B.D. and A.D. that’s how I define life. Before the diagnosis and after. In 2002, I left Virginia Beach with three young children in tow. A failed marriage, Marley, age 6 was one month into a diagnosis of juvenile diabetes, Malia ( Mia) was just two years old and Zoe at 8 was the oldest. I had been a stay-at-home mom until this point, homeschooling the kids. Returning to Delaware after twenty years away meant not only beginning again, but getting a job as well. Thankfully, I was leaving during a boom in the real estate market and my house had doubled in value. We had many offers and hand written letters asking for the sale. I was able to take that money and with the help of my mom, purchase a cozy three bedroom house in Dover. It was a mere ten minutes from Cathy and Kate. Close enough for dinners, far enough away for us each to have our breathing room.

When I was looking for a home while I was still in Virginia Beach, I found a little treasure in Crossgates. My agent wanted me to purchase a new home. She took me to countless developments that were just built. I was adamant that the house I saw online was the one I wanted to live in, serendipitous? There were so many obstacles to overcome, but my mom being the real estate shark she was, found a way around each hurdle. Within two months I had moved, decorated, found a church and got a job at Polytech as a teacher. Since I was teaching adults, I was still able to homeschool my kids.

As we began our new life, Zoe asked me over one of our many multi generational dinners, if I would ever date again? So many things had changed in such a short amount of time, my little empath was preparing herself for more. In response I told her, “if the Lord wants me to marry again, He will bring the man to our front door with a tool belt on! “

Late spring turned into summer and we got to know our neighbors. We began spreading our fragile wings. As a newly single mom of three, I often had to knock on my neighbor’s door. Monte and Lynn were always so gracious in helping me with whatever mess I had gotten myself into. One day though, I couldn’t get my weedeater to start. Lynn offered to send her son, Joe over to start it. Shortly afterward, a huge lumberjack of a man comes over with a shy grin and gets it running with no effort. The next week he saw me ‘chopping wood’ and immediately took over. I’m on the roof cleaning the gutters, there’s Joe holding the ladder. At 34, I appreciated his help, I was a novice at all things mechanical. At 22, Joe was not only strong but kind. If there was a full moon, he’d knock on the door and take the kids outside to show them along with all the wonderful wildlife in the creek behind our house. Our paths crossed often.

The holidays were approaching. This would be our first Christmas just the four of us. We put up our outdoor lights, thank you Joe, got a tree and attended Advent service with our new congregation. Christmas morning was spent at Mom’s house with all four generations celebrating Jesus’s birthday.

Around lunchtime, the kids and I got back to our house. Soon after there was a knock on the door and in came Joe with his arms full of presents! Candy land for Malia, a basketball for Marley, Zoe had a craft kit and my gift….a toolbox. He had noticed that I had one screwdriver and a rolling pin as a hammer.

Recalling my spring conversation with Zoe… I realized that God had sent a man to my door with a tool belt. He had a plan.

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