“Guys, would you please watch out? You nearly banged the curio cabinet against the door jamb.”
“Oh, Mom, don’t worry so much,” Mike laughed. “Everything’s going to be all right.”
Cary turned away from watching her son, grandson and some others from church unload the truck and went into the kitchen to begin the process of emptying boxes and filling shelves and drawers.
“I’m sure glad the former owners left the kitchen clean,” Cary thought. “It will make moving in so much easier.”
In about an hour the van was empty, boxes and furniture were in the rooms they belonged in, and everyone had left, except Cary’s daughter. Cary and Sue continued working in the kitchen. Although they were working together pretty well, they bickered a bit over some of the small details, such as which cupboard should hold the glasses and where the spices should go. However, even when they fussed with each other, they ended up laughing.
Around mid-afternoon Sue finally said, “I’ve got to go, Mom. Lee’s been home with the kids all day and the baby should be waking up from his nap. Believe me, Lee needs me. But I’m glad it worked out that I could come help you. Really am!”
Cary gave her daughter a quick hug and peck on the check. “Thanks, Dear. It made a big difference. I can finish this pretty easily now.”
Sue grabbed her purse and headed out the front door. Cary stood in the doorway and looked at the living room. The furniture was arranged in the place where she wanted it. The boxes of books were near the built-in bookshelves. One major reason she had chosen this house was the amount of shelves it had for her hundreds of books.
Tears filled her eyes, though, as, one more time, she faced the fact that this was her house, but without her husband. The funeral details and the move had taken up most of her idle time. She had grieved his death, of course, but the everyday tasks of life had kept her occupied. She hadn’t had much time, yet, to just “sit and feel,” as grief counselors encourage after a loss. She was pleased that her children had also suggested she buy this house that was only a few minutes away from them. They could help her adjust as she made a fresh start.
“Dear God, thank you for this house. Thank you for my children and grandchildren. And thank you that James loved you and is living with you now. Please help me find my new life road without him at my side.”
Cary went to the kitchen to wash a few dishes. As she stood at the sink with her hands in the hot, soapy water, she saw a girl run out of the house next door, slam the screendoor, and run towards the carport at the back of the yard. A tall, dark-haired woman followed her out of the door, but stopped at the back steps, and screamed at the girl. Through the window, Cary heard only bits and pieces of words, but the fury made her flinch. The words and the actions brought back childhood scenes that she’d hoped never to revisit. In fact, she had managed to avoid those types of situations for nearly forty years.
“Is this why you sent me to this house, Lord? To face some of my own fears? To bless this family? You are a healer and redeemer, Father, I know that. Please pour your health and redemption into both my house and their house.”
Cary stopped washing dishes and went into the living room. Books had always comforted her, and her heart was hurting and confused. She decided to put a few away. The “few” turned out to be several boxes of them as she sorted, alphabetized, read some favorite passages, glanced at illustrations. Suddenly, she glanced at the window and saw it was nearly dark.
Taking a soda from the fridge, she stepped out onto the back porch to watch the sunset. The sky blazed forth with bright pinks, magenta, and streaks of yellow. As she sat at the patio table and watched, the darkness enfolded color after color.
Back inside, Cary finished dishes, grabbed an apple from the counter, and went to her bedroom. Her son had put the bed together and the dresser was in place. Sue had made the bed. In the master bath, basic toiletries were set up. All she had to do was take a shower and go to bed. Even though it was still fairly early in the evening, and Cary was usually a night owl, she was exhausted from both the physical move and the emotional turmoil. She climbed into an old pair of pajamas. A favorite book had been planted next to her bed earlier, obviously by her daughter, so Cary could unwind with something familiar. She munched on the apple. After a few minutes, her eyes started drooping. She set the book aside, dropped the apple core into the wastebasket next to her bed, shut the light out, and pulled the covers up under her chin.
As she did so, a few tears slid out of her eyes and dripped onto the pillow. “It’s OK,” she thought to herself, “It’ll be OK.” And she drifted off to sleep.
This IS Chapter 1. You will now know why Cary becomes so excited, pleased, nervous, scared ... and trusts the Lord.