“Oh, Cody, glad you stopped by,” Mom jumped up as soon as she heard the door. “Don’t take off your coat. I need you to do an errand for me.”
“My day was great, Mom,” Cody’s voice dripped with sarcasm, “How about yours?”
“Huh? Oh, my day was good, too.”
Cody shook his head and gave up. “So, what’s this important errand that I can’t even get a proper hello?” He swung his coat over the back of a kitchen chair and plopped his tired frame down.
Mom either ignored the comment, or simply didn’t get it. “Got a call today. There’s a widow-woman planning on staying at the Larson cabin over Christmas break.”
“Nice,” Cody still didn’t get the urgency of it.
“It’s such a sad story. Sarah asked if we would check on her at some point to make sure she’s okay,” Mom turned to look at Cody. “Why are you sitting down? Didn’t I tell you to keep your coat on?”
Cody hung his head and sighed.
“Anyway, Sarah asked if I would pick up something Christmassy to leave for her, to sort of cheer her up. So, here, take this and leave it on the porch.” Mom thrust a small potted Christmas tree at Cody.
Exhausted, Cody glanced at his mother.
Mom looked at him expectantly, and paused. Her mood softened, “I’ll make you something for dinner and have it ready when you get back, okay?”
Snow crunched under Cody’s boots as he stepped up to the porch to leave the little Charlie Brown tree. He glanced around, rubbed the back of his neck and realized how this little errand had added to his weariness.
On the fifteen mile drive back to Mom’s, he let a past Christmas memory take control of his mind.
Cody paced outside the women’s dorm nervously. Dana had called him from the bridal shop and sounded panicked. What could have gone wrong at her final fitting?
He had patiently waited for Dana’s senior year at Northwest University. They planned to get married during winter break. He had been a youth pastor at a church near the college for three years.
The news Dana delivered stunned Cody. She simply couldn’t follow his calling into the ministry. After two years of dating, and a one year engagement, knowing all along that he would be a minister and she would be his wife, somehow the connection of being a minister’s wife just sunk in?
It hit Dana hard and she ran.
Cody’s mom had told him to be patient, God had a plan.
That was five years ago. Cody never dated again, and he left the ministry as well.
At Christmas dinner, Cody glanced down the table at the ‘widow-woman’, Stephanie, their reluctant guest. He had been sent by Mom to go get her and bring her to dinner.
He reflected on his assumption that she would be an older woman and couldn’t get over the fact that she seemed to be around his age.
“So you teach?” someone asked the widow guest.
“Yes, she teaches high school English,” Mom supplied.
“Oh, really? Where?”
Stephanie opened her mouth to answer but Mom stepped in, “The Seattle area. She graduated from NU with Sarah. Remember Sarah from church?”
Stephanie looked down the table at Cody who had been rather humored by the conversation. He just smiled and shoved potatoes in his mouth. Mom was a piece of work, for sure.
Later as the men watched football, Mom continued to play offensive linewoman, protecting the one with the ball. Cody seemed rather amused by the whole thing and Stephanie found herself comfortably relaxed.
On the ride back to the cabin, Stephanie laughed and became very animated as they relived the evening. “I love your Mom,” she blurted out.
As they pulled up to the cabin, she impulsively jumped out and threw a snowball at the windshield. Cody tumbled out of the truck and pelted her in return. She squealed and ran towards the cabin. Suddenly she plopped her backside in the fresh snow and laid back to make a snow angel.
“If there is snow, an angel must be made in it. This is my theory and I’m sticking to it.”
Cody shrugged his shoulders and plopped his skinny hind-end next to her and made his own snow angel. As he helped her up, they stood toe-to-toe. Stephanie’s smile gripped his heart.
Be patient, God has a plan.
He loved his Mom, too.
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