My first trip to Ireland, in October 2010, began with some trepidation. I knew my father was ill, but when I left I believed he had more time. And yet, right before I boarded my overseas flight, I felt something wasn’t right. I talked to him on the phone. He told me he was glad I was going. Before we hung up he told me he loved me and to tell my husband he loved him too. I knew he did, but that wasn’t something that was said, not to other men.
As I sat on the plane I distinctly heard God’s voice. That hasn’t happened many times in my life, but I have perceived it during times of great stress. This is what I heard God say: What are you afraid of? That he’ll die while you are gone? Is that so bad?
I felt humbled by that and reassured. I knew Jesus would be welcoming my father, and that my father’s pain would be healed. But I still did not think it would come that soon. I think we all try not to believe the end is near for our loved ones.
A few days before I was to come home I learned my father was truly on his deathbed. I could not get an earlier return flight. I felt helpless and sad. Our trip to Ireland that year had been blessed with abundant sunshine. The rainbows that everyone spoke of were absent, replaced by vivid blue skies for most of the trip. And then on October 17 while touring the northern coast of Ireland we saw rainbows and snapped several pictures. I later learned that the very hour I was taking photographs my father passed into heaven. God’s promises never fail. I believe He wanted me to know that.
About Cindy Thompson:Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research's Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio. Visit her online at www.cindyswriting.com.
The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.
But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.
Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.
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