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"Actually," said Izumi, "the nurse suggested that we paint their big toenails with nail polish."

"You mean," chuckled Terry, "we're going to color code the girls?"

"Do you have a better idea?" inquired John, scratching his head, thoughtfully.

"I suppose I don't," admitted Terry, bending over the cribs and peering down at the small bundles of love. "Aren't they just as cute as a bug's ear?" By now, the girls were falling asleep, so as much as Terry wanted to, he refrained from asking to hold the babies.

"I wish Grace were here to see the girls," Izumi wistfully sighed. She had never forgotten the daughter that Jesus had taken home to heaven, and this birth only reminded her of how much she was missing her other baby.

"Grace is watching, Little Dove," replied John, tenderly kissing his wife. "She's watching from heaven from that great cloud of witnesses." (Hebrews 12:1)

With his family gathered round, John said a prayer, thanking God for the health of Izumi and the three baby girls. He thanked God for the very brief time they had Grace, and asked Him to tell her how much they loved their little angel. Izumi wanted to cry, but she was so exhausted, that tears wouldn't come.

Izumi tried to moisten her lips, but failed miserably. Her mouth felt like dry cotton, and she was desperately craving a glass of water. Knowing how thirsty his wife was, John put another small piece of an ice cube into her mouth, and let her suck on it for moisture, for she was instructed to not drink so soon after the surgery.

As John told them about the operation, Jake tapped Abby on the shoulder and asked for more Xantol. All the events of the day were showing on his face, and he looked tired. Even Abby wilted when she checked Terry's watch and realized that it was well after midnight.

"I think Jake and I should go home," Abby explained, trying to excuse themselves from the happy scene. "Jake's chest is giving him some trouble, so he really needs to lay down and rest."

"Okay, then," smiled John, hugging Abby and waving to Jake before they parted. "Drive safely."

Kissing her mother good night, Abby and Jake wearily walked out of the hospital, and into the large parking lot. It was beginning to snow yet again, and Abby was suddenly grateful that Jake had made her wear the warm coat, after all.

As Jake helped his pregnant wife into their pickup truck, he looked at her with a tired smile.

"It'll be our turn, next," he sighed happily.

One week later, Izumi and the girls came home from the hospital. While Izumi rested on the living room sofa, the others took turns holding the girls, and debating which parent they all resembled more. Before long, friends began to drop by, offering their congratulations to the family, and to see the triplets for the first time.

"Izumi, you must be worn out," said Dick, as his wife, Sara, gently rocked baby Lizzie to sleep. "I can't imagine how you must be feeling right now."

"Tired and happy," answered the mother, cuddling Debbie on her lap. When Jake walked over to see the baby once more, Izumi offered to let him hold her.

"Make sure you support her head, Jake," warned Abby, as the young man cradled Debbie in his strong arms.

"I know, Abby," he smiled, as Debbie looked about her surroundings with large, blue eyes. When her gaze suddenly met his, Debbie opened her mouth in surprise. "Well, hello there," said Jake, in a gentle voice. "Do you know who I am? I'm your big brother." Debbie watched his moving mouth and blinked at him in wonderment. Then, her tiny hand reached out and grabbed hold of his outstretched finger. "For such a little thing," he mused, "you have quite a grip."
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