In traveling to France, I came with only a carry-on bag filled with clothing for both me and my son.  I was flying stand by and did not want to get separated from my luggage.  I did not want my checked luggage to be potentially headed to France while I sat in the airport unable to board the plane because the flight was overbooked. I also wanted to be very mindful of my little boy who can be curious.  I did not want him to walk away from me and get lost as I fussed with too many suitcases.

I decided the best way to handle the situation was to have a box of my needed “stuff” delivered from my New Jersey home to my new address in France, once I arrived.

I asked my husband to purchase a coat for our son, and to add it to the box before he shipped it.  Via Skype, he showed me an insulated vest that he bought for Andrew to wear – confirming that the size was right for our growing little boy.  It was a simple dark blue vest designed to be layered atop a sweater or sweat shirt.  I gave my Mommy approval for the item and Wally packed it on top of everything else that was in the box.

The shipment was held up in French customs for more than a week.  I had to ask my friend Sonja —who has lived in France for 19 years and who speaks fluent French – to help me get my box released.  After several calls and e-mails, the big heavy brown cardboard box was delivered to me.

When I opened the box, the first thing I saw was the vest for Andrew.  A flood of tears sprang from my eyes.  I could not control my emotions.  Why was I so tearful?  What was causing these crocodile tears?  It did not feel like sadness OR tears of joy.  It was some strange overwhelming emotion, I am sure I had never experienced before.  All I know was that I could not stop crying.

A few days later that same emotion swept over me again.  This time I could identify this feeling.  I was having an experience with overwhelming gratefulness.  I am a truly grateful person by nature, but this was different.  The sensation overcame my body and I lost control.

I am so grateful to be in France at this time.  I am so thankful for the unbelievable friends I have made since I have been here.  They have been so generous with their belongings, time and friendship, especially Rowena.

I am amazed and grateful that the Internet provides me with a way (via Skype and e-mail) to stay in touch with my American friends and family “live.”  There is no time delay.  I can talk to and see them instantly.

We’ve never had this type of ingenious communications before.

I am so thankful that I was willing to take this time in my life to answer my inspiration and to follow my dreams.  I am thankful that God has answered my faith with his promises.

That box held so much for me (including some hair products – I had gone 5 weeks without visiting a salon – so you can imagine that I looked a “hot mess”)  It also held sweet reminders of home for Andrew, including his plastic character dishes and stuffed animals.

…..and now that box periodically holds Andrew.