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Close to My Heart

When Calls the Heart: Close to My Heart

It has been three weeks since Hope Valley received the devastating news of Jack’s death and now the town gathers to await Elizabeth’s return. Before returning to Hope Valley, Elizabeth stops at Cross Creek Meadows to pay respect at Jack’s gravesite and remembers his funeral.

During Elizabeth’s absence, Rosemary has been substituting in the classroom. The students are all excited to hear that Elizabeth will be returning to the school after her three-week absence. The kids want to know if they should call Elizabeth “Mrs. Thornton” or “Miss Thatcher.” Rosemary tells the class to still call their teacher “Mrs. Thornton” because that is who she will always be.

Back at the house, Elizabeth recalls some of her most precious memories with Jack. Her quiet time is interrupted when Abigail, Rosemary and a handful of students surprise her at the door. The kids present her with a sympathy card that the entire class signed for Elizabeth. The visit is quick and before everybody leaves, Opal gives Elizabeth a big hug. Abigail stays behind to ask how Elizabeth is really doing. Elizabeth realizes the grieving process is just one day at a time. Abigail also informs Elizabeth that before Jack left for the Northern Territories, he gave her a letter to pass on to Elizabeth if anything happened to him. Elizabeth tearfully takes the letter.

Elizabeth goes for a walk in town. She runs into Bill, who presents Elizabeth with a horse from the Mounties. Bill tells her that Jack would want her to take the horse and he offers to take it to the stables.

Rosemary and Lee host Elizabeth for dinner that evening. Rosemary brings a smile to Elizabeth’s face when she tries to convince Elizabeth that the students have been little angels since her departure.

Abigail sits in the dark, thinking about fond memories of Jack. Bill finds her alone and tells Abigail he has been doing all he can to avoid thinking of Jack’s death. Bill tells Abigail that he has always thought of Jack as a son and he wishes he had the chance to tell him that. Abigail knows that deep inside, Jack already knew. Abigail and Bill cry together as they hold hands by the fire.

The next morning, Elizabeth gets ready for work and stares at the unopened letter from Jack. Rosemary shows up and the two walk to school together. Once again, Elizabeth is flooded with memories and goes running to the café for consolation from Abigail. A sobbing Elizabeth tells her she doesn’t know if she can stay in Hope Valley.

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