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Disclaimer: This story is written for the private entertainment of fans. The author makes no claims to the series' characters by the creation of this story. Fraser, Vecchio, Kowalski et.al. belong to Alliance, Paul Haggis and all the creative genius who made this show so special. No infringement of any copyrights held by CBS, Alliance, CTV, TNT or any other copyright holders of due SOUTH is intended. No money being made here.

Note to the Readers: This was written in answer to a challenge to write a 'songfic' (something I'd never done before) and to use either Easter or Springbreak in it. Well, I chose Easter. The primary character in this peice might surprise you, but I couldn't think of a better person to bring forth the message of what Easter is really all about.
I hope you enjoy. Feedback is always welcome. 'Thank you kindly!'

due SOUTH:
I Have Been There

By: Janice R. Sager
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In a room without a view, a new mother smiles
and holds the tiny fingers of her brand new baby girl.
Her husband takes her by the hand, so unsure about
the future and no money. Can they make it in this world?

Easter, a blessed day indeed. Could there be a better day in which to welcome a new life into the world? Father Behan turned from the young couple and smiled at the surrounding family. Ma Vecchio was glowing almost as much as her youngest daughter, yet there was worry in her eyes, worry in the eyes of all of them.

He glanced at the tall Mountie at Francesca's side. There was a smile on his face, but fear in his eyes, fears the young man would never voice, except in the confessional.

Father Behan knew that Turnbull had received transfer orders a little over two weeks ago. He'd immediately put in for a waiver, requesting that his assignment in Chicago be extended and the Inspector had added her voice as well, knowing his situation. Unfortunately, the newly appointed Consul had nixed it. Chicago had been an interesting experiment from his point of view, but the RCMP was never meant to run all aspects of the Consulate. He wanted a dedicated and fully trained diplomatic staff around him. As such, there simply wasn't a place for Turnbull to fill.

The most he'd been granted was an emergency leave of absence and a corresponding delay before he was required to report for duty in Winnipeg. Now that the child had been born, Father Behan knew he had only ten more days. If all went well, Francesca and the baby would follow him in a month.

The whole Vecchio family was in an uproar over it, but there really wasn't anything they could do about it. Turnbull was subject to the dictates of his government; and if Winnipeg was where they wanted him, then Winnipeg was where he needed to go. And if Francesca wanted to be with her new husband, she needed to go as well.

The old priest smiled encouragingly at the young couple. He would be sorry to see them go, but he knew it was all in God's hands.

He turned to the child in Francesca's arms and smiled again. It was time to focus on why he was here. He bent slightly and lifted the child into his own arms, marveling again at the miracle of new life. Knowing that Turnbull would be leaving so very soon, Ma Vecchio had called him as soon as the child was born. Now, while the family was all gathered together, Father Behan turned to the silver bowl of holy water the hospital priest held for him and began the Christening.

And they pray, 'Lord, all we have to give is love!'
Then they heard a gentle voice like an echo from above,
I have been there.
I know what fear is all about.
Yes, I have been there and I'm standing with you now.
I have been there, and I came to build a bridge,
so this road could lead you home.
Oh, I have been there.

Father Behan shared a smile with Father MulCahey and turned to find the elevator. It had been a full day, but Easter always was. Sunrise service, regular service, mid-day service, confessional duty, hospital rounds and now the Christening of little Patricia Rosa Marie Turnbull. She was a precious little girl with two very wonderful parents, but as he rode downward, he thought of all the pressures soon to be brought to bear on the new family... The life of a cop, and that of his family, was not an easy one whether it be in Chicago or Canada. He felt drawn to stop in at the Hospital Chapel and offer a quick and private prayer for their strength and well-being.

He's been a pastor twenty years but tonight he sits
alone and broken hearted in the corner of the church.
He tried to change a fallen world with his words and with his wisdom
but it seems like it is only getting worse.

Father Behan wasn't surprised to find Pastor Roberts of Trinity United Methodist rising from the alter, thinking he too must have been making his hospital rounds for the day. They were friends and served on a nondenominational committee on Gang Awareness together. What did surprise him were the tears tracing down the other man's cheeks.

"Jerry?" he greeted his fellow servant of God with a concerned note and hurried to his side. Normally, visitors to the Chapel were silent, respecting others' need for prayer and privacy - but this was not true for Pastors and Priests who were in the job of helping facilitate such efforts to reach out to God. Pastor Roberts didn't need his help in that regard, but Behan went to him just the same.

"Gregory?" the other was a little slow to recognize him, and offered an embarrassed smile. He cleared his throat and sniffed back the tears. "What brings you here?"

"Christening," he answered simply. "What's wrong, my friend?"

"Drive by shooting," the younger man answered with a sigh and closed his eyes wearily. "...My son."

Father Behan winced. There were times he questioned the prohibitions against Priests marrying, and then there were moments like this when he was thankful for it.

"He was talking to Julio Televeriz outside the Boys and Girls Center, telling him about some of our anti gang activities. The police think it was a set up because Jeremy's been spreading the word about what we're doing at his school and the gang is feeling threatened."

"I'm so sorry," Behan offered with real regret.

"He's going to be all right, thank God," Jerry assured him, but then closed his eyes again and began to weep once more, "but I'm not sure I am..."

And he cries, 'Oh Lord, I just don't understand!'
Then he felt the hand of grace, and he heard a voice that said,
I have been there.
I know what pain is all about.
Yes, I have been there, and I'm standing with you now.
I have been there, and I came to build a bridge,
so this road could lead you home.
Oh, I have been there.

Father Behan was feeling a bit discouraged and every one of his fifty-three years as he left the hospital, deciding to walk back to the church. Such a mixture of blessings and tragedies, on Easter of all days. He was about to turn south when he saw him. An older man, gray and hunched, standing in the glow of the street light at the bus stop. His shoulders shook as he clutched a bright bouquet of flowers before him.

An older man up on a hill holding flowers,
but he can't hold back the tears. He has come to say goodbye.
He thinks about the life she lived, thinks about how hard it's been
to live without her, sixty years right by his side.

The air-breaks of the mid-town bus squealed as it drew to a halt before yet another one of it's scheduled stops. A glance told Father Behan that he should be getting off, but he ignored it. The bus would make it's normal circuit and get back to it in half an hour or so. He had more important business to attend to right here.

"It's a blessing, I know," the older man said before Father Behan might offer that painful truth. "She had emphysema. It was so bad that she was on oxygen twenty-four hours a day at home. They had to put her on a respirator at the hospital even before they knew what was wrong. Turned out it was pneumonia..."

Father Behan nodded sadly as he listened to the story unfold.

"At first, they thought they could help her, but her lungs were too badly damaged. Even after the infection was beat back, they couldn't get her off the machine. And then her kidneys started to fail..."

The older man fell silent and bowed his head again, the tears sliding silently down his cheeks as the bus started up once more.

A younger man wearing Walkman earphones through which Father Behan could hear raucous rock music took the seat next to them. He nodded absently, bobbing his head more in time with the music than in any real acknowledgment of his fellow passengers - and then he seemed to realize the man beside him was crying. A panicked expression crossed his face, followed by disgust before he quickly rose to take another seat. The Priest was glad that Mr. Carmicheal didn't see that look.

"She was only in the hospital a few days," he continued softly. Father Behan had to lean close to catch the words. "I was thinking it was so hard without her... and now she's gone forever. I... I... I don't know what to do?"

And he cries, 'Oh Lord, I loved her till the end!'
Then he heard a gentle voice say, 'You'll see her once again.'
I have been there.
I know what sorrow's all about.
Yes, I have been there and I'm standing with you now.
I have been there, and I came to build a bridge,
so this road could lead her home, the road could lead her home!

Easter night and Father Behan knelt beside his bed for prayer. His legs were not what they had once been and it had been a long time since he actually got down on his knees to speak to God. Yet, the happenings at the hospital and the lives that had touched his today were like a heavy burden on his heart. They dragged him to his knees as he sought God's ear, pouring out the troubles and pains that he had witnessed and tried to comfort as best he could. He knew it was in the small things like a smile or a shoulder to cry upon that the Lord worked his greatest miracles, healing hearts and mending broken spirits. But he also knew his words were only the words of a man. They were nothing without the blessing of the Lord behind them.

Many saw Christmas as the most holy of holidays in Christendom, but Father Behan disagreed. Christmas was only the beginning of a promise. A blessed day, yes, but Easter was the fulfillment of that promise. And so tonight he prayed that the words he'd spoken earlier had been words the Lord had given him to speak; that, on this day of all days - the foundation of his faith, comfort and peace might be found in what he had said and done.

Then, with a weary sigh of his own but peace in his heart, Father Behan crossed himself and rose to turn off the lamp beside his bed. Tomorrow was another day and there would be other lives to touch and other words to speak. He prayed that God would lead him where he was needed and give him the words that were needed to be heard, then he closed his eyes and trusted himself to sleep.

Oh, I have been there,
you know I overcame the cross.
Yes, I have been there, so your life would not be lost.
Oh, I have been there, and I came to build a bridge,
so this road could lead you home.
The road could lead you home!
Oh, I have been there.
Yes, I have been there.

The End

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