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"They'll be back, Little Dove," he whispered gently.

"What if they don't?" wept Izumi. "What if they like California so much that they decide to stay?!"

"This is their life," sighed John, "and we must give them a chance to live it. We've raised our Abby the best way we knew how, and now she's all grown up. We can only pray that we've done our job to God's satisfaction."

One of the girls began to cry in the playpen, and Izumi rushed over to hug her small daughter. At least this one wouldn't be leaving her nest very soon.

As evening approached, John walked across the way and knocked on AJ's door. It soon opened, and Jake let his father-in-law inside.

"I see you two have been busy," commented John, surrounded by stacked boxes in their living room. "It looks like you've done a good job." When John recognized Abby's handwriting on the packages, he smiled to think that his disorganized little girl was a part of this well-coordinated move.

"Except for a few things we're still using," said Jake, shoving his hands into his pockets, "we're ready to put all this into the moving trailer."

"Tell us when you do," offered John, "and Terry and I will help."

"Thanks, Dad," smiled Jake, nodding his appreciation.

"You know," hesitated John, "we would've been glad to help with the packing, as well."

"Abby likes to do things her way," grinned Jake, "but I made sure she didn't hurt herself by doing it all on her own. I think she would have, if I had let her. Your daughter can be a very determined woman, when she wants to be."

"I hope you can keep up with her," smiled John.

"She keeps life interesting," chuckled Jake.

"Where is she right now?" asked her father.

"Abby's still asleep," replied Jake, as the two men headed outside.

John hadn't told his son-in-law that he wanted to speak to him, but Jake could sense that he did. After all, this man was trusting him take his beloved eldest daughter and only grandchild, nearly three thousand miles across America. It was such a far distance to be without her family.

"When Grace, our second child, passed away," began John, "my wife nearly died of heartache. I've never felt so helpless in all my life. I'm feeling a little like that, right now."

"I'll take good care of Abby," assured Jake, his voice rising with the sincerity of making such a solemn promise.

"I know you will," John said, confidently.

"I love her with all my heart, Sir," Jake continued in earnest. "I'd die before I let anything bad happen to her!"

"Calm down, Son," smiled John. "I don't doubt your integrity. You've proven yourself to me on more than one occasion, and I trust you. I didn't mean to frighten you," he added, looking at Jake with a friendly smile. "Where did that 'Sir' come from?"

Jake relaxed a little, and smiled in return.
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