When I was 14 and unpacked my boxes in my new room, my fairy tale book was not there. I couldn't remember where I'd had it last, and this last move we'd done was hectic and crazy and I wasn't there to pack my belongings. Did I give it away? Leave it somewhere? All I knew was it was not in the boxes labeled "Michelle's room."
I thought it might be in my step-dads boxes of books that were being stored in his parents attic. For six years I had this hope that my book would be there, miss-boxed. It will not shock anyone to learn that when I searched the boxes, my book was not there. My step-dad promised to send it to me if I had accidentally overlooked it and he found it when he unpacked the books for good.
No such luck there either.
So I have looked at every fairy tale book at every thrift store I have ever visited. I have poked around the books in antique stores and at garage sales. I wasn't looking for My book, with Aunt Susie's handwriting in it, but I just wanted a copy of it.
Twenty-three years of looking, of my sisters and Mom looking, and we remained empty handed.
When I heard my dogs barking, I wondered who could be coming to our door. My hair was in a towel, I was wearing grungy cleaning the house clothes, and the kitchen was post Thanksgiving messy, I was not ready for guests. I opened the door to my grandparents, and saw my Grandma holding a book in her hands.
I thought, "That book looks like my book." But Grandma didn't know I was looking for a book I couldn't remember the title of. What were the odds of her finding a fairy tale book somewhere and thinking I might like it? Then she handed it to me and said my cousin, who we lived by at the time of our last great move, had it and wondered if I would like it.
I opened the cover and saw my Aunt's handwriting, and I started to cry. I never in a million years thought I'd ever see that again and to have the book show up out of the blue after all this time....When I was 9, Aunt Susie was killed in a car accident. I still remember everything from that moment in time when our parents told us she had died......to open the book to see her handwriting after I'd long lost hope of finding my book in an unpacked box....
It's a miracle.