Marlon and Sunday pulled into Lynchburg Airport and drove to a rusted, corrugated hangar at the rear of the field. “Smitty’s Banner Tow,” the sign said.
“How much does an hour cost?” Marlon asked the man with yesterday’s BBQ sauce in his beard.
“Six hundred bucks,” he spat. “Eighty-character limit on the banner.”
“We don’t need that many,” said Marlon. “Can we do it this afternoon?”
“Sure,” said Mr. Sauceface. “For an extra hundred.”
Marlon smiled at Sunday and reached for his credit card.
Less than an hour later the two were sitting on Elaine’s patio, drinking Diet Cokes back when they had aspartame. Elaine wore the Liberty U. sweatshirt Marlon had bought her. No one was saying much. Then they heard the approach of the Cessna, so low they also could hear the flapping of the banner. It simply said…
“I love you, Mom — Tink.”
Elaine gazed skyward until the Cessna passed, then shut her eyes and extended her hands. Marlon and Sunday each took one. Elaine then knelt on the hard patio. Marlon and Sunday followed.
“Lord God, you know I’ve done this before, but on this unforgettable day I thank you again for gracing my life with my sweet Tinkerbell. She’s a wonderful daughter and a wonderful woman. And may God bless sweet Marlon… I wish you had brought him into my life sooner. Amen.”
Then came the tears. Everyone’s.
Continued in Chapter 9…