The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

elizabyth

Last April my Darling and I got married. It was magical. We had decided early on that we would first take a “mini-moon” for three days at the McMenamin’s Edgefield Resort. Our honeymoon would come a little later in the season in the form of a cruise in late August.

We booked a three-night stay and found ourselves in Room 219 —  memorable because it was the former living quarters of (and dedicated to) a coffin maker who once worked for room and board at the Edgefield when it was still a poor farm. The first day was great – we went wine tasting, soaked in the soaking pools, ate lunch outside on a perfect spring day and spent the evening putting together what later became a nine book story arch for Molly…

Exhausted, we went upstairs and fell asleep…

The next morning we woke to some really unpleasant news – we had lost our main client and money that we were expecting was never going to appear. We were now faced with no income and no savings, after throwing what we considered a fairly lavish wedding. My Darling was despondent. The rest of the day was spent doing everything possible not to spend a dime more than we absolutely had to and trying to figure out our next steps. The stress finally became too much for us and we sadly cancelled the last night of our “mini moon” and went home to what seemed like a disaster.

However, our life wasn’t completely sunk, merely capsized. We were able to right ourselves within a couple of months – although in doing so we ending up going in an entirely new direction. We realized that we needed to change some things and take a slightly different journey if we wanted to have a wonderful (and stable) life together. So we put the cruise on hold and used the refund to cover expenses until Mark got a job. Then we both went back to school.

It’s been ten months since then and things have improved considerably. I have another client and we were able to scale things back enough so that we are living comfortably. Mark utterly transformed in his Masters Program and has discovered that he has the intelligence, skills and natural leadership ability to be the CFO that he always dreamed of being. I’m halfway through a Bachelor’s program and have now published two books through Rothco Press.

So on Valentine’s Day this year, we found ourselves back at the Edgefield for the night. We do love the place – we come here often for a few hours during the day as our kind of “creative retreat.” But when we checked in we were shocked at the room number on the key: 219. It was the exact same room that we stayed in and checked out of too soon the previous April. We asked and were told that no, the room was generated randomly and not based on any previous history. It seemed that life had just given us a chance to finish what it had interrupted a year ago.

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I’ve always loved the karmic jokes in life – the random acts that just may not be random at all. I believe these are the miracles that people spend their entire lives looking for and missing. We spent the rest of the day in complete romantic Valentine’s Day bliss, chuckling about the whole thing and reminiscing about the good memories of that room.

I’m sure we will stay at the Edgefield again in the future – there is something about the place that brings out our muses and makes the creative juices flow. But I have a funny feeling we will never again stay in Room 219. I think that now we’ve finished what was started there – the story of our first three days as Mr. and Mrs. Harrington in completely wedding bliss without a care in the world. Perhaps God wanted us to finish the story and check out of the room in the exact same peaceful emotional place that we checked in with. So He gave us a second chance by granting us that final night in the room – even if we did have a rather extended intermission before Act Three.

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