“Karenina, Karenina, are you in there”? I heard Henry call me.
“Yes, Henry, I am in the study.” I softly yelled.
“I knew I would find you in here. I had a feeling you would be going through the books. Any book in particular that caught your eye, or is it the same one you always pick”? He said in a mocking manner.
“Same one.” I answered and smiled.
Henry was right. Throughout the years, I had always picked the same book. Today, more than ever, I needed to feel their presence; I needed to remind myself of the beauty of their love. My parents lived a remarkable life. Their love was as true then as it had been through their years together.
Forty-five years earlier, Mom and Dad, had walked into that orphanage and had picked me to be their daughter. That was the happiest day of my life. They had been married for fifteen years, when they decided to adopt a child. They said that they fell in love with me the minute they saw me. I was three years old.
I saw them walk in the room and the worker said, “Karenina, meet Genevieve and Arturo, your new parents.”
I did not know what to think. Here stood, in front of me, two total strangers, yet they were my parents. How can I ever be their child? Why would they want to love me? My own parents never wanted me. The answers to those questions were quickly revealed. A love that was everlasting and perfect had room to love one more. I was it. They could not have children of their own, but wanted to share their love. They loved me in a way that I did not know one could be loved. I was their child, they were my parents. Beyond that day, I never had any more doubts.
“Henry, let me pack some of the books to take with me. Later this week, we can come back and pack the rest of their belongings. Do you mind finding a couple of boxes that I can use to put them in?” I asked him with eagerness and sadness all combined into one.
I wanted to make sure that I took them with me right away. They were my mother’s legacy. After they married, Mom started writing novels. The first one was ‘Genevieve and Arturo’. Many followed throughout the years. Although ‘Genevieve and Arturo’ was a true story of how they met, it opened up the way for mom to become a famous author. She had topped best-selling charts for years.
After dad proposed to mom, they married in a beautiful small ceremony. By the time I met them, she had full use of her left arm and hand. She had fully recovered. Mom was beautiful. She had a beauty that radiated every room she entered.
Dad loved her so much. The promise he made the night he proposed set the tone for their life together. Dad kept every one of those promises. He never left her sight. She was his everything. He was her sunshine.
“Karenina, here are the boxes.” Henry said as he entered the room.
“Thanks, Henry.” I smiled and continued. “I knew this day would come, but I was not ready for it.”
“I do not think that anyone is ever ready. They had a good life together, one that has been told to the world. You have every piece of that story within those books. No one can take that away from you.” He hugged me as he continued speaking. “Karenina, you were loved. You have some of the greatest memories of your time together that will remain in your heart forever. If you ever feel like you are forgetting, just open one of the books and read through. Remember, they are now together again. The way it needs to be.”
Henry was right. It was the only way that dad could fulfill the one promise that was left.
“I will love you until the day we die and when we are in Heaven, I will love you there, too .”