Sometimes, when itís quiet, I can remember what my life was like before moving to Cedar Springs. Resembling a patchwork quilt, I have lived many places, but here I have found my place in this world. I came here worn out, devastated, broken hearted, and found a little piece of heaven.
After losing Michael, my one and only true love in life, I needed something I could not put a definition on. I needed hope, and yes, God. I didnít know how to find Him for I had never known Him. I lived life pretty much on my own terms, falling in and out of love with people, places and things. Then I met Michael.
Michael literally fell into my life. One day as I was crossing the street a child ran out in front of car, a small boy around the age of six. He came within inches of being hit as I rushed in front of the car and pushed him as hard as I could. He fell to the ground just as the car screeched to a halt and just narrowly missed me.
Michael had scrapes and bruises but was otherwise fine. Physically, that is. I noticed right away he could not talk or understand me when I asked if he was all right. He had a look of utter terror in his eyes. His clothes were in tatters, and he was thin and pale. I gently took his hand and led him to a sidewalk cafť, and he said not a word. I ordered a cheeseburger for him and he ate like there was no tomorrow.
It was Michael's eyes that spoke to me. "I need you," they said. He couldn't verbally speak but he had the most expressive eyes. They told me of his pain and how much he wanted love.
I asked around and found that the child was an orphan, and homeless. He lived on the streets of Chicago and no one knew who his parents were. I took him home with me, and by the end of the week decided Michael would live with me. I didnít look for his parents and had no intention of taking him to child services. I named him Michael after my brother who died at age six of cancer.
Being financially secure, Michael and I traveled for two years before he died. We went everywhere, from Hawaii to Israel. He spoke not a word, but his eyes and hands communicated to me what I needed to know. The only thing I really needed to know was that he loved me. Never having been married, I had always wanted a child, someone to need me, and Michael was that child.
Doctors said Michael was autistic. I thought he had just been traumatized before I found him from some type of abuse. At night when I tucked him in and read to him, he would hug my neck and utter sounds of great love for me.His big brown eyes would smile and I knew he was happy.
One morning while we were in Italy, I went in to wake him up and he was dead. Just like that. He had an aneurism to his brain in the night, and left my life as quickly as he entered it.
One day in my grief, I decided to get on a Greyhound bus and get off at the first quiet little town I saw, and thatís how I ended up in Cedar Springs. A quaint, beautiful little town surrounded by lakes. I felt a peace as soon as I stepped off the bus. I soon found a very old and beautiful home on Muskegon Street and bought it. I also ran across a beautiful old church as I was out walking one day, thinking of Michael. Something propelled me through the door and I went in and knelt and prayed. I asked God for salvation, and He answered me. ďMichael was your salvation.Ē
Now I have found a home. A place to grow old and write. Now I have found peace with God, and He reminds everyday how fortunate I was to have the love of a child who could not even speak. A child in need of a home and someone to love him. A child of God.