Coconut From Heaven
Our golden retriever Tebow passed away six months ago. His passing left a huge, empty space, and hardly a day goes by that we don’t think of him. Those thoughts have intensified as we gather our belongings and move to a new home. For six months, Tebow’s big pillow and stuffed toys have occupied a cherished corner of the apartment, a memorial of sorts to his sweet, gentle spirit. We can’t put this off any longer. It’s time to pack them up.
Although Tebow loved meeting people and being the center of attention, it’s a pretty safe bet that what he loved the most was food. It was one of his defining characteristics. (I’m right there with you, buddy.) My husband and I love coconut, so I often bake cookies, pies, carrot cake, or granola with our favorite ingredient. It didn’t take long for Tebow to discover that coconut haphazardly sprinkled from above whenever the aroma of certain smells wafted from the kitchen. He savored every coconut flake and eagerly searched for more.
Thus, the concept of coconut from heaven was born. It has grown to signify any special, unexpected blessing in our lives. As I’ve made an effort to recognize these blessings, I’ve been overwhelmed with all the wonderful things I simply passed off as coincidences or even missed completely. I believe if we pay attention to what’s happening around us, we’ll be amazed at how much coconut from heaven we receive.
I recently had an appointment for an annual checkup with a new doctor in Utah. A young woman arrived to escort me back to the office, then stopped suddenly, lowering her mask. “Do you remember me?” she asked. I recognized her immediately. Echo had been an Arizona high school student in 2015 when she agreed to read the manuscript of Scattering Stars to give me feedback. She’d also been a beta reader for Acceleration and Stars on Ruby Mountain, but I hadn’t seen her in at least five years. What are the chances? I knew immediately that I’d come to the right place.
Last month, I attended a writing conference and ran into Jennifer Griffith, a talented writer and friend whom I’ve admired for years. Jennifer is the one who outlined the profit margins of traditional publishing and advised me to indie publish in 2015. After talking for several minutes at the conference, she confided that she thought of me as one of her good friends despite the fact we don’t see each other often or even know each other very well. Her kind and uplifting words filled my soul like the satisfying sweetness of coconut.
Finally, I’ll share a few thoughts on this move. In July, we cancelled our contract with a problematic company who’d been building a house for us for nearly a year. It was hard to give up, especially with few homes available in a tight, expensive housing market. We figured we’d be living in the apartment for at least another year, but knew we’d done the right thing when the stress dissipated immediately. Within a month, we found our new house in an unexpected place. From the first time we saw it online, it seemed like home. In ways I can’t fully explain, it was as if the house had been waiting for us all along. But maybe I can explain. It must be coconut from heaven.