FOOTSTEPS AND FINGERPRINTS
While in the states, staying with my brother and his family in Chazy, in upstate New York, we made a side-trip one day to Vermont. We had two major purposes for the day-long road trip: to visit the cemetery where our parents are buried, and to spend time with our sister Mary at her home in Wallingford.
We left early in the morning, traveled the interstate most all the way, and arrived at the cemetery in Shrewsbury late morning after three-plus hours of travel. The ride was very scenic through the lush Green Mountains, past small lakes and ponds, through towering forests, sometimes bordering farm lands in various stages of planting and/or harvesting. My childhood had been in the Vermont mountains and seeing them again tugged at my heart.
The cemetery is located on the side of a hill overlooking a valley and more mountains. It is a small town cemetery bordered by trees. The serene quietness of the place, its well-kept grounds, and its aura of peaceful solitude are indeed a balm for one’s spirit. After prayers at my parents’ resting place, Michael and I slowly walked around reading the names of families on the headstones. We discovered that almost all those in that little cemetery were in one way or another related to our family. A family reunion in heaven, so to speak. Awesome!
After enjoying a leisurely lunch in Rutland, we proceeded to Wallingford to visit our sister Mary. She lives in an apartment in the Wallingford House (used to be an inn). Since she has lived there longer than others in that home, she acts as sort of the ‘house mother’. She is now wheelchair dependent.
It was so great to see and visit with her. I had just finished editing her memoirs and was able to bring with me several copies of her book (I had it initially printed in Manila) entitled “Memories and Miracles, My Life with Cerebral Palsy”.
6 of the 14 chapters describe her visit to the Philippines, to Dumaguete and our beach house in San Jose. When Mary had arrived here, she had brought with her her wheelchair and various other walking aids. But it was on the beach in front of our beach house in San Jose where Mary was able to walk unassisted, unaided, by herself for the first time in over 30 years! The miracle happened: Her FIRST FREE STEPS! And she remembers in her book how the song “Footsteps in the Sand” came true in her life while she was in the Philippines. Praise God!
I am honored that she asked me to edit her memories from her letters over the years and arrange them into book format. Only now have I come to better understand her life struggles and the many ups and downs, challenges that she had to deal with. Through this long-distance email and snail mail, working together, we are not only now sisters but good friends. God is good!
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