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"How did he do last night?" asked Abby, kneeling beside her mother and checking Ricky.

"He was a perfect little angel," smiled Izumi. "Time to go back to your mommy, Sweetheart," the grandmother whispered, kissing Ricky's tiny face before placing the child into Abby's eager arms. Then Izumi went to the kitchen to start breakfast.

"Have you kids eaten, yet?" asked Terry, dandling Debbie on his knee and bouncing the laughing child up and down.

"Not yet," replied Jake, looking over Abby's shoulder to say "hello" to his baby boy.

"Stay with us," invited John, seeing where Terry's question was leading. "After we eat, Abby and I can drive to the rental place to pick up your moving trailer. Then, we can help load your boxes."

"I appreciate it," Jake smiled gratefully. "Abby, could I hold Ricky for awhile?"

"Look at them," laughed Terry, "you'd think they hadn't seen their son in days, not hours!"

With an aching heart, John watched the young couple as they exchanged happy glances, and talked to Ricky.

"How long have you guys been awake?" wondered Abby, breaking in on John's thoughts.

"For a few hours now," her father smiled.

Puzzled why they should be up so early, Abby looked at him questioningly. Then she understood. They wanted to spend as much time with Ricky as they could, before giving him back.

Leaving Terry to fend for himself with the triplets, John found his wife in the kitchen, quietly weeping into a dish towel.

"I love you, Little Dove," he hugged her tenderly.

All too soon, breakfast was over and John and Abby got into her red pickup truck to get the moving trailer from the rental lot in Watertown. While they were gone, Jake helped Izumi in the kitchen.

"Thank you for letting us have Ricky, last night," said Izumi, as Jake wiped the table down with a clean sponge.

"I should be the one thanking you," replied Jake, with a small grin. "It did Abby good to have a little peace and quiet for awhile."

Izumi smiled, thoughtfully.

"I was going to ask you to take good care of Abby and Ricky in California," confessed Izumi, "but I realize what a needless request that is."

"Would you like to give me a hug?" wondered Jake, for he thought his mother-in-law looked as though she could use one.

"Is it okay?" she brightened. Izumi gratefully hugged Jake. "Thank you for pulling this family through my bed rest," she told him. "And when the girls were born, you were a big help to me."

"Thank you for raising Abby to be the woman she is," said Jake, returning her gratitude. "I can't tell you how much she means to me."

"You're very welcome," Izumi smiled tearfully.
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