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Abby shut her eyes. When she opened them again, it was still dark outside. Feeling her stir, Jake caressed Abby's arm, quietly letting her know that he was already awake.

"What time is it?" she whispered, not wanting to wake Ricky from his sleep.

Feeling about the floor beside the mattress for his watch, Jake located the timepiece and pressed a button to make its face light up through the darkness.

"It's three in the morning," he replied, returning his arm to Abby.

"If we want to be on the road by five," she quietly reviewed their schedule out loud, "then we have to be at my parents' house by four."

Both remained silent, as the familiar serenade of crickets spilled through the half open bedroom window. Jake smiled as Abby's hand found his beneath the covers.

"Do you think California has crickets?" she wondered.

"Probably," he answered, "but if it doesn't, we'll have your mom send us some."

After a few moments of last minute snuggling, Abby and Jake crawled off the mattress and dressed for the journey that lay ahead of them. While Ricky nursed in the corner of the bedroom, Jake managed to carry their large mattress all by himself, and fit it into the back of the moving trailer. For this, he received a kiss of admiration from Abby.

When their luggage was safely stowed away in the truck, the young couple walked to the Johanneses' house for an early morning breakfast before leaving.

Everyone in the household was awake and dressed-- even the triplets. Cold cereal was served and eaten with brave smiles and misty eyes. Not trusting the sound of their own voices, no one spoke unless they had to.

Then, it was time to go.

Beneath a sky that was still asleep, the entire family gathered by AJ's shiny red pickup truck.

"I want to check that car seat one last time," said John, clearing his throat and opening the door to the back seat. "They can be tricky, if you don't put them in just right."

"Did you remember to check the oil?" asked Terry. "How about the tires?"

"Everything has been checked and double checked," Abby assured him.

"Don't drive when you get sleepy," cautioned Izumi, tightly gripping the handles of the triplet stroller. "Keep your eyes on the road, and don't forget to call us when you check into your motel every night."

"The car seat's okay," declared John.

The group quietly stared at each other, each not wanting to be the first to say good-bye.

"Heavenly Father," prayed John, as everyone bowed their heads, "please be with our Abby and Jake, as they drive to the place where you have called them to. Protect them with Your hand, and watch over Ricky as he grows up." When John's voice began to waver, he quickly ended his prayer.

"Let me see that grandson of mine one more time," asked Izumi, as Abby placed the sleeping child into her arms.

"Good-bye, little fishing buddy," sniffed Terry, giving Abby a warm hug and then planting a kiss on her cheek. "Don't forget to email us once in a while after you get settled in."
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