Young and falling in love with Tass, a teen, like himself Emmett had no romantic feelings for another woman whom he and his friends met while walking along the road. Feeling a bit sad and lost the woman heard Emmett's whistle as a bird call to a friendship. She just wanted to hear that loud whistle again. So Emmett obliged her. Then, he went on his way with Tass and his other friends. Never knowing that J.W. and Carolyn's husband, Roy, would arrive at his aunt and uncle's home that night looking for revenge. Fast forward and Emmett Till is murdered.
Tass could never forget Emmett. He lived in her memory for always. In spirit he never left her. It seemed as though he wanted to finish their love story in eternity. I think he could not remain in the Tallahatchie river because of his innocence. Sadly, he died before his time in an awful way. Soon Tass would leave Money, Mississippi and go to Detroit. She met Emmett Till's spirit in many ways. For example on one cold winter's day a naked leaved tree filled with cardinals on all the limbs.I think Emmett Till's spirit guided those bright red cardinals to that particular tree in order to make Tass feel warm and fuzzy. It would have been a way of saying life won't always feel so dreary, grey and dark.
The novel Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden is not sad without purpose. It is a historical reminder to all races who have in the past or present or might in the future stare at the dark clouds of oppression and hate because of their ethnicity. Books telling these sad truths must continue to be written. Stories have to be told to grandchildren, greats and on down the line. If only one heart is touched, moved not to hate another man or woman different from himself there is hope. Hope for all mankind to live and experience a better day, one full of love and brightness like the red cardinals in that winter tree.