My husband and I moved our three young children to Florida after he was forced to find a new job when the bakery at which he worked closed its doors in the 1970’s. Our first residence became a three bedroom apartment in the city of Largo. Even though it was a little strange adjusting to apartment living after owning our home for over ten years, the fact that it was a newly built apartment complex was a plus. On top of that, I already had family living in Largo and the best part was that they lived in the brand new mobile home park right next to us. It happened to be my two aunts and their husbands (all retired by then.)
Even though it was exciting to start a new adventure, I did have some mixed feelings leaving Chicago because my Dad had just had a massive heart attack and was still in the hospital when we had to leave. I still remember how brave he was when I cried and said I shouldn’t move away because it felt like I was abandoning him and my Mom. Dad put his hand in mine and assured me that I needed to follow through with the plans that my husband and I had made. You see, we already had set up living quarters and registered the kids for school and hired the movers. With heavy heart and a somewhat guilty conscience, I agreed with him. The upside to this story is that Mom and Dad were planning to move to Florida also once Dad recovered and they did a year later.
The happy ending is that the whole family, aunts, uncles, Mom, Dad and my family were blessed to have several years spending valuable time together. There were very few “down” moments after that except for the one day that I took my three children to a popular kids playroom in Clearwater shortly after we had just settled in Largo. My hubby was at work and I was still a little unfamiliar with the local areas, especially Clearwater. I remember leaving the parking lot after we were through visiting the play place and somehow taking the wrong turn. I was frantic because I had no idea where I was or how to get back to Largo. I pulled off to the side of the road and got out of the car with a map in hand trying to get my bearings (there were no cell phones or GPS devices back then.) Many people passed right by me but all of a sudden, I looked up and there he was: an Angel dressed in work clothes. As I glanced over past him, I saw truck that had the words: Clearwater Affordable Towing on the side. This lovely and thoughtful man was on the job and noticed me looking a bit distressed just standing by my car. He was concerned about seeing a woman and three youngsters all alone that seemed to be in trouble. He gave me instructions on how to get back home and actually took the time to write them down. I will never forget the kindness of a stranger!