Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Turtle Story


My wife and I never had a daughter. Our daughter Rachel died in utero of a cord accident about a week before her due date.

God gave me a daughter in another way -- when the Vietnamese family moved next to us years ago, I think in 2004, their 4 year old daughter, little Nhu, introduced herself to me, and in short order we were "as thick as thieves." I loved that kid! I still do. I regarded her as a daughter. She sometimes jokingly called me "Dad." She was such joy in my life, and I still thank God for having known that little one.

One day, I was driving her past my house to her own, when little Nhu said, "Mr. Peter! Look! There's a turtle walking away from the tree on your lawn! For Vietnamese, that's bad luck, Mr. Peter!"

We jumped out of the car and ran to the turtle, and picked it up to keep it from going into the street and being squished by a car, and put it in my wife's garden.

I took Nhu to her house. She went back to her bedroom to change, while I stayed in the living room, tinkering with her family's piano.

Suddenly I heard an urgent knock at the door. My son Josh saw that I was calm, and said, "Dad, didn't you hear the thump?"

I said, "No, Josh. What are you talking about?"

He said, "The giant oak tree on the front lawn just collapsed and slammed into the front of the house!"

From her bedroom Nhu, who had been listening, yelled, "There's your bad luck, Mr. Peter!"

It was bad luck, all right -- about $16,000.00 in damage.

Nhu's parents roared with laughter, when they heard about the turtle followed by the bad luck.


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