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"Thank you for saying that," he smiled in relief, for her tears had momentarily given him some alarm.

"So many times, you overpower me with your love," sniffed Abby, reaching into a pocket in his jeans for the handkerchief that she knew he always carried with him. Very unladylike, she loudly blew her nose. "I wish I could find a different way to say 'I love you,' but I can't think of any," she continued. "I love you, Jake!"

Nearly euphoric by now, Jake hugged her with everything he had, until Abby needed to gently ask that he not squeeze her quite so hard. Relaxing his hold, he pressed his lips to her neck, allowing himself to linger for as long as he wanted.

In the distance, Three Mile Bay glistened as though a million gems had been scattered before them from heaven's treasury. The sound of God singing over His children was just a faint whisper on the wind, but Abby knew that it was there. They had Christ's love in their lives, and the love of each other. Life can't get any better than that.

Then Jake presented Abby with the shopping bag that had mystified her in the kitchen earlier that day.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Open it, and find out," he smiled.

The shopping bag crinkled as Abby pulled out a flat, brightly colored paper object wrapped in clear plastic. Puzzled, she looked to Jake.

"It's a kite," he laughingly explained. "Here, let me open it for you. I used to fly these things all the time, when I was little."

Jake's arms let Abby go, as he unwrapped the kite and started setting it up, for some assembly was evidently required. After making sure Ricky was safely positioned in the moving shade as the sun traversed over their canopy, Jake took Abby out onto the beach where they could still keep a watchful eye on their baby son.

"Hold on to this roll of string," instructed Jake, as he took the attached kite and slowly backed away from her. "Keep a tight grip!" he called. "Ready?"

Abby nodded. Jake waited for the right gust of wind, and let go. All at once, the kite shot up into the sky, but it tugged at the string until Abby watched in horror as the object suddenly turned direction and dove toward the ground.

"Pull back and let out more string!" Jake ran to her, keeping his eyes on the kite.

Obediently, Abby unwound more line from her roll, while Jake tugged at the string until the kite recovered its altitude.

"There must be a strong current up there," she observed, "because this line is incredibly taunt!"

A satisfied smile spread across Jake's lips as he watched the kite sailing in the sky over the beach. The wind was coming off the bay, so both parents were facing the canopy where Ricky was sleeping in his baby carrier. Jake's eyes instinctively traveled to his son before enjoying the kite once more. Then he stepped behind Abby and wrapped his arms around her while she gripped the roll of string.

"Let it go a little higher, Abby," he urged.

Cautiously, Abby unwound more string until she was afraid of letting out any more, for the currents kept getting stronger and stronger the higher up she went. She wondered at the resilience of the paper kite, for that was no sturdy fish at the end of her line.

"When I was a boy," recalled Jake, "I used to take my kite to a nearby field, and I would send it up just as high as my hands could grip the string." Since he rarely talked about his childhood, Abby listened with curiosity. "I wanted to be like that kite," breathed Jake, "escaping above the pain and finding refuge outside of this world. It was the closest to heaven that I could get." The memory sent Jake a disturbing mental picture, and Abby looked up to see him struggle for a moment. "I was six years old the first time I tried to take my life. When I lived, I thought God had turned His back on me." Abby took her free hand and gently touched his arm, bringing his senses back to the present. Knowing what she was trying to do, Jake smiled gratefully. "I'm all right, Baby," he kissed her cheek.
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