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Gabe obtained a post as a lecturer in agricultural studies. Patricia was delighted to move into town, as she worked in media. So they decided to move closer to town from his parent's farm. They moved to a lovely piece of agricultural land, right on the outskirts of BC, just up the road (a much shorter drive for Gabe) from the Community College. He hoped to work on his farm as well as at the College, and to build up the farm eventually for his children. Maybe not Jules, who so far had shown no interest at all in farming; but he and Patricia were planning a houseful. She did still have that horrible cough though. Maybe in town she could get better medical attention.
It was not to be. Very soon, too soon, after they moved in, poor Patricia collapsed and died. The doctor said it was pneumonia, coupled with the fact that she was pregnant with twins, very soon after her last pregnancy.
"I'll have to do some lab tests, but it looks as if it was the same deadly strain of pneumonia that is decimating the population. I've immunized you and your baby: you should be all right now, but contact me at once if either of you begin to cough."
So Gabe was left alone with little Gabrielle. He confided in Rob Tyndale "I'm just was not lucky with the ladies. I think I'ld be a monk if it wasn't for Gabrielle."
"I think that's taking it a little far, though with your farming skills you would be a very useful monk!"
"On consideration, what you need is a Nanny."
"I know. The agency nannies just aren't very good... But I might know someone who could help you. Is that little cottage next door to your new farm still empty?"
"Leave it with me. Don't worry."
Jessica Love, the leader of St Isidore's Music Group, had never had children but was recently widowed, and Robert was hoping he could persuade her to take early retirement, and maybe a more active role in the church. She had confided in Robert that she was wondering about taking early retirement. After the death of her husband Chris, and with her own serious cough to consider...
It worked very well. The little cottage was very different from the modern bungalow she'd lived in recently, but she was delighted, and spent many happy hours searching for nice pieces of furniture that would suit it.
Gabrielle loved to be read to. Her favourite story was the Little Yellow Car. Jessica took early retirement on grounds of health, as she had planned. Removing the work stress did help, and the cottage was "tied", that is, it belonged to the farm, and as Gabe let her live rent-free, she could be quite comfortable there.
Gabriel bought a television, so that he and Jessica could relax in the evenings when the farm work was done. It turned out they liked the same films.
After a long time, Gabe's cough got better, little Gabrielle started school, and Gabe and Jessica got engaged. Gabe bought a cow and a bull for the farm, hoping to raise a herd.
Patricia did still haunt them occasionally, as did Chris.
Jessica discovered that singing made her voice stronger, and finally got rid of her cough. She felt younger and fitter than she had for years. She was now leading the choir at St Isidore's.
Monty in Riverblossom
Strangetown Bulletin 2