Lindsey should have felt sad, upset, disturbed, concerned.  Yet not one of those emotions had found a home in her.  Instead, she felt relief, the greatest relief of her life. As she sat on the park bench overlooking the lake, watching the skies hues change as the day became warmer, listened to distant birds chirping their merry song, her gratitude knew no bounds.  If she could have taken flight in that instant, she would have, to fly with the birds and join in chirping along in their cheery songs.

Finding the unopened letters from her “parents” had, at first sent chills down her spine.  Until that is, she read the contents.  Platitudes, condescension, lack of caring and involvement were the underlying theme cloaked in euphemisms and correctness, but it was there, and it slapped her in the face.

She’d learned years earlier that she’d been adopted by Paul and Anita Barker.  Remembering that moment when they’d all gathered in the front room of the now ageing home, she’d waited expectantly while she watched them nearly quaking in their boots as they settled on the sofa.  They’d never been at a loss for words and took pretty much everything in stride, even if it was an emotional event, they might have been rattled or unsettled, but they handled it well.  This was new, something entirely different. They’d begun haltingly at first and then gently but firmly explained when where and how they’d adopted her and why they hadn’t told her sooner. 

That moment had stunned her at first, perhaps even shocked her a little, but with an immediacy that was inexplicable, the pieces fell into place, and it was as if lightning had struck, every moment in time had reshaped into a crystal ball with bright colours, everything fit neatly, tidily, correctly.  She’d hugged them, told them it was alright, it didn’t matter, that this was her home, always had been, and always would be.

Over the years, she’d always held a tiny bit back, the faintest of hopes that she’d learn more about her biological parents and if it would matter at all that she’d been raised by the Barkers.  Upon reading their drivel, every aspect of her life remained in place, perfect as it had been and would continue to be.  Knowing their names hadn’t changed her opinion of her life – no that wasn’t entirely true – it had, it had simply solidified the beauty of what her “real” mom and had given her – love, affection, care, respect, consideration, and she always came back to love!  They loved her with their whole hearts and had shown it in every way possible.  She sighed. 

Returning home, she dropped her coat over the chair and lifted the offending letters out of her purse, then walking across the room, she leaned forward to drop the letters in the fireplace, thinking, indeed they’d given her something, after all, the world! They’d set her completely free!

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