When I saw her number on my caller ID, I didn't know what to do. She'd sent me a text earlier. The message broke my heart because I know how hard life can be sometimes. "The relationship just isn't working out with him--after years. So many things have to change and will change," she said. "Can you meet me at the mall?"
"Sure," I said. But after hanging up, I felt nervous. I felt bad for her, but at the same time, what if she didn't show up and I drove all the way to meet her? Maybe it was bad to think about myself when she was going through so much. It just isn't like me to run somewhere on a whim, though--not since I have four kids.
"Scribe and Hippie," I said, pulling on my shoes. "Can you watch the babies for a few minutes while I run to the mall?"
They seemed excited to babysit. Maybe this was a bad idea. It wasn't like they'd throw a keggar, but they are MY children after all. That could spell an imaginative DISASTER. "Yeah, but what for?" the Scribe asked, suddenly seeing money signs. "You wanna pay us?"
"Ummm. No. I don't think so. Today you're going to babysit out of the goodness of your own heart."
She just looked at me. "I can still do that and get paid. I feel extra goodness when money is involved."
I raised a brow.
"Next time," she blurted. "But WHY are you leaving? I thought you hated the mall."
I didn't want to tell them. I know it's terrible, but there was no reason for them to know until I got home. Some things in life are too hard to explain, anyway.
"Well . . . a friend needs . . . something. I'll hurry as fast as I can."
Snow whipped around the van as I drove. I thought of how strange life is, how completely odd. Some days it doesn't make sense, while others, it seems we're right where God wants us.
I couldn't think of the real reason I drove, just in case she wouldn't really come. It would break my heart again and I couldn't take that.
This is a hard time of year regardless. Zeke died on January 30th of 2003 and it still hurts. Plus, we just got rid of Luna, my dog and it still stung. The point was, I'd told the kids to take care of her and they hadn't. That husky pup, became my dog, MY companion. but I've never been the kind of mother who makes idle threats. No matter how much I loved the dog, the kids didn't hold up their end of the bargain and I had to follow through.
It was hard to think about, something I'd always regret, so I pulled my mind from those thoughts and I focused on the girl's dilemma. Break-ups are hard. Years ago Cade and I were separated after Zeke died. Once Cade said, Zeke looked too much like me and it was hard seeing MY face everyday. It was heartbreaking--more than I can say, but we made it through. Maybe I could tell her about that. Maybe I could give her my journal so she could read the love story for herself!
I thought and thought, surely I had a copy of it in the car. When I got to the mall, I dug through the trunk and finally found it "The Golden Sky." I wrote a note in there, hoping it would help her because if certain moments are meant to be, this was one of them.
I put money into the book, $300 to be exact, the same amount Cade's employer overpaid us and that we have to give back this week--the same amount we got for Luna. I just kept thinking of all the strange coincidences. If Cade's employer hadn't overpaid him, I wouldn't have had the money in time.
It seemed to take forever, but the girl did show up. I handed her the book. "I'm a writer. This book came from my heart. Maybe it'll give you peace. I put the money inside."
She smiled, looking tired and sad, but grateful. "I really appreciate you doing this," she said. "Not everyone would be willing to give me a refund."
I wanted to run to the back and look through the car's window. I restrained myself, though. "No problem. In fact, Friday night, I was so sad, I prayed that if we were supposed to be her pet owners, that you'd give her back."
"You're kidding," she said. "That's the same night my relationship ended. I was supposed to stay at home and train the dogs, but now I can't and she'll just be in a kennel all day. I just remembered how hard you cried when we left. I knew you might want her back."
We talked a while longer, me holding back tears, and just wanting to see my puppy's eyes.
Finally, she opened the back and I saw Luna! You wouldn't believe how excited she seemed. I put her in the van and we drove away. It wasn't until I was halfway home that I had to stop. I got in the back and hugged her. Tears poured from my eyes. "Oh, puppy. Good, girl. Good, girl. You came back to me! I didn't know if I'd ever see you again, but you came back!"
Me (still in my pj's, sorry) with Luna today.
When I finally stopped hugging her and we'd driven all the way home, I couldn't wait to see what the kids would do. I let Luna in and a cheer of excitement went through the house. My girls cried, too. "Thank you, Jesus," the Scribe said.
As we sat around, each telling Luna to sit and giving her treats, I explained. "I told you to take care of the dog, but you didn't so I had to sell her. Well, we got her back, and now she's my dog and my responsibility."
Luna waiting for a treat.
"How did we get her back, though? People just don't buy dogs and give them back a week later?" the Hippie asked. "Do they?"
"No," I said. "In fact she could have made $200 off of her, but she decided to offer her to us first instead. I prayed the other day, though. I asked God that if we were supposed to be Luna's family, she'd come back to us. And she did."
I hugged Luna again.
"What did you learn from this?" I asked my girls.
"That God answers prayer," the Scribe said. "Mama, you weren't the only one who prayed."
Her words made me smile. "What about you, Hippie?"
"I prayed too. I'm still shocked though. I never knew God would break up a couple, just so we could get Luna back. Don't you feel kind of terrible inside?"
I snorted. "I don't think that's why they broke up. Plus, who knows, maybe they'll get back together."
Anyway, I'm still in shock, but so happy I can't believe it. Isn't it awesome that small miracles can happen?! Isn't it wonderful that God still answers prayers every day!
For more about Zeke and his story, please go here: