Rainy Days

By: Crystal Ward


            The Ranger was preparing for the slow, long walk down the aisle.  No, he never could get used it.  He was holding up relatively well today.  Yes, it should have been a day of joy and happiness, but sadness filled his heart.  It was days like today when he missed her the most.

            "Daddy, are you alright?"

            "Yes, Ally, I am fine.  I was just thinking about..."

            "About Mom?"

            "Yeah your mom and our wedding day."

            "Tell me about it."

            "You've heard it enough that you could probably tell it yourself."

            "I know Daddy, but you tell it the best."

            As much as it hurt to talk about her, he would endure it for their daughter.  Memories were all he had left of her now, but poor Ally never even had the chance to know her mother.  "The day was perfect and Alex was so beautiful that day.  As she came down the aisle, she wore the biggest smile I ever remember seeing.  She was so happy and I was relieved that she decided to go ahead with the marriage.  For some reason I figured she wouldn't go through with it, but she proved me wrong as she usually did."

            Ally made her way to the mirror and sat down to finish up on her hair and make-up.  "What do you remember most about that day?" 

            Walker came up behind his daughter and looked at her reflection.  She was a perfect match to Alex except for her strawberry blonde hair.  Those genes were definitely his. "Now, when I look back on that day, all I can remember is your mom, but I also remember that it rained."

            "Why do you remember the rain?  That must have been awful to have it rain on your wedding day!"

            "Just the opposite, Ally.  A few weeks before the wedding Grandpa Cahill had a heart attack and crossed the river.  Your mom's heart was crushed.  Her relationship with her father hadn't been the best, but Alex was looking forward to sharing her wedding day with Gordon.  Your mom had a hard time dealing with the loss.  I told her that Gordon would have wanted her to go ahead with the wedding so we did.  It started to rain just after we said our vows to each other.  Alex was all upset so I told her a Cherokee story.  As a child, I was told that when it rained it meant that there were holes in the floor of heaven and that the rain meant that loved ones above were watching.  I told her the same thing and that the rain was the tears of her father."

            "I remember you telling me that when I was younger.  It always made me believe mom was close by."

            "She is.  She's with you everyday.  You know you remind me so much of her.  You are both the best ADA's I have ever known and the prettiest!"

            "Dad, how did mom cross the river?"

            "It's a long story.  One I haven't truly told you.  I just told you what I thought you needed to know, but there is more to it then you realize."

            Ally stopped with her make-up and turned to her father.  "What do you mean?"

            "Your mom worked on the Rod Johnson case right up to the time of her scheduled leave.  She worked awful hard for the guilty verdict and was relieved when the verdict came back her way.  After that she went on leave for a week and then you were born.  We hadn't yet picked a name for you.  We had so many ideas, but couldn't decide on one so we brought you home without a name."

            "What did you call me then?"

            "Just baby.  We thought having you at home for a few days would make it easier to decide, but it didn't.  Grandpa C.D. and Uncle Jimmy weren't much help either."

            "How did mom and you decide on Ally?"

            "I picked it.  See after you were home for a few days, Rod Johnson was released on a technicality.  I'm still not sure how it happened, but it did.  I was so excited about having you at the ranch that I wasn't concerned about Johnson.  That's when it happened." 

            Ally listened very closely to her father all of this was new to her.  Everyone had always just told her it was an unfortunate event, but Ally knew there was more to it.  "I left the house to go to town and get a few items for your mom.  I promised to be back in an hour and asked if she wanted to come, but Alex was tired so she decided to stay home.  When I left, your mom was rocking you in front of the fireplace.  It was the most beautiful sight.  I gave both of you a kiss before I left and then headed for town.  It was the first time I had gone shopping for supplies by myself.  I must have been the funniest thing to watch.  After a few minutes of running around the store, a young girl came and helped me.  When I got back to the Ram, the phone was ringing and I got an awful feeling inside of me."

            "It was mom wasn't it?"

            "Yeah, she as so frightened, Johnson was in the house and your mom somehow made it to our room.  She said Johnson was threatening her.  I could hear him breaking into the room and Alex screaming, then the phone went dead."  Walker stopped for a few minutes trying to compose himself.  He hadn't talked about this for twenty-five years and it was hurting to tell Ally the truth.  "I drove as fast as I could, but I wasn't quick enough.  Johnson was after you because he knew that hurting our daughter would be the best method of revenge.  When your mom wouldn't tell him where she had hidden you, he got mad and fired the gun.  After a brief search of the house, Johnson left and that was when I arrived.  When I pulled into the drive I saw smoke coming from our room.  I dashed up the stairs not even thinking about where Johnson could be.  When I opened the door I could only see smoke, but soon the room cleared out and I saw your mom lying on the floor.  She had been shot several times and blood was all over the floor."

            "Was she...?"

            "No.  She was barely alive, but somehow she was able to tell me to look in the closet.  That was where Alex had hidden you to keep you safe.  I tried to help your mom up, but she was so weak so I tried to pick her up next.  She pleaded with me to take you and go to safety.  I hated leaving her there, but she had that look in her eyes that said 'You aren't going to win this one!'  I took you and put you in the Ram and then headed back in for your mom.  She had inhaled a lot of smoke and lost several pints of blood.  I carried her outside to the Ram and just held her.  The emergency vehicles arrived shortly after, but it was no use, she was already gone.  As the fire was put out, I went to the Ram, climbed in the just held you.  That's when it started to rain.  It was then that I named you Ally after your mom."

            Ally was crying and her dad was close to doing the same.  "She died saving me."

            "Yeah, she loved you very much."

            "I only wish I had known her."

            "Ally I'm sorry we kept the truth from you, but that is what we thought was best.  You might not of known her, but she is in your heart!" 

            Just then there was a knock at the door as Trivette and C.D. entered.  It didn't take long for them to notice the tear-stained faces of their dear friends.  "Did we interrupt something?" C.D. asked not wanting to disturb his family.

            "No Gramps.  Daddy was just telling me what happened to mom."  C.D. looked at Walker who just nodded his head then C.D. turned his attention back to Ally with concern in his eyes.  "It's alright.  I understand and I'll be fine.  Mom must have been a real special lady."

            "That she was," C.D. said as he walked toward her.  The retired Ranger was now in his late 80's so his movement was slow and assisted by a cane.  "And you are just like her!"

            Ally once again placed herself in front of the mirror and started to reapply her make-up.  After a few minutes Leslie busted through the door and all heads turned to see who it was.  Leslie was Trivette's first daughter and only a few years younger than Ally.  The two had grown up together and became best of friends.  "About ready, Ally?"

            "Yeah.  Oh man am I nervous.  Is Tom the same way?"

            "No...he is worse!"  The girls giggled as the Rangers looked on. 

            "Looks like you're done Ally expect for your surprises."  Ally's eyes grew big.  She loved surprises!  "Something blue."  Leslie said as she handed Ally a blue garter. 

            "Something new."  C.D. charmed in as he handed her a pair of pearl earrings. 

            "I hope Josie doesn't mind,"  Jimmy snickered.  "Something borrowed," he said as he gave a pair of hair clips also made of pearls to Leslie who placed them in Ally's hair. 

            Ally turned to her father.  Walker still couldn't get over how beautiful she was.  Alex would have been so proud of him Walker thought to himself.  Walker pulled out a picture from his coat pocket. "Something old.  That's a picture of you and your mom, the first one of you at home."  Ally took the picture and looked at it.  She had seen pictures of her mom before, but not this one.  It was of Alex holding her child in front of the fireplace. "It's the only one of the two of you.  Remember that your mom is with you today as we walk down the aisle.  She would never miss this day!"

            "Oh Daddy!"  Ally threw her arms around her father. "I love you!"

            "I love you too baby!  Come on Tom is waiting."  Walker said with a smile on his face as the room cleared out. 

            Everyone took their places as father and daughter waited outside of the room.  The music started to play as Walker asked "Are you ready?"

            Ally nodded her head and took a quick glance at the picture of her mom.  "We are ready!" she said with a smile as the doors opened and the slow, long walk began.  Everyone stared at the bride and Walker knew she must have been a vision just like Alex was on their wedding day.

            The ceremony went perfectly.  Everything was so beautiful and Ally was happy.  Walker was giving his only family away, but at the same time he was grateful.  He, the stubborn Texas Ranger, had raised a baby girl up to be a wonderful lady.  Walker could feel Alex's presence at the wedding.  He could hear her spirit in the wind and knowing that she was near was helping him to make it through the day.  After the "I Do's," the dance began with congratulations being given freely to the new couple.  Well into the reception, it was finally time for the father-daughter dance.  Ally had taken it upon herself to pick the right song for this dance.  Growing up with Ranger Cordell Walker as your only parent was tough, but it built up a strong relationship between the two.  After several hours of scanning all possible songs, Ally found the perfect one; Butterfly Kisses. 

            "May I have this dance?"  Ally asked as the dance floor cleared out and the song began.  Ally slowly took her father's hand and lead him to the middle of the floor.  "Daddy, I know at times I probably wasn't the easiest child to deal with.  Thanks for everything.  I know Mom would be proud of you."

            Walker smiled back at his daughter.  "You weren't the easiest kid to raise, but I probably wasn't the easiest parent to live with.  You are very stubborn just like your old man, but that was one quality your Mom loved."

            "I love it too, Daddy.  It's who you are."  They continued to talk about the past and the future then a cold and lonesome rain let out.  The guest all ran to the nearest building, but father and daughter continued to dance in the rain as they were joined by Alex. "Just like you said, Mom is here every step of the way.  She won't ever leave us."  Once again, the Walker family had come together in their time of need.  Together they could make it through anything!

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