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Rose of RiverBend

By Vikki Kestell


After a thirteen-year absence, Rose Thoresen is returning to her beloved RiverBend. It may well be her final visit.

Edmund O’Dell, Rose’s son-in-law, has accepted the job as head of the Chicago Pinkerton office. As he prepares to move his family from Denver to Chicago, Rose faces a difficult decision: Will she continue at Palmer House where she has led many fallen women to Christ and mentored them in their faith, or will she give up this ministry and follow her daughter and grandchildren to their new home?

I am seventy-four years old, Lord, and I believe that the work you entrusted to me when we founded Palmer House should now pass to Sarah and Olive. By your grace, Lord God, they are ready to assume this great and wonderful responsibility. I pray you make them fruitful branches in your kingdom, always abiding in the vine, Christ Jesus.

As for me? I will go with Joy and her family to Chicago and pour what love, strength, and time I have left into Joy, Edmund, and their children.

Rose asks only one thing of her son-in-law. “Edmund, when we take the train east, I would like to stop in RiverBend and spend several days there. I have not seen my friends and Jan's family in many years.”

Not since Jan left us and entered heaven.

O’Dell readily agrees to Rose’s request, and as they prepare to leave Denver, they must say goodbye to many friends.

As the train chugs into RiverBend’s little station, Rose knows the time she spends here will be filled with cherished memories, the sweet entwined with the bittersweet.

Father, thank you for the precious days before me. In them all, please help me to love without measure and bring glory to your name.


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