Quietly, Christmas comes and goes. The solitary confinement of the holidays has her painting the kitchen walls in hopes of keeping her spirit settled. Below her, Jack, turned back by the blinding snow en route to Beauséjour, spends his Christmas in silence also. But by mid-February, cheer returns to Brussel Sprouts to celebrate Jack’s eighty-fifth birthday.
His flat is wall-to-wall folk and there’s a spread large enough to feed an army! But when she makes him a plate, Jack won’t eat. But you have to, she says, you’ll feel better. Please. Eat something, she pleads. He eats to please her but something is not right with her friend. She pretends it away as best she can.
Three days later she is sitting by his bedside, holding his hand, sad and speechless after hearing words like ‘colon cancer’ and ‘they wouldn’t listen to me’ and ‘dying’...
Kilted men playing bagpipes lead everyone into the cozy church that he hasn’t visited since his wife’s passing. Every detail of the funeral speaks of Jack’s love for those left behind. And when the service ends with the resounding chorus of ‘Oh what a beautiful morning!’, she smiles with pure joy at the gift he has left her this one last time.