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    Remember Who You Are 47

    The next day Tina asked Bette to walk with her down to Boo’s old house, to see what needed to be done to have the house ready for Boo when she returned. It made sense that Boo would want to be home, to stay there and reenter her life. Tina felt she owed it to Boo to see if the house was ready for her return, although Yaya told them over breakfast that she always figured Boo had someone looking out for it.

    Either way, it had been years since Boo inhabited the house and even longer since Tina had been there. Boo’s house was filled with memories, snippets of Tina’s life as a child, peace and love freely given with no strings attached.

    She caught her first fish in the river there, learned to change the oil in a boat, skin a catfish. It was a place of refuge when her own home was unsafe, and Tina remembered coming to see Boo when Eric first kissed her. Boo had asked if she was sure that was what she wanted and at the time Tina didn’t understand why the older woman would ask her that. So many layers and depths of her childhood that should have happened at home but instead took place at Boo’s… or were soothed by Boo.

    It also triggered the bad memories. The arguments with her parents, the feeling of being unwanted at home, the yearning to belong somewhere, to truly be herself.

    She told Bette all this that morning as they woke up, cuddled under the covers before they showered. What she loved was that Bette listened, really listened, and kissed her sweetly, so sweetly.

    “I’m here, Tee…” she said, “remember I am here.” And those four words meant the world to Tina, who knew in her heart that Bette was exactly that. Present. Available. Supportive. Bette was completely tuned in to the conflicting emotions Tina was feeling and steeled herself for an unpredictable day, knowing Tina would need her.

    They packed a small backpack of snacks and a change of clothes for Rosie, neither questioning whether she was going along or not, she was a much a part of their life as anything and Rosie was so easy to take care of. Bette was insistent that Rosie be wherever they were, and Tina agreed. It would be so easy to leave Rosie with Yaya, to go off on their own. But both felt it was important to step into the parental role immediately and assimilate Rosie into their daily routine.

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    Comments

    1. Well once I dry the tears and calm myself down I will write more. For now – suffice it to say there is just so much love in this chapter. And now with Boo and Tina reunited their family is nearly complete. In a few months time when their daughter enters the world – their world will be complete. For now: “There was no better place to start a life, Bette would say, then under the heart of her Tina.“ Wow! As you write: “Be still my heart.”

    2. Hey BK,

      First i have to shout my love for your Bette, my god i am in love with her!!!!

      What a fantastic chapter, so many things i could point out but these are the parts i absolutely love, it shows how Bette is, caring, absolutely in love with her family and how proud and full of love Tina is for her soulmate Bette. The part in bed where they cuddle and Tina reads the baby book, chapter by chapter and Bette has already read the whole book from cover to cover and Tina tells Bette how big the baby is now and how Bette reacts to it, my heart melted on the spot. Truly brilliant!

      “The baby’s an avocado today…” Tina told Bette that morning, reading from her ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ book, and Bette lifted Tina’s shirt to say good morning to the green avocado, reminding the baby to grow into a bigger melon and kissing Tina’s belly all over. Her hands caressed the growing baby bump as she listened to Tina read”

      And this part;

      “Baby Porter can suck her thumb now” Tina read again, and Bette started a lecture to the baby on good oral health and the cost of braces, making Tina laugh. Bette liked seeing Tina’s belly grow, their family contained in her womb, the baby listening to Tina’s heart and rocked by her body.” And Bette saying that under Tina’s heart it is the best way to start the baby’s life, sigh…so sweet and made me laugh.

      And this part:

      “She is a fantastic mother to Rosie, Tina thought and not for the first time. Our baby is going to be so lucky as well. For someone who had no mother as a role model, Bette was outstanding in this capacity. Perhaps she gave Rosie everything she wished she had, perhaps Bette learned what not to do from her absent mother or perhaps Rosie herself inspired something deep within Bette. It was all that and more, Tina decided. Bette loved big. She loved fiercely, she loved with everything she had.”

      And this part shows how very happy Bette is with her family and the love she has for both Tina and Rosie:

      “When everything was clean, she sat across from Tina and Rosie, looking at the duo fondly. Rosie had not moved much, her head resting comfortably on Tina’s chest as they lay facing each other. Tina was in a deep sleep, her breathing slow and regular. She was so beautiful that it took Bette’s breath away and she felt such a strong surge of love for both of them that she took a deep shaky breath in.”

      “Her family. Her fucking family.” Bette has finally the family she always wanted despite being insecure at first when Tina got pregnant.

      And then the meeting with Boo at the airport and how Tina introduced Bette and Rosie and the words she said, my heart had already melted but now you could mop me up, that was so heartwarming!

      “Tina took Boo by the hand and led her proudly over to where Bette waited with Rosie. “Boo… this is my fiancée, Bette Porter and this is our daughter, Rosie. They are my world, my everything and now that you are here too, I do believe the circle is complete.”

      Again, I can highlight so much more that I thought was great, but I’ll leave that to the other readers. I’ve said it so many times and will keep saying it, love this Bette & Tina. The way you portray them is what I saw snippets of in the OG but unfortunately it ended with Ilene and her arrogance.

      Definitely a great chapter and I would have liked you to be the show writer.

      I wish you a good weekend!

      • BiBi
        First, thank you for your beautiful comment. It is the end all be all. You managed to boil down the chapter to all the main sticking points and I am so grateful for your constant support and appreciation of not only this story but the others as well.
        Yes, 1000x yes I love this Bette too. Her insecurities are still there but she tackles each situation with her love her Tina and her family as the focal points. It grounds her and the rest is easy. She has always been the one that mases things happen, sees the need and fixes it.
        And I love the idea of Bette Porter as a mother, especially to an orphan like Rosie but also as she watches their baby grow and the reality of a family of four emerges for her. So lovely.
        And with Tina there to mirror these feelings it is a match made in heaven. And so fun to write. More to come… next chapter Kit and Lucy arrive.

    3. I so love this story! You are such a great writer. I can invision everything you are telling, the southern influences so much so that I had to stop reading early on to put on a pot of gumbo to eat while I slowly read the rest. Keep doing what you’re doing I simply love it

    4. What a chapter… Boo spotted by Rosie before either Tina or Bette yet knew she was someone special….

      Bette getting the yard in shape was a magnificent gesture for both Tina and for Boo. Not many see things like that and just do it. Bette’s generosity is beyond measure. And her connection to her family is so complete and so solid, its overwhelming. Soon she will have that connection with Boo as well. Tina’s connection to Bette and Rosie seems unbreakable as well.

      Very loving chapter…. next is the wedding – the court date and the reunion of Bette and Tina’s extended family.

      Can’t wait to read it.

    5. I can’t comment any better than Bibi but I will say that I , too, love this Bette and I have both laughed and cried reading such a superb post.
      Thank you for allowing me to spend time with this TiBette so welcome in the challenging times we find ourselves in.
      I am looking forward to the Wedding and the return to LA .
      Stay safe and well
      SG

    6. “We love you, Beloved. It’s that simple.” Yes it is! It -really-is -that- simple. Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and remembrances of those we love. What an absolutely perfect time for this beautiful and ever so uplifting chapter.

      After sitting with the words for a few hours I thought I could be a little less hyperbolic in my reply but it is just not to be – these river chapters depict my absolute favorite characterization of Bette and Tina ever. Declarative statement! Hard stop. No exaggeration. The love between these two women is off the charts amazing. The upcoming wedding is literally going to be the icing on the cake.

      And this is arguably the most loving Bette Porter there has ever been. Say it with me! Tina sees it. And feels it. And knows it. “I’m here, Tee…” she said, “remember I am here.” And those four words meant the world to Tina, who knew in her heart that Bette was exactly that. Present. Available. Supportive. Bette was completely tuned in to the conflicting emotions Tina was feeling and steeled herself for an unpredictable day, knowing Tina would need her.” This Bette is feeling so settled and happy and blessed. She is living the dream right now. She has everything she could ever want with her Tina and so much more. And what is that? “Her family. Her fucking family.”

      Tina – what a truly lovely Tina – remains in her element on the river. I continue to love her many terms of endearment: Baby Sweet, Love Bunches and more. Tina who is so nervous about meeting Boo – has too much time passed? But she also remains very sweet and loving to Bette and so nurturing to Rosie: “Tina was already laying on the couch, so Rosie climbed up and snuggled in her arms facing Tina, her head on FisherRabbit. “There you go, Rosie Bear. This will be the best nap ever…” Tina said, running her fingers through the curly hair.” Bette and Tina are going to be such great parents. Rosie loves her Mama Tee. It is so great that Rosie is being included in everything and they are establishing a routine. She gets a special haircut and dress for the wedding and goes to the airport to pick up Boo. Rosie has probably already bonded with Boo and vice versa. She has so much love in her life! Just have to get through the court proceeding. Cannot wait for Kit and Rosie to meet.

      The visit to Boo’s cottage was bittersweet for Tina. So many memories. Most wonderful but some not so much. Bette does everything she can to help ease Tina’s stress. Her tending to the garden at the cottage was particularly moving – especially the wildflowers – and this pretty much says it all: “But you know what? We will pull every weed out of that garden if it makes you feel better, ok? I will call a backhoe if I need to…” Anyone else thinking that this very cottage will become the family home for their future visits to the river?

      And Bette gently getting Tina to talk about what was bothering her – not missing a beat in quickly suggesting that Boo should live with them in LA. Classic Bette – work the problem; find a solution. She is also thinking about Rosie’s needs: “Bette smiled sweetly, “Maybe, but… Rosie should have her own room, I think. She needs a safe place that is just for her, I feel that in my bones. A place that has her things and that she can retreat to. It is going to be a tough adjustment for her moving to a big city like LA, imagine having a wise river owl like Boo with her to help her understand everything? Someone who knows what that kind of move is like…” Wise river owl – Bette is definitely getting the hang of the river lingo. Bette is in awe of Boo and Boo has sized up one Bette Porter as well: “You’re a good one, I can tell.” That she is. Well said, Boo.

      Not to break tradition – my favorite passage: “She locked eyes with Bette, “I love you Bette Porter. Every day I think I can’t love you any more and turns out my heart just grows to make more room.” I just have to ask – how does one even begin to top that? BK – as always your attention to detail and descriptive language knows no comparison. What a beautiful chapter! Now on to the wedding!

      Last but not least – Bibi’s comment was great!

      • Oh Billy, what a great post. Please don’t worry about being too wordy in your comments, I love seeing what everyone thinks and which parts resonated with everyone!
        This Bette and Tina is how I envision them, now that they are past the stumbles and miscommunication of their earlier relationship. Bette has always wanted a family, I think, someone to love and be loved by. And she will clear any obstacle in the path to their happiness.
        Now on to the wedding indeed! First we have Kit and Lucy arriving then the court date both of which will have some LA mixed in with some river.
        Thank you, Billy.
        BK

    7. BK,
      With the comment from the sisterhood, mine will be short. How can a story add so much life-giving nourishment to our souls?

      Drama, witty humor, tears ( happy and sorrowful0, yet all of it so near & dear. I think for me it’s the pure UNconditional love that keeps coming through for the RiverMice.

      Just think, Kit and the gang are fixing to join the club and don’t even know it yet

    8. Hey BK,

      Bibi & Billy have said so much already on this marvelous chapter. I agree whole heartedly with their comments & their favorite parts of this chapter.

      I do have a few of my own –

      Bette has slide so smoothly into being a mother to Rosie & is getting excellent practice for her & Tina’s own bundle of joy once she arrives. Simply love how Bette is always including Rosie in their daily activities & spending that quality time with the little girl so she feels the love & just how special she truly is to both Tina & Bette. And Rosie in her own little way leaving her rock piles in all the important places for those she loves to see.
      And how Bette took her fear away a the airport & reassured her that she was safe in her arms. And Bette using the ‘safe’ words – ‘Safe’ & ‘Loved’ – that just melted my heart!!

      And all though the chapter, Bette caring for Tina in any & everyway. She would move mountains for Tina if she had to. Bette being Tina’s “Big Brave Warrior’ though everything that has come their way – awesome my friend.

      And the sketch that Bette drew & all those years later when she discovers it in Tina’s office – wow – that was powerful. The depth of that love & Tina’s appreciation for Bette.

      And at the airport – Boo knew just seeing them before they even meet that they were ‘a family in love with each other” – so right about that being so rare. Awesome way to describe their love & family.

      And then Tina reaffirming that the circle was complete – ‘I do believe the circle is complete.” Their baby will just add another link to that circle.

      This was just a super chapter, so full of life and loving. This is how I imaged them in OG too like Bibi said. Deep down, this is really who they are without the arrogance & dramarama & craziness of insecure writers & showrunners.

      Can’t wait for Kit & Boo to meet so Kit can tell Boo all about ‘little Bette’ when she was growing up!!! Sweet memories all ’round.

      Thank you for sending this other piece of a Thanksgiving Special our way to enjoy & savor for days to come. I know I’ll be dipping back in for a refresh & more joy.

      Stay safe.

      Collins

      • Collins
        You are absolutely right, Bette has poured everything into Rosie and making her feel like a part of the family. Now that she and Tina are solid she can shower everyone she loves with her generosity and affection.
        It’s how I envision them too, we all seem to be in agreement about that.
        Looking forward to your next post. Have a great Sunday, stay safe out there!

    9. BK, thanks for this heart-warming reunion of Boo and Tina. I’m so happy for Tina. After everything she went through in your story this is really the icing on the cake for her.
      This says it all: ” “Boo… this is my fiancée, Bette Porter and this is our daughter, Rosie. They are my world, my everything and now that you are here too, I do believe the circle is complete.”
      I love her words. Brought tears to my eyes. Expressing not only her unconditional devotion to Bette but also presenting Rosie as their daughter – without hesitation, without paraphrasing the cirumstances of the pending adpotion.

      Boo is like you imagine a loving grandmother: great observation skills, deep insights into life and love in general. It’s funny though that I pictured Boo totally different to your description of her. More like a Sharon Gless in “Burn notice” type of woman.

      It’s hilarous that Bette feels a little intimidated and tongue-tied around Boo. Is it because meeting Boo feels like meeting with the girlfriend’s parents for the first time? Donna and Tom definitely didn’t fill the role of parents but Tina’s grandmother who was formative in Tina’s childhood and teenage years would be respected by Bette as the one family member to ask for Tina’s hand in marriage. Figuratively speaking.

      That aside – I’m with Billy: What a lovely Tina! Her endless love and desire for Bette, her trust in her, the daydreaming and confusion due to her pregnancy and her love and care for Rosie. It is so sweet how the little one accepts her as well. Mama T. This and Rosie playing with her earlobe again had me tearing up again.

      This chapter is a beautiful picture of a loving family. Tina and Bette couldn’t love Rose more if she was their biological child. Just the right decision not to leave Rosie with Yaya when they visited Boo’s house. They make it clear that they’ll be in the girl’s life everyday. Not risiking that Rosie might feel abandoned by leaving her behind. She still is too fragile and needs to feel safe. Great how Bette handled the overwhelming situation at the airport with Rosie. Trusting the little one to decide what she felt the most comfortable with and rewarding Rosie with hugs and kisses when she chooses the safety option of being carried.

      BK, this chapter once again is full of sweet moments. Their lovemaking, the baby book, Jimmy and his crew, the three at the hairdressing salon, Tina visiting her past at Boo’s house, Boo watching the family at the airport. It all feel like the big reward for Tina and Bette for all the suffering they experienced not only in the past few years.

      Can’t wait for the court date hopefully with James, Kit, Lucy and Boo present and of course the river wedding.

      Thanks for sharing, BK. Have a great week, stay safe.

      • Thank you KP! I admit I had to look up Sharon Gless in Burn Notice. We are not too far apart in our rendition of Boo. The hair is the same! I haven’t seen that show but will tune in to see what her personality is like.

        I like how you compared this chapter to a big reward for the couple. They have been through so much! They deserve it. And it is a blast to write. My brain is already churning up ideas for A River Wedding. Can you imagine?

    10. While reading this chapter, I was smiling blissfully and my son asked me what I was reading to smile like that …

      I remembered with joy and emotion the first time I felt my sons move inside of me, your description took me a few years back… thank you it was a real moving chapter !

      • That’s a nice memory, Izzie. I remember that first feeling too… like what is this… could it be… and it just becomes a part of you, a reminder during the day of what is at stake. Thank you for your comment, glad you enjoyed the chapter.

    11. It took me awhile, but I’ve finally caught up on this story and The Beginning (I have not started to read your a=other stories yet, but I’ll get there :-) I’m so thrilled with how both stories are progressing, your writing is just so wonderful!!! I can’t wait to see how Boo reacts when they ask her to move to LA with them. I love their connections! Thank you for your writing! :-)

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