Looking out my window,
I see sunshine, blue skies..
both illuminating my neighbor's 50 year old maple tree..
all gloriously garbed in hues from glaringly gaudy golds...,,
to the softest of gentle greens and palest yellows..
all arranged ever elegantly among shadowed branches..
the temperature is still under 40 degrees..
with a promise of a possible high in the low 50's..
Autumn definitely has arrived here..
Making such a Grand entrance..
decked to the nines in all her glorious shades..
both in the high country..
as well as in downtown Denver..
next month will find me relaxing..
rejuvenating my soul on my native soil..
toes buried in the sugary white sands ..
being caressed by the crystal clear, ever changing waters..
of the Emerald Coast of Florida..
better known to me,as Paradise rediscovered!
But back to our regularly scheduled program..
♥ ♥ ♥
Today..I want to share something that really made me feel so good inside.
So good..it MUST be shared!
pull up your chairs..maybe a box of tissues..and your favorite beverage..
Me..for once,having NOT my usual iced tea ..
In honor of Autumn, I'm enjoying a cup of hot spiced apple cider!
Here's the story..a true one because it is mine..
Years ago, I had a dear sweet friend who married just out of high school and had three babies in almost 2 years..those darling babies were Michael, Matthew, and Maria.
The Mom, we'll call her Laney, was a classmate of my sister's.
Any way, as with most youngsters who marry and have too many babies too quickly , the marriage failed before the Maria was born.. Fast forward to 4 years later..
Divorce has already occurred, Mom is in nursing school with my sis, and I have the pleasure of babysitting these darlings..and it truly is a pleasure having these guys to play with my son Keith.
Life rocks on, Mom graduates with her Registered Nurse degree.. By now, the father who has but could care less about joint custody, is finally beginning to insist upon having the boys with him.
Laney, by now has met a dashing Navy pilot who has swept her off her tired aching workaday feet, proposed marriage..sans the boys..before he transfers to his next duty station. Both parents, meet with the attorney to work out details of custody modification..and Laney and her handsome pilot marry and become a family with Maria. Off they go to Europe to their new life at his new duty station.. to live happily ever after..
A year later,I receive news that a new child, a baby brother for Maria will be born within the year.. but first they will be taking an extended vacation, traveling around Europe. Partway into their journey, I'm contacted at work by the father of the boys. His message chilled me to the bone..He said " you can come and get these little bastards..or I'm turning them over to the state!"
What a dilemma ..my mind is racing frantically as I dial MY attorney to ask for advice! He says " agree to meet him and pick up the children. Their safety is of our utmost concern! " He is busily drawing up "paperwork" for me to become the temporary legal guardian until I can make contact with Laney!
With the boys in my care and custody, I enlist the assistance of friends to help me.
Sometimes I take them to work with me, other times, leave them with friends sworn to secrecy! All the while, my attorney is frantically trying all legal channels to contact Laney. Finally, through the International Red Cross,they are located.and contact is made. Given the urgent message left to call me, I explain the severity of the situation when her call is finally received .Because the boys are not her Pilots natural or adopted children, nor legally his military dependents, there is a lot of red tape to be cut and bureaucracy with which to be dealt before the children can even leave the country.
In the meantime, I have the boys.. who were quite filthy when I picked them up..
the first thing they asked was for haircuts..and baths..and Popsicles! Each and
every wish was granted..except Popsicles were eaten before the bath!
For the next three months, while channels were being cleared and preparations for their departure were being made, we quickly settled into our routines for day and night. They had always called me Mommy Lou..after dinner and bath time, I tucked them into my bed ..and read them happy stories, snuggling and showering them with much needed love..kissing each goodnight as sleep gently carried them to dreamland..
They were eagerly happy to see their mom when they arrived..
I sadly kissed them goodbye as off they flew to their new home in a new faraway world.
Over the years, Laney and I kept in contact as best as possible. By now, I'm also a Navy spouse living on opposite sides of the world. Occasionally though, our worlds do coincide as we meet back at our home town.. Finally they settle in San Diego..as I am back in Florida .
Years pass. School photos,achievements and accolades arrive along with holiday cards.. life rolls on..
The Internet is invented!
Everyone jumps first into email.. when that becomes passe'..Face Book becomes the 'NEW" next best thing for social media..
Like everyone else, I eagerly plug in names and begin searching for lost contacts, acquaintances, and friends..and I find Laney.. We communicate and she tells me how and where to find the now adult boys.. which I do.
Michael was not interested in Face Book..neither being on it or using computers. His love was his high school sweetheart, with which he had two adorable children. One of which was the exact replica of him at that age..his daughter could have passed for Maria's twin.! He had grown up, gone to college along with his wife, and after graduation, both obtained good paying jobs, built their dream home and settled into a happy married life. We are in frequent contact via all methods of contact, generously interspersed with photos of rapidly growing beautiful children..
Once I found Matthew, and rekindled our relationship..communication has been virtually non-stop! His job requires him to travel all over the world.. and frequently!! We proposed a meet up for the next time he was any where near Denver..
The meeting occurred almost a week ago.
What a joyous reunion we shared!
The meeting was at Elway's restaurant..
(We both were a bit teary and bleary eyed here!) We spent almost four hours catching up, reminiscing, laughing and at times, quite teary.
I came away with answers I'd never expected.. but had always secretly known in my heart.. Life had not been the kindest to the boys, yet they had survived and actually thrived.. and in doing so, had become so much more than the sum total of their parents.They both are fine upstanding citizens, and leaders of their community. Above all, they are loving fathers who consider their children and their welfare the greatest of their life accomplishments.
What moved me so deeply and yet made me feel so good was the statement Matty made..He said..Mommy Lou, you did NOT have to rescue us, nor love us, and make sure we were safe.. yet you did..and you gave yourself unconditionally to us so many times when we couldn't fend for ourselves.. that I made up my mind someday to find you and to say thank you! You made such a very positive impression on me and us that I wanted to grow up to be just like you.. generous, loving and kind!"
It was so hard not to bawl like a baby right then!
It is said we reap what we sow..
and love is no different..
it grows when and where least expected.
especially when given to a child..
and is returned tenfold..
Having found Matty again..
love is...for me ... the greatest gift of all.