“When my mom died I was devastated. Nothing was the same and no one seemed to understand how I felt.” He paused in time for Joanna to hear a small “meep” come form behind Tom’s back. She moved to peek at what he was hiding but he moved with her to prevent it. “I couldn’t talk to my dad because he was hurting too and I didn’t want to upset him more. That Christmas my dad got me a puppy and that was who I told all my secrets too. It helped to know that I could always talk to him and he wouldn’t tell a soul.” Jo couldn’t take it anymore she ran around his back and he turned on his heel and around and around they went. Finally Jo stopped and so did Tom. “Now you can always talk to me about how you feel but I’m not always here. You can also talk to Leslie she cares about you and can help you through your issues but if Leslie says that you can have this you can always talk to her too.” at this he pulled a small orange kitten from behind his back Jo squealed with delight as she took it from his hands.
“Why don’t you stay out here with her while I go check with you sister.” Tom left her playing with the kitten and found Leslie in the kitchen fixing the plates. She turned to find him watching her.
“Lunch is ready. Where’s Jo?”
“Outside playing with her surprise.” He smiled. “Which is why I need to ask your permission or should I say forgiveness.” Leslie was waiting for him to continue. “I brought Jo a kitten.” He announced.
Leslie smiled and looked past him. He turned around to find Jo holding the orange fur ball which was wrapped around her hand chewing on her thumb.”Please can I keep her?” Leslie couldn’t say no so she nodded. “Can I name her then?” Jo asked. Both adults nodded. She thought for a few minutes. No name came to mind so she sat down and the adults followed.
After dinner the adults missed Jo. They found her in the living room.
Jo was sitting in the floor of the living room watching the Disney channel and playing with her cat. Tom and Leslie joined her. NO one said a work as they watched the kitten play with a toy mouse. After a moment Leslie suddenly remembered why Tom had come.
“I think I’ll go take a nap.” She said and left them alone to talk for a moment they were both quiet but then Jo spoke up.
“Why would a God that’s supposed to love me take my parents away?” she asked but her eyes never left her eyes never left her new pet.
“See that’s what Satan wants you to think that God took your parents so he couldn’t really love you.” Tom watched her carefully. Her eyes came up to meet his.
“But that’s what everyone says. That it was God’s plan.”
“They don’t undersand how God works. He doesn’t want anything bad to happen. But he allows it to for a reason. We may never know what that reason is but he does.”
Tears flooded Jo’s eyes as she pondered those words. Tom handed her his handkerchief. “I know that you’re sad and you should be but God wants you to have peace through this. He wants your joy to return.”
At that moment, the kitten threw her mouse in the air and did a back flip to catch it. Jo and Tom laughed hysterically for a long time.
“I think I just found a name for her.” she siad.
“Really? What’s that?”
“Joy.” Tom smiled and patted her head.
“Well, I think I’ll call it a day. I’ll call tomorrow and check on you girls. Tell your sister that I enjoyed lunch.”
“I will. Thank you... for everything.”
“Anytime.” and with that he left.”
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