amanda unless Lee told her. I’m still shaking my head when Lee walks in looking a little too chipper. He’s got a terrible poker face.
“Morning, Mom.” He walks over to kiss my cheek.
“Morning,” I reply.
“Who was the moaner in your room last night?” Sarah asks as she pours cream in her coffee. I get up to start another pot.
“What? Moaner? There was no moaner in my room. I slept alone, all night,” he rambles, clearly lying.
“So I was just hearing things? It was all in my head that your headboard was hitting the wall repeatedly?” Sarah counters and the look she’s getting from Lee tells me she’s not making it up.
“Must’ve been,” he shrugs. “I wouldn’t do something like that.”
“I hope so because any girl that calls you ‘Daddy’ has problems,” Sarah says. Lee’s face may as well be on fire at this point. I’ll deal with him later.
“You must have been dreaming,” he lies.
“Uh, no. I don’t dream of my brother’s sex life. Nice try,” Sarah snorts.
“How about we don’t have this conversation. Ever.”
“How about you gag your girlfriends if you’re going to sneak them into the house and I won’t,” Sarah replies.
“How about you both hush?” I don’t want to listen to them bicker. “And Lee, I’ll take your truck keys for a week.”
“Moooooom!” he whines. “I’m grieving.”
“You’re going to be doing it truckless,” I reply. “The rules didn’t go out the window and you were already grounded for the same thing. Keep fighting with me and I’ll suspend your phone for a month.”
That shuts him up quick.
“Is there anything you need me to do for you?” he asks sweetly.
“Just be ready to go on time. We have to leave here at 8:45. A car is coming to the house unless you two don’t want to ride with me,” I say.
“I’ll ride with you. I don’t have a choice now,” Lee replies.
“I can drive your truck. I’ve gotten much better at driving stick,” Sarah smirks.
“Jerk,” he pouts.
“It’s your own fault and I don’t feel sorry for you,” she tells him.
While it’s annoying to listen to them bicker, there’s also something comforting about it. It’s normal, business as usual stuff. Lee and Sarah have always gotten along, even with the bickering. I’m happy they have each other. The only person I can truly talk to about this is the one person I shouldn’t anything to do with.
“Are you sure I should be here?” I whisper to Eric as the car Caroline sent us pulls up to the cemetery. There are hundreds of people here. For such a prick, it seems he was well loved.
As wrong as it feels to be here, I really do need to say my goodbyes. This is the first person in my life that I have the opportunity to say bye to.
“You should get your closure for once,” Eric says as he unsnaps the band on a large umbrella. It’s been raining all morning. I should have on different shoes.
“Thank you for being here with me,” I say and lean over to give him a quick kiss. He already knows Caroline doesn’t know he knows. I’m going to tell her Eric thinks I worked with him a year prior and then had a short lived affair.
“You’re welcome.” He opens the car door and slides out first to hold the umbrella up for me so I don’t get soaked.
Once I slide out of the car I take Eric’s offered hand. We walk up through the crowd in silence. As expected, no one even looks at us until I catch Caroline’s eye. She gives me a slight nod to acknowledge me, but she’s in the midst of talking to an older gentleman. She looks appropriately upset, but no tears.
“That’s Caroline,” I tell Eric, nodding in her direction. It’s weird. I’ve never actually been to a funeral.
“Huh. She looks different than what I expected,” he says.
I don’t know what he expected, but I don’t respond to that. I wrap one arm around how waist while subconsciously resting my other hand on my tiny bump. I scan the rest of the crowd and I know when I see two of his three children. I’ve seen a picture of Lee and the girl being held by him looks like a perfect mix of Caroline and Bill. I know they have one more, but Bill didn’t talk about them much. I don’t even know the older kids’ names. He only talked about Lee because he still lived at home.
“Have you been to one of these before?” I ask Eric as we look for seats in the back.
“More than I’d like,” he sighs.
“Do we just sit here quietly?”
“Pretty much. The service will start soon and it probably won’t take too long. I’m sure with the rain people won’t want to drag it out,” he tells me.
I nod as Eric leads me to a seat. We sit toward the back on the edge. The crowd starts to settle down and take their seats. The immediate family is sitting up front, leaning on one another. The one that looks exactly like Bill is sitting to the side. He looks… he’s definitely Bill’s child with the same look of disgust Bill would get when he was unhappy with something.
The service gets started when his daughter stands up to sing Amazing Grace. She has a beautiful voice, even when getting choked up. I keep my hand in Eric’s and right around the time she finishes my tears start. I lean on my boyfriend as he wraps his arm around me. This is it. This will be my final goodbye to Bill and although I know I’ll think about him from time to time, this is the last time I’ll allow myself to worry and stress over him. My baby will appreciate it. Eric will appreciate it too. We haven’t spent much time together since Bill’s death. I know Eric is giving me time to reconcile my feelings on the matter.
Once Sarah is done singing Caroline gets up to give the eulogy. She has a lot of kind things to say about her dead husband, as expected at a funeral. When she starts to add the not so nice things the collective gasp makes me chuckle a little. Every word is true. He was well loved by the community, but he was also well loved by several young women.
After all is said and done Eric and I take a moment to walk through the cemetery as people file out. There is a reception planned at the Compton home, which is just south of the cemetery. The rain dies out for a few minutes as we get to some of the other headstones. I feel bad. There are several that seem to have gone unnoticed. The grass and weeds are overgrown and even some of the words are worn off after so many years. I see some that are from 1800’s that intrigue me. Apparently I like old things, men and headstones included.
I’m checking out an old Loudermilk headstone when Eric calls me.
“Huh?” I look over at him and I see him staring at a small group of newer graves.
“Adele Stackhouse. Any relation?”
“That’s my Gran… why…” Oh… Oh. This is… I never knew.
We were living in Minden when she passed. I remember an electrical fire taking out the kitchen and living room while we were at church one Sunday so we were staying with her brother while it was being rebuilt. Gran had a stroke when we were staying at Uncle Bartlett’s and since he was older than Gran, and in a wheelchair, I was thrown into the system almost immediately. I had no other next of kin. My brother died in the same crash that killed my parents and by the time I was old enough to look for their gravesites I was so doped up I honestly didn’t think about looking for them. With all of the trauma, I blocked out a lot of my childhood, including my time with Gran.
I walk to where Eric is and kneel down to trace the letters of her name. To her immediate left is my grandfather, Mitchell Stackhouse, whom I never met. To her right are the names of my Aunt Linda, my father Corbett, Michelle, my mother and my older brother, Jason. I stand back up, covering my mouth as I take in the headstones.
“This is my family,” I choke out.
Eric puts a warm hand on my shoulder, but stays quiet to let me process. I don’t know how to process this information. I was only two when the flash flood took my parents and brother. I don’t remember anything about them. I feel like I should love and miss the people under my feet, but I don’t. How can you miss someone you never knew?
“My childhood home should be just on the other side of the cemetery,” I whisper. “If it’s still standing.”
“Want to go look?”
“I… I don’t know… I guess it would be, I mean… sure, yeah, we can… look.” I’m going to need to ask Caroline what she remembers about about my Gran, or if she was even living here at the time. I’m sure Bill would’ve mentioned something if he remember me as a kid.
“We don’t have to.”
“I want to see if it’s there,” I state. “I do want to see…”
“Okay. Lead the way.”
I take Eric’s hand to lead him through the cemetery to the gate that leads to what used to be the Stackhouse property. The closer we get, the more memories surface. I remember playing in the woods and at this end of the cemetery. When we walk through the small opening that leads to the yard I gasp. The house is there, barely. The last time I saw it the front porch and living room area were torn down. It looks as though they completed rebuilding, but it doesn’t look like anyone has lived here since. The remaining rose bushes are way overgrown. Any new paint that was applied then is peeling and the windows are boarded up.
“That’s it,” I whisper. This is so surreal.
“It’s seen better days.” Eric squeezes my hand.
“Yeah. The last time I saw it this whole half of the house was missing from a fire,” I tell him. I’ve never talked about my time with Gran to Eric. “It was still being rebuilt when she passed away and I never saw it again.”
“Im sorry,” he says.
“There’s nothing to be sorry about,” I say as I look up at him. “It’s in the past and there was nothing anyone could’ve done about it. It does make me wonder how long Caroline and Bill have lived here though.”
“There’s only one way to find out.” Eric kisses my head.
“Yeah. Let’s get back to the party.” I know it’s not a party, but Caroline and I are celebrating.
Bill Compton has the fakest group of ‘friends’ I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. When we were seeing each other I always found it strange that I never met any of his colleagues, but then chalked it up to us just getting to know each other, although he was in love with me after three dates. That was bunch of bullshit and I know it. The only reason I’m sticking around so long is to try to get a moment alone with Caroline to formally offer my condolences and ask her about my Gran’s old house. And the food. It smells amazing, but I haven’t had a chance to get to the buffet yet.
“Do you have to schmooze with these kind of people?” I whisper to Eric as we sit there people watching.
“Worse. I usually deal with political types,” he replies with a chuckle.
“I’m sorry,” I reply sincerely. “Thankfully I just had to deal with old perverts. I am so glad to be getting out of that line of work.”
“You might end up with a drooling man anyway,” he laughs.
“You?” I ask, truly confused by that comment.
“The baby. Could be a boy.”
There goes my blonde moment of the day.
“That’s fine. I will have made that one,” I smile. “And I can teach him not to be a pig.”
“Sorry I’m keeping you here,” I apologize. “I should just call Caroline later.” I notice she looks like she’s almost done talking to an older lady that looks to be in her late fifties. “Babe, can you grab me a snack? I think I’ll be able to get a moment with her as soon as that lady walks away. If nothing else, I want to set up a meeting to talk to her.”
“Sure. Do you want normal food or exotic?”
“Hmm, surprise me,” I smile. I haven’t been turned off by anything yet.
“Okay. I’ll be back.” Eric kisses my cheek and then crosses the tent to get in the food line.
I stand to wait for Caroline to finish. She acknowledges me waiting, so I start to look around again. I could people watch all day and I’m learning a wake is a really good place to do so. As I’m turning back toward Caroline I notice the kid that looks just like Bill walking toward me.
“Hello,” I smile when he approaches. I don’t know if smiling at someone during their dad’s funeral is good etiquette.
“Hello,” he replies with a smile identical to his father’s. “You look familiar.”
“Do I?” I ask. “Well, I’d imagine all of the people here look familiar since we were all friends with your parents in some way.”
“Yes, but I’m sure you’re my dream woman,” he flirts.
What the fuck?
“Uh… what?” Is he hitting on me… at a funeral?
“You have a beautiful smile.”
“Thank you,” I reply, with a half smile. I don’t know how to respond to this. I know he’s not going to have a snowball’s chance in hell, but this is fucking weird. I’m too shocked to say much else.
“Can I see it again for dinner tomorrow night?”
“I’m sorry,” I shake my head. “I’m seeing someone.” And I sucked your dead father’s dick a week ago. I don’t know whether to be amused or horrified.
“That’s too bad,” he says. At least he walks away without further flirting with me. Something Bill wouldn’t have done.
When Caroline finally walks up to me I’m still stunned at what just happened. I guess it’s not that noticeable that I’m pregnant, but I’ve been clinging to Eric all night.
“Hi,” I say to her as she glances back and forth between me and her retreating child.
“Hi. Please tell me my son didn’t just make a pass at you,” she says.
“He did,” I confirm. “It was a little strange.”
Caroline shakes her head but keeps her comments to herself. “I’m glad could make it. That man with you is the father?”
“Yeah,” I smile. “He’s been really supportive through all this. He thought it was strange that I was invited until he heard your eulogy. Now he understands the kind of man Bill was.”
“It wasn’t as if I could pretend he was a saint given the circumstances,” Caroline says. “There’s something satisfying about shattering the reputation that meant so much to him.”
“The looks on people’s faces was interesting,” I chuckle. “Mind if I ask about something not Bill related?” I question. I’m sure she’s tired of talking about Bill anyway.
“How long have you lived here?” I start. “My Gran used to live in the house across the cemetery.”
Caroline’s jaw drops.
“Stackhouse… I didn’t even… With everything going on I didn’t even make the connection. I grew up down near Lake Charles and I met Bill when I was going to LSU. We lived in New Orleans for the first four years of our marriage. By the time we moved up here the house next door was empty. Bill’s grandmother, Caroline, she might have known your grandmother,” she says.
“Oh, well, that would be lovely,” I say with my heart pounding. “I don’t want to bother her today, but I would really like to talk to her if she can find the time. I don’t really remember much about my Gran, but she was my last living relative. My whole family is buried right over in the cemetery.”
Caroline frowns at that.
“That’s awful,” she says sincerely. “I’m sure Caroline would be happy to talk to you. She loves talking about genealogy and town history.”
“Now that I have all this free time, I wouldn’t mind driving over sometime to check the house out. Has anyone lived there since it was rebuilt?” I could drive over while Eric is away on one of his work trips if I don’t go with him.
“As far as I know it’s been vacant since we moved in twenty years ago. There were rumors the place is haunted,” she tells me. “I’ve never seen anything strange over there but Sarah’s friends dared her to go in there once before the windows were boarded up. She slept in bed with us for a week afterward. She said something kept touching her but there was no one there.”
“It was probably the ghost of my brother,” I snort. I don’t actually mean it. “I remember Gran telling me Jason would go to my crib and poke me until I woke up to play with him while our parents were asleep and he should’ve been in bed.”
“It could have been. The town finally boarded up the windows so kids would stop messing with the place. Teenagers were using the place as a no tell motel,” Caroline says.
“Does anyone own it, or is it just county property now?”
“I think it’s county property. I tried to talk Bill into buying it. I thought if we fixed it up it would make a great rental property.”
Eric walks up with a plate of food for me, wrapping his arm around my shoulders protectively. Not that he has to protect me from Caroline. He’s taken to doing it since we became serious.
“Caroline, this is Eric, my boyfriend,” I say, “This is Caroline, Bill’s widow.”
“I’m very sorry for your loss,” Eric says respectfully and offers her his hand.
“Thank you,” Caroline says with a grim smile. “I appreciate you both coming so far for this. Congratulations on the baby, by the way. That’s wonderful news.”
“Yes, it is,” Eric smiles broadly. “Sookie is going to be a fantastic mom.”
“Yes, she will,” Caroline agrees.
That means more than I can say. To have someone meet me in such shitty circumstances think I’m going to be a good mother means a lot to me. I have to fan my face to try to stop the tears.
“Thanks,” I sniffle, wiping my eyes. I know Eric is biased so he’s always going to think the best. Caroline barely knows me. “We’ll let you go, Caroline. I’ll eat this and then Eric and I should get back to the hotel.”
“Take your time. It was nice meeting you, Eric. Keep a close eye on her. Tommy’s circling like a vulture,” Caroline tells him.
“Will do,” Eric nods.
“I’ll be in touch,” I say before Caroline walks away.
This has been a very informative and strange day. I’m glad I got to learn something about my past. Actually, the thrill of finding my childhood home actually makes me want to thank Bill for being such a fucking idiot. If he was a smart man that wasn’t thinking with his dick I wouldn’t have figured out where my Gran’s home was until much later, if I ever even looked. This is one of those times when the phrase ‘God never shuts a door without opening a window’ makes complete sense to me. I’m actually happy, really happy for the first time in my life.