July 14, 2005 - "More Than Coincidence" by Anne-Marie Walker
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MORE THAN COINCIDENCE
by Ann-Marie Walker
Twice a year Gary and I took the kids and made the 1,200-mile trip up from Alabama to my native New England to visit my folks, crowding into their cozy little house on Cape Cod. I loved those trips. One year my daughter, Michelle, gave me a ceramic cottage that looked like one of the saltboxes on the Cape, with cedar trees on either side and a quaint old rowboat out front. "So you can feel close even when you're in Alabama," she said. I gave Michelle a big kiss and a hug in return.
We all got older. I worried about Mom's worsening diabetes. Dad had a heart attack. Suddenly, they were facing a move to the nursing home.
"I can't let that happen," I told Gary. "Let's move up north and take care of your parents," he said. Our kids were grown by then. It was possible.
We put our things in storage and moved into my parents basement on Cape Cod, but it wasn't quite the same. The vacation cottage was way too small for the four of us to live full time.
Gary and I had to find a place of our own. The houses we saw were too expensive or too far from my parents. I tried to take comfort in my favorite Scripture, from Jeremiah: "For I know the plans I have for you, plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope." But the longer we looked, the more I wondered what lay ahead for us. For my parents.
One summer day the realtor showed us a saltbox house down the road from Mom and Dad's. It was lovely. Even better, I had a tremendously warm feeling about it, like those old vacations. I couldn't explain it.
What a relief to finally unpack our things! They'd been in storage so long, it was like seeing them for the very first time. Except when I unwrapped the ceramic cottage my daughter gave me. I turned it over in my hands. The sloping roof, the shutters . . . it was an exact replica of our new house, right down to the cedars and the quaint rowboat the previous owners had left on the lawn. A future and a hope. It had been there all along.
Copyright 2004 Anne-Marie Walker Anne lives in Massachusetts and you can email regarding her story in care of 2TheHeart. Editor@2theheart.com
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