вторник, 22 марта 2011 г.

The Greatest Love

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More

BY: Linda L. Osmundson

In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.
~Hans Nouwens

The phone rang.

"Mom, I've been transferred to Seattle," said our youngest son three years after he and his family arrived in Colorado from New Zealand.

Following his Western Samoan service in the Peace Corps, he'd taught in Auckland, New Zealand, met his love, married and had twins -- Lina and Leilani. When the twins were eight months old in January 1999, the family moved to the States.

They lived in our walk-out basement for six months. We watched the girls scoot and then crawl across the floor. We caught them as they took their first steps. We heard their first words. Then the family found a house six miles away and moved out.

With the transfer, they'd be more than a thousand miles away. Would our bond be broken? There'd be no more last-minute babysitting. No more sleepovers after a card game with their parents that ran too late. No more dropping in at their house to visit and get my hugs.

On moving day, I brought the girls to my house so they wouldn't get in the movers' way. Great thought, but perhaps not the wisest decision. The next morning, we packed two cars -- one for their family and, of course, one for my husband and me -- and started out on our two-and-a-half day trek to Puyallup, Washington.

Upon our arrival at the new yellow house, the girls tore up the stairs like tornadoes.

"Where are you going?" I asked.

"To see our rooms," two voices chimed.

Soon, Lina ran to her mother and whined, "Where is my bed?"

Tears filled Leilani's eyes. "I want to go back to the blue house."

I, too, wanted them to go back to the blue house.

A few days later, we returned home alone. However, the phone rang, and two shy little voices said, "Hi, Nana and Papa. What're you doing?" They related all their day's activities and hung up with, "I love you, Nana. I love you, Papa."

Future calls revealed more about their move. They told how lots of children lived in their neighborhood; how they visited the library, church and YMCA located near their home; and how they met John's fellow employees, and gained lots of support and friends. Even though they were far away, we thanked God for their happiness.

The best was yet to come. The phone rang often. Their love continued; they didn't forget us.

"Nana," said Lina's three-year-old voice, "we got new bedspreads." I heard two sets of feet thump in the background. I pictured tiny legs trying to run up the stairs. "Mine is pink with lady bugs and bees. See?"

I laughed and imagined her holding the phone so I could see her treasure.

Feet thumped again. Then Leilani said, "Mine is purple with butterflies and flowers. See?"

A few months later, we answered the phone. "Nana and Papa, we asked Mommy and Daddy if we could come to your house, and they said no. Can you come to ours?"

As Christmas approached, I considered their request. I couldn't stand the thought of the holiday without them. On Christmas day, we flew to Seattle. John picked us up and drove to his house. Arms loaded, we headed for the front door.

"Here," said John, "go through the garage."

"No, the girls don't know we're coming. We'll ring the doorbell."

From outside, I could hear their mother urge them to break a rule and answer the door. At last, it opened, and one little girl peeked around the edge. I knelt before her. She ran into my arms, followed by her sister.

She said, "Oh, Nana, did Santa bring you for our present?"


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