They sailed slow and easy for five days. It rained each day—not all day, just for an hour or two each day.
On the sixth day in the late morning, the sun hung big and blazed brightly in the sky. Rich and Ramona sat on the aft deck with their legs dangling over the transom and feet in the cool water.
“We must be getting close by now,” Ramona said.
“We will see the island sometime this afternoon,” Rich said.
“What if they should reject me?” Ramona said.
“If you go armed and expected to be rejected don’t be surprised if it happens,” Rich said. “If you go with your heart open, you will be taken in. If I can toss those weapons overboard, you can toss your fears and doubts overboard also. There is no fear in love.”
Ramona pretended to wipe something from the deck. “There,” she said, “did you see that? It made quite a splash. Doubts and fears sinking to the bottom.”
Rich smiled. “It is not that easy, but that’s a beginning and I think you are a person who will always finish what you started. Think about this, Ramona, they will also have doubts and fears. They will need assurance as much as you will. Challenges; there will always be challenges, but they bring rewards.”
“Have you found that to be so?” Ramona said.
“What keeps me going is the hope of a reward,” Rich said. “To me, the best reward rests within yourself. It’s profound; it’s spiritual.”
“Rest their hope not on uncertain riches, but on God, who furnishes all things richly for our enjoyment,” Ramona said.
“You will soon be richly blessed,” Rich said, “and so will your family.”
“I can’t wait to get there,” Ramona said.
“Jean’s life has always been missing something,” Rich said. “His wife knows it, but is not sure what it is. A man can not hold a child that is his and ever forget. He’s had to live with thinking that moment in his life can only be visited in a memory that becomes dimmer and dimmer with each passing moment. You will rekindle that moment for him.”
“What about his wife and children?” Ramona said.
“They are not the sort to be given to petty jealousies and bitterness,” Rich said. “They are so much like you. They have known all along something was missing. Your brothers and sisters would often look out over the vast waters and long for you. When I left Reao six months ago there was something deep inside that told me I would bring you back. It was already mapped out in my brain.”
“And I knew that someday I would see my father,” Ramona said. “I felt it so deep in me that I could feel his arms around me and saying, welcome home my little Mona.”
“Mona?” Rich said.
“Yes,” Ramona said, “when I imagined him, that was his name for me.”