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Christmas Day

A feeling of utter peace swept over Maggie. She didn’t feel even a hint of anxiety. Her emotions were as calm as a lake in summer. Today promised to be one of the most wonderful days of her life. She was going to become Mrs. Finn O’Rourke. It was the most precious Christmas gift of all. Maggie was prepared to pledge eternity to her childhood best friend and soul mate.

The best things in life came to fruition when you trusted in God’s plan and gave your heart wholeheartedly to another human being. With love, faith and trust, anything was possible.

Thank You, Lord, for seeing me through the storms of life. And for pointing me toward the rainbows. Finn is my happily-ever-after, the one I’d stopped hoping for. And he’s going to be the best father in the world to Oliver. Thank You for blessing all three of us.

As she sat at her vanity table, Maggie surveyed herself in the mirror. She had always dreamed of getting married in a beautiful ivory gown. It was stunning! She felt elegant and graceful. Since her first marriage had taken place at city hall, this was a real dream come true. A happily-ever-after moment.

A knocking sound at the door drew her attention away from her thoughts.

“Come in,” she called out.

The door slowly opened. Her son stood there with a huge grin on his face dressed to the nines in his miniature black tux with the red bow tie.

“Oliver! You look so incredibly handsome.” Pride burst inside her chest at the sight of him. Although she had promised herself no crying today, the sight of Oliver threatened her composure. Tears were misting in her eyes.

“Thanks, Mom. And you look like a movie star, only prettier.” Oliver had one of his hands behind his back. “I have something for you.”

“What is it?”

“I made it myself.” Oliver pulled his arm from behind his back and held up a drawing. Maggie let out a gasp. It was a picture of a man, a woman and a little boy.

Oliver pointed to the picture and said, “This is me. And you and Finn. A family.”

“Oh, Oliver. It’s beautiful.” She sniffed away tears. “My loving, creative son.”

Maggie held open her arms. Oliver ran into them and hugged her.

“I want you to know, Oliver, how much I love you. Marrying Finn won’t ever change the way I feel about you. We’re going to be a family. I don’t want you to ever forget your father. But I also want you to know that Finn wants to be your forever dad. He loves you so very much.” Tears pooled in Maggie’s eyes.

“I love him too, Mom. Thank you for bringing us here and for finding Finn. I won’t forget Daddy, but I don’t think he would mind me loving Finn and having a new dad since he’s in Heaven now.”

Maggie brushed tears away from her cheeks. “No, baby. He wouldn’t mind one little bit. Matter-of-fact, I think he’d be really happy about it.” For so long now, Maggie had been mad at Sam. Now, she had come to terms with her former husband’s imperfections and his tragic death. In order to embrace her future with Finn, Maggie knew it was important to close the door on her past. Forgiveness was part of the journey.

A short while later she arrived at the church with Hazel, Ruby and Oliver at her side. She watched as her friends walked side by side toward the altar. When the wedding march began to play, Oliver looped his arm through hers, ready to walk her down the aisle toward the love of her life.

“Ready?” Oliver asked, his eyes twinkling as he looked over at her.

Maggie nodded, too overwhelmed with emotion to speak. They began to walk down the aisle strewed with forget-me-nots. She teared up as they walked past a multitude of smiling, supportive faces. There was no doubt in her mind about being a part of this community. The townsfolk of Love had accepted her and Oliver with open arms.

Jasper winked at her as she walked by. Aidan gave Oliver a thumbs-up as they marched by his pew. Dwight beamed at her from his aisle seat.

When they reached the altar, Finn was standing there looking swoon worthy in a black tuxedo and crisp white shirt. A red bow tie and cummerbund gave him a bit of holiday flair. Declan stood at his side. Finn reached out and took Maggie’s hand, then raised it to his lips.

“You look breathtaking,” he said in a low voice.

“Right back atcha,” Maggie said, fighting back tears.

Oliver turned away from them to head toward the front pew.

“Wait, Oliver. I have something for you,” Finn said. He reached into his tuxedo pocket and pulled out a scroll tied with a navy blue ribbon.

“For me?” Oliver asked, his face full of surprise.

“Yes,” Finn said with a nod. “It’s a proclamation from the town of Love that we’re one big family. Mayor Jasper signed it, so it’s official. I want you to be my son in every way possible. If it’s okay with you, your mother and I want you to be Oliver O’Rourke. I want to officially adopt you.”

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