She began by saying that she was the second-born. Her eyes began to search into her past and then seemed to gather sadness. She took my hand and continued with a weak voice...
"My parents had a baby boy first and he was all that my mother had wanted. He was a year older than I was - and they didn't plan on having me. The earliest memories I have are of my mother's dark eyes telling me that she had never wanted me. I was a mistake that she regretted daily.
"If it weren't for the love of my father, I don't know how I would have made it through. I felt happy and safe with him.
"When I was ten years old, I decided to pray to God, asking Him to come into my heart and help me. I didn't know what the love of a mother felt like and it scared me that I would turn out to be just like her one day.
"Years later, I met my husband. He swept me off my feet. In no time, we had our first son and as scared as I was, I tried my best to love him with all that I had. By the time our fifth baby was born, our hands were full. Times were tough and we barely had enough to get by, let alone put shoes on their feet...but you know what? We had each other.
My husband and I had no money to speak of. The way we saw it though, we were the richest people on Earth because our house was full of love - and no amount of money can buy that."
My throat began to tighten and I felt my eyes well. Turning her gaze back to me, she grinned and squeezed my hand, then continued.
"I just saw one of my daughters today and we had a nice chat. She carried on about her children and her grandchildren and it was nice to hear about them all. It surprised me though, when she said that she and her brothers and sisters had all recently had a talk. She went on to tell me how they had all agreed that they never felt more love in their lives than they did from our family and from our home."
Giving a smile, she whispered, "So I guess as it all turned out, God answered my prayer."
I smiled back and covered my free hand to hers. "He's pretty good at doing that."
Squeezing my hand one last time, she gave a small laugh saying, "That He is. That He is."
To one of the richest people I'll ever meet.
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