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The Conner Family Stories:
Chapter 01 “A Gift On Christmas Eve”
Chapter 02 “Gifts On Christmas Morning”
Chapter 03 “Nightmares Of A Broken Promise”
Chapter 04 “The Request”
Chapter 05 “Love Across Town”
Chapter 06 “The Photo – In Retrospect”
Chapter 07 “Miracles In The Storm”
Chapter 08 “Trouble With Pine Cones”
Chapter 09 “Home At Last”
Chapter 10 “A Display of Honors”
Chapter 11 “A Trip To The Mall” – current story
The Conner Family Ch. 11
A story of Family, Friends, Honor and Respect.
Mrs. Jennifer Ann Conner, a Caucasian woman, with long brown hair streaked with gray, was sitting on a bench in the rotunda of the Bell Tower Mall that was located on the border between Brentwood and Lindon. At the center of the Mall’s rotunda there was a fountain. She was enjoying the sound of the fountain’s soft noise as the water splashed into the central pool.
Almost 14 months have now past since had she married her life long best friend and cousin, Kenneth.
Forty-two years had when they were informed that they were not really cousins at all. The two of them had been discovered as babies in some wreckage after a tornado had passed through the town. There was no way to identify them, and no one came forward looking for them, thus they were adopted by the two couples who had found them. Years later when Jennifer, a Navy fighter pilot, was severely injured, blood tests were done in case she needed a kidney transplant which revealed that Jennifer and Kenneth were in reality close siblings and possibly fraternal twins. Then after her recovery and discharge from the Navy, when she returned home, their families had happily assisted them with a push to get married.
So today, she was contentedly people watching while she read a new novel written by her brother Brian’s girl friend, Heather Dawson. For Jen it was another delicious murder mystery by Heather written under her pseudonym Judith F. Browning. The novel: ‘A Murderous Sea’ takes place aboard a fictional United States Navy Aircraft Carrier named The Harry S. Truman, during a deployment to the Middle East.
Jen snickered to herself. The main character had been named after her.
Jennifer C. Andrews, who was the Assistant Flight Ops Officer aboard the carrier and a veteran combat fighter pilot. In the story Andrews had just received her promotion to Commander and her new posting. She was still keeping her flying skills up-to-date with her flying some type of mission at least four times a week. Even if it was just an uneventful mission flying air patrol around the task force as they sailed into what could be hostile waters.
Jen smiled to herself. Heather had informed her that her publisher had already signed off on a sequel.
So far Jen was pleased with how well carrier life was realistically reflected in the story thus far. And she chuckled at some of the interesting character quirks of Andrews as she went about her duties. The time that she had spent with Heather answering her questions about life aboard an aircraft carrier had paid off well in her novel.
She was defiantly going to enjoy reading this. And then the next one.
“Jen!” came a familiar, female voice.
Jen looked up and smiled. “Emma!”
“Surprised to see you,” stated Emma, a black woman, with a head full of bouncy, curly hair. As she sat down next to Jen she said, “I thought you still had some issues walking. With your knees and all.”
“I do,” returned Jen as the two hugged. She touched the cane beside her. “So Ken’s out shopping and I get to read and people watch. Then we are off to lunch.” Jen glanced around. “Where are James and the girls? Why don’t you join us?”
“Lunch sounds great,” stated Emma. “But we promised the girls pizza.”
Jen laughed. “Ken and I can do pizza. That is if you guys don’t mind the extra company.”
Emma snorted. “You two aren’t company! You’re family!”
“Guess we are at that,” replied Jen.
Emma smiled. “Anyways. They are off secretly shopping for my birthday. The girls dragged James off and I am to meet them here.”
“Ken’s here shopping too,” added Jen. “Birthday shopping.” Jen leaned closer and whispered. “And for you too.”
“Oh goodie!” stated Emma in delight. “More gifts.”
“At our house, what’s a birthday party without plenty of gifts!” stated Jen. “So while Ken shops I sit and read.” She held up the book. “Look! Another novel by Heather,” stated Jen. “The main character’s named after me. A delightful murder mystery on an aircraft carrier. Murder and mayhem! It’s a good read so far. You can borrow it when I’m done.”
“No thanks! I don’t have to read about murder and mayhem! I live it!,” snorted Emma. “I have enough mayhem in my life with the twins and a Marine güvenilir bahis for a husband.”
“Here,” stated Jen as she flipped to the beginning of the book. “Look! The dedication.”
Emma read aloud. “To Navy Admiral Jennifer Ann Conner – A True American Hero.” She looked at Jen. “How nice of Heather.”
“You know I’m not … “
Emma held up her hand and pointed a finger at her. “Don’t even go there, Jen! You know how we all feel about what you did. Putting your life on the line like that. And I’m not talking about that dog fight either.” Emma then hugged her. “Just so you know – some of the Marines on your ship had been trained by James. He got the news about that before I did at home from you guys.”
“Alright,” sighed Jen. “Maybe I did okay.”
“Okay!!?” Emma shook her head. “I think not! How many kids and teachers did you save in Florida?” Emma held up her hand again. “I’m just so proud to know you. So are Sam and Tab and James too.”
Jen took a deep breath and exhaled. “When I was making those decisions when I lost the engines on my fighter,” stated Jen. “I could only think of our family.” Jen paused and poked Emma and continued. “Our family – and the things we were taught growing up.” She shrugged her shoulders. “About being responsible for your actions.”
“Something else I learned with you guys,” stated Emma. “After your family took me in.”
Emma paused and looked at Jen and asked, “So – you still not driving?”
Jen shook her head. “While I can see enough to see things up close like watching TV across the room,” replied Jen. She held up the book. “Or a book. Distance is just too blurry for me.” She snorted. “And no – glasses don’t seem to help. I get headaches with the glasses I do have. So – I’m just an accident just waiting to happen.”
Emma touched Jen’s arm. “If you ever need a ride – you call me. Maybe we can do lunch sometime?” Emma chuckled. “With or without us playing parental escort.”
“I am quite sure Aunt Sharon or my Mom would be happy to have the girls over. Pam and Sue too.” Jen bumped against Emma. “But I would love to go out with you and the girls.” Jen giggled. “Just have to plan it around all of our other activities.”
Emma snorted. “Like I need a reminder. The girls already have the next three months marked on the calendar. Or your Mom calls to check on us. And Aunt Sharon too. And Pam too. Then just two weeks ago, before James came home, Brian let me borrow his car while ours was in the shop.”
“Hey, Emma,” stated Jen. “That’s our family. And you know that! And you and James and the twins are part of it.” Jen put her arm around Emma and pulled her close.
“Thanks, Jen,” said Emma.
“Besides without Sammy and Tabby the weekends can get boring.”
“Yeah! Right!,” blurted out Emma. “With those two it’s almost like Pam and I were when I was living with Aunt Sharon and Uncle Bob.” She leaned close to Jen and said softly, “Only we were teenagers. And those two are just seven!”
Jen started laughing. “I remember Uncle Bob going down to the police station to get you two.”
“I know!” stated Emma shaking her head. “We were both so busy talking about our upcoming tests that we both forgot to pay the bill at the dinner. And just walked out.”
“Dad told me if I ever did that he would leave me there over night,” stated Jen as she leaned against Emma. “Just so I would have time to think about it.”
“Yeah!” Emma leaned back against Jen. “We were grounded for two weeks in our room.”
Jen could not stop laughing. “I remember hearing my Dad saying he would take one of you and keep you in isolation. And he was not choosy as to which of you it was.”
Emma smiled. “We went to school.” stated Emma. “Then spent the rest of the time banished to our room. With no phone, no TV and no radio either.”
Jen continued to giggle.
“Then after those two weeks,” sputtered Emma, “Sharon and Bob took us all out to dinner at the same diner and made us go up and apologize to the entire staff. Then we had to pay double the bill.”
“I remember that,” stated Jen with a laugh.
“You know,” began Emma as she stopped her laughter, “I also felt then that I was really part of your family. That Aunt Sharon and Uncle Bob both cared enough to take the time to teach me that lesson.”
“Welcome to the Conner household,” stated Jen.
Emma paused to look at Jen. “Yeah. I’m so glad you guys took me in after I lost my parents. I had no idea what I would have done. I was so lost.”
Jen looked at Emma and then wrapped an arm about her. “We could not have you out wandering the streets, could we.” Jen leaned away from Emma and took her hand. “I remember my Mom and Dad and Brian and me talking about taking you in. Letting you stay in with me. We were not going to let you be alone.” Jen hugged her. türkçe bahis “But since you and Pam were as close as sisters it was agreed you would stay with them.”
“I’ve known you guys ever since grade school,” stated Emma. “Longer – since kindergarten. And I can’t think of how often I was over there for movie night and other times. It was sort of like I never really left home.”
“And my Mom would always keep me up to date on you,” stated Jen. “Even after I was deployed.”
“Then after about a week or so of swapping sleeping on a floor pad,” stated Emma. “We got that set of bunk beds for our room.” Emma began to chuckle. “Then every few days we swapped places between the top and bottom bunk.”
“I remember,” smiled Jen. “Aunt Sharon never knew who was where.”
Emma sighed. “It was a relief to know I had a home. That I was going to be taken care of. And I even agreed to their becoming my legal guardians.”
Jen stated, “I remember being there at the hearing.”
“I know,” said Emma. “They planned it so everyone could be there for it.”
“Well – you do remember it’s movie night Saturday,” stated Jen.
Emma smirked. “How can I can forget.” She leaned against Jen. “To tell the truth – I think James is more excited about going than the girls.”
Jen began to chuckle. “My Mom is planning on playing team Monopoly with two boards like when we were kids.”
Emma said, “James was talking about that just yesterday. About how we met playing that. And how we teamed up and won.”
“Seems to me,” said Jen, “that you two won more than a game.”
“Yeah!” agreed Emma. “We did.” Emma took a deep breath and sighed. “And now he’s home on leave and does not need to worry about his thousand plus Marines.”
Jen shook her head. “I’m glad I never had that type of responsibility.”
Shaking her head, Emma stated, “No! You just had an entire fleet to protect when you had that dog fight.”
“Well! – Okay! ” agreed Jen. “I’ll give you that one.”
“You’re a hero, Jen,” stated Emma. “Twice now with what you did in Florida.”
“I still don’t feel like one,” said Jen softly. “I was doing what was necessary.”
“And that girl!” stated Emma, giving Jen a big hug, “Is why you are so damn lovable.”
“Yes,” came a male voice from someone in front of them. “You two are sure lovable.”
Another male voice stated, “Looks you could use some company.”
Emma and Jen looked at each other then up at the group of a dozen or so boys who appeared to be in their late teens or early twenties. Most were wearing sweat shirts of various colors and logos. While two of the more disheveled of them had their blue jeans hanging low on their asses so their under ware showed with a lot of bare butt skin flashing.
“Oh joy!” muttered Emma.
“Not the words I would use,” stated Jen as she looked over the group with a critical eye. She placed a book marker in her book and set it aside. Then placed her hand on her cane.
Emma declared, “I don’t think any of them would past muster!”
Jen shook her head. “That’s for sure.”
“And I don’t think any of them are Marine material either,” added Emma.
Jen turned to look at Emma. “I don’t think any of them could even make it through boot camp. Never mind living aboard ship.”
Emma chuckled. “Bet they would all get seasick.”
Jen chuckled. “I doubt that any of them could even do ten push ups,” added Jen.
Emma started laughing. “I think you’re right about that.”
“You,” began Emma looking up at the group, “boys – should move along before our husbands show up.”
“Oh right!” stated one of the group. “A fat ass dumpy old man.”
“No!” replied Emma firmly. “More like a five ten hunk of a Marine Major.”
“Oh! I’m so scared,” stated another. “Some chair bound, fat ass, desk operator.”
“No!” came a deep, low, male voice from behind the group. “More like a five foot ten rather fit Marine with eighteen years in different combat areas with over a thousand combat ready Marines under his command.”
“And his friend,” came another male voice. “who just happens to have his third degree Black Belt in Karate. With enough experience to know you – kids – are in trouble if you don’t leave the ladies alone.”
One the of the younger boys spoke up. “Oh wow! Kung Fu City man.”
“And our wives,” stated the first male. “Both of whom have their Black Belts.”
Jen slowly rose to stand with the use of her cane.
Emma also stood up.
“Look!” stated another of the group. “She’s a cripple.”
Jen spread her feet slightly apart and brought her cane up so she held it with one end in each of her hands.
Emma stood beside Jen and shed her jacket. She shook her head and pointed at the group. “Just so you know who we are,” began Emma. “Before you make total güvenilir bahis siteleri fools of your selves.” She gestured to Jen. “This is retired Navy Admiral Jennifer Ann Conner. A Navy jet fighter pilot with over twenty years in the military and with over 300 missions in combat. She’s the one who crashed her jet in Florida after she lost her engines due to a bird strike last year. And she saved all those kids in that school on the Naval Base.”
“I saw that on the news,” spoke up one of the kids.
Emma continued to speak. “And she was critically injured and almost died from her injuries.”
Emma took a deep breath and exhaled into the silence. She pointed at Ken as he made his way through the group of kids with Samantha and Tabitha between him and James. “That is Ken – Jen’s husband. Third degree black Belt. He joined the Army. Where he learned electronics and now owns a nationally known Data Service Company.”
Sam and Tab moved to stand between Jen and Emma while Ken and James stood slightly before them.
While Emma had been speaking some of the passing shoppers had begun to gather to see what the commotion was about and they stood there silently listening. Among the on lookers there were some older men wearing various military caps and a few with jackets with various military service patches.
Emma looked at Jen and Ken. “When I was sixteen my parents were killed in a plane crash. Ken’s parents took me an and cared for me and treated me like I was just another daughter of theirs. And Ken became the older brother I never had. And it was Ken who introduced me to James.”
Emma continued to talk as she stood beside James. “This is my husband of nine years. He is a Major in the Marines and has over one thousand combat seasoned men and women in his command. And they have just returned a few days ago from a dangerous nine month deployment in Afghanistan.”
Emma waved her hand about her. “They are the ones who stand out there before the gates to protect us from those who would do us harm. Those that hate our Freedoms and our way of life. They – the Military – Protect our Freedoms – and that – gives you the chance to become the best you can be.”
Emma looked at the small group of teens before her. “So you remember this! Your future is in their hands. And it’s time you thought about that! Yes! You think about that every time you see someone in uniform or a retired Veteran in a wheel chair. Or a grave marker to someone who has fallen. These brave men and women have stood in defense of our country and many have died defending her. And defending the Freedoms so you can be Free and be the best you can be. Not so you can become a real stupid jerk of a street punk.”
Emma took a step forward. “And just so you know – I also have a Black Belt in Karate. And if any of you even touches one of them – you will – answer to me!”
Then there was a sudden cold silence in the Mall’s rotunda.
The silent shoppers who had gathered around to listen and watch began to applaud.
The nearby Military Recruiter Station was located next to the central area of the Mall and a number of the young men and women in uniform had come to observe the commotion and now added their applause.
An older female Master Sargent in a Marine Uniform stepped over to James Harris. “You wife is quite the spokesperson, Major.”
James looked at her. “Peters!”
“Aye, Sir! Got my promotion a few months ago.”
“Congrats. Come meet my wife.”
“One moment, Sir.” stated Peters. She turned to the other uniformed recruiters. “Well! Just don’t stand there! Pick one and help them find their better future. There’s enough of them to go around.”
The other recruiters began to move about the group of teens and started to lead them back to the recruiting offices.
Jones looked up at James Harris. “I hear you had a hard tour, Sir.”
James was looking over at Emma. “It was.” He took a breath and sighed. “I had to send nine of my men home in boxes this tour. And another twenty three went home badly wounded.” He looked down at Peters. “A couple of them might not make it.”
“Sir,” stated Peters, “get me all their names and home addresses. I’ll get some local units to check in on them. See how we can help them and their families.”
“I’d appreciate that, Peters.” stated James. “You have a card?”
Peters was already holding one out to him.
James took the card. “Come meet my wife and my twins. And people I think of as family.”
“Be delighted to, Sir,” stated Peters as they walked back to where Emma and others stood.
“A Trip To The Mall”
U.S. Army – SP4 – 1971-1974
Enlisted – Was Not Drafted
Trained In Electronics
Deployed – Thailand & Germany
Disabled – Exposed to Agent Orange
Slowly Dying Due To That Exposure
Still Very Proud To Have Served
No Sympathy Wanted
A Favor Instead
Next Time You See A Veteran
Thank Them For Their Service
And Ask Them – What You Can Do For Them!
Ben Esra telefonda seni bosaltmami ister misin?
Telefon Numaram: 00237 8000 92 32