I recently asked my daughter, who devours as many books as possible on any given day, if any of the books she’s read recently are about blessings in disguise. She said she didn’t know and I went back to the drawing board. She bounded into the dining room a minute later, however, to let me know that she thought of something.
“Where the Red Fern Grows,” she told me.
“Is it about good things that happen even through bad times?” I asked her. I had read that book so long ago all I could remember was that it was about a dog, and it was sad because a dog died.
“Did a dog die?”
“Both of them died,” my daughter told me, “but then a red fern grew where they died.”
“Why was that special?” I asked.
“Because of the legend,” Jessica answered. I asked her to get me the book, and while she was searching for it, I Googled it. It went like this:
“I had heard the old Indian legend about the red fern. How a little Indian boy and girl were lost in a blizzard and had frozen to death. In the spring, when they were found, a beautiful red fern had grown up between their two bodies. The story went on to say that only an angel could plant the seeds of a red fern, and that they never died; where one grew, that spot was sacred.”
I found that quote courtesy of Goodreads. That particular quote got 27 “likes.” The following quote got more likes than any other for the book – 61 likes:
“After the last shovel of dirt was patted in place, I sat down and let my mind drift back through the years. I thought of the old K. C. Baking Powder can, and the first time I saw my pups in the box at the depot. I thought of the fifty dollars, the nickels and dimes, and the fishermen and blackberry patches.
I looked at his grave and, with tears in my eyes, I voiced these words: “You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.”
I’m surprised my daughter thought of that book. It’s not the more obvious kind of “blessing in disguise” — to lose a pet, two of them actually. But then I thought that, regardless of the pain and sorrow of loss, love is always worth it, a thousand times over. And then some. Love is its own blessing. Its own reward.
And in that place where love is, angels are. And it is always sacred.