As Jill and Seth prepared to celebrate their first Christmas in the old farmhouse the tragic lives of Catherine and her son weighed heavily on Jill's heart. Uncle Jake had told them that while Joseph was alive his grandparents had been able to cope with the loss of Catherine by caring for him and watching him grow, but when Joseph got sick and died his grandmother lost all desire to live, seldom speaking to anyone and moving silently about the house like one already dead. Joseph's grandfather bitterly decreed that Catherine's sin had left its mark on them all, and that she and her son were never to be spoken of again.
Jill and Seth decided that they wanted the farmhouse to become a place of reconciliation, a place where past sorrows could be released and everyone remembered with love. To that end they had silver star-shaped ornaments made for their Christmas tree, each one engraved with the name of a family member who had lived in the house, including Catherine and Joseph. As they hung the shiny new stars on the tree that Christmas Eve, Jill and Seth whispered a prayer for each of them, and all on it's own the music box which once belonged to Catherine's mother began softly playing Silent Night.
(To be continued)
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