The parson and his granddaughter returned from their journey. They'd visited Washington, D. C., Philadelphia and New York.
Years earlier the parson and Ms. Parson sat in their living room and talked of taking Sara, someday, to New York City. July 27th would have been the eighth wedding anniversary of the parson and Ms. Parson. The parson decided to give his departed wife an anniversary gift by taking Sara to New York City.
On the night of the anniversary the parson took Sara to the Joyce Theater to see a performance of the Pilobolus Dance Theater. Following the evening at the theater, the parson's son, a director of the dance company, invited Sara to attend a party with him, a party at which movie stars were in attendance. Following their evening there Sara was texting her friends madly while the parson smiled at the knowledge Ms. Parson was looking down in approval.
It was a good way to celebrate the day, to turn it into a time of celebration instead of mourning. Sara had provided the parson his escape from the agony of the day.
When Sara and the parson returned home, the parson checked his mailbox. He'd previously asked his postal carrier to hold the mail while he was away. As such, checking the mailbox was more habit than anything else. But in the mailbox was one envelope.
There was no stamp on the envelope. It had not been mailed. It had been personally placed there. The envelope contained a card. The card proclaimed a message.
The message let the parson know that the congregation he served remembered the anniversary, too. It was signed by almost every active member of the church; most of them had written notes to express their knowledge of the importance of the day to the parson. They expressed love for their pastor and prayers God would be with him on this day.
The parson walked up the hill that is his driveway from that mailbox. He walked up with tears flowing down his cheek. The tears were not for Ms. Parson, for his time with Sara in New York had been redemptive. The tears were tears of gratitude that, unlike so many pastors, the parson served a real church.