Cora decided James was in need of a friend. She worked on her mission slowly. She went out of her way to offer a shy smile and a greeting when she happened upon him. At first, he was predictably stoic. As the months wore on, and her unrelenting good nature wore him down, she noticed small changes in his behavior. One day he actually smiled at her as he watched her approach after church.
They did not share confidences. There were no deep conversations. James was a hard nut to crack. Cora was patient. She made casual observations and elaborated on the topics he seemed interested in so he would keep talking to her. They spent increasing time together in the ministry. Eventually, they progressed to keeping company within the approved confines of each other’s family homes. They married in 1968.
Sadie came home for Cora’s quiet celebration. Still the same irreverent Sadie but with new wicked thoughts to share. Cora was worried about her wedding night. Sadie made her laugh with a “lamb to the slaughter” analogy, that wasn’t reassuring in the least, but soothed her nerves with shocked hilarity. Sadie’s well behaved, demure, public persona allowed their friendship to continue. She never refused an invitation to attend church with Cora’s family.
Despite Cora’s worries, her wedding night was not what she’d feared nor was it what she’d hoped. She didn’t understand what the fuss was about. James was a very private person. They’d moved in to her in-laws’ house. It began as a one room house that expanded as children were born. The home was an architectural testimony of family history; square boxes built on to other square boxes, in a row that could never be mistaken for straight, headed toward the field.