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When Life Is a Hallmark Movie

As I continue to stay with my parents while my mother recovers from a stroke, we have created an evening ritual: Each night we settle in and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie. (Last night was our eleventh in a row).

Hallmark movies definitely have, well, their hallmarks—there’s always an enthusiastically decorated home (with festive garland from bedposts to pantries), a tree lighting in the town square, a hot cocoa scene…and for sure no one will ever button their coats, despite being surrounded by snow.

The thing these movies are most known for, though? The happiest of happy endings.

These perfectly tied-up-with-a-bow scenarios always happen in the last ten minutes of the show, where the main characters realize they really do love each other, the youth center is saved, and the amnesiac heroine regains all of her memories (a personal fave).

So when do miracles like that happen so perfectly in real life? Last week. (Not kidding.)

The story starts when an adorable, purring, black-and-white kitty approached my friend’s husband Dave as he was raking leaves in his yard. Since the cat was a total love bug and didn’t appear to be feral, Dave immediately posted on Facebook and put inquiries out to the neighborhood to ask if anyone was missing a cat. He got the kitty scanned, but no chip. He put him up in his garage with a space heater (their dog wasn’t enthusiastic about the cat), a comfy bed, and a litter box.

After no one claimed to be the original pet parent, an overwhelming number of people told Dave he had to keep the cat (because this kitty must have chosen him, right?). So how does the story end? A family volunteered to adopt the cat—friends of Dave who lost the father of the family to Covid earlier this year. I can’t imagine anyone around here who’s more in need of a super affectionate, beautiful, purring cat to join their home. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. And you know what? The cat did pick Dave, because he knew Dave would get him to where he was needed most.

Then I started to think, when else do Hallmark-worthy moments happen? When a cat (also black and white) showed up at my brother’s front door right after their dog had passed. When earlier in October, as I was reeling from losing my dear friend Diana, my two cats stuck to me like glue nonstop for a solid week. (They’d never done that before, and definitely not at the same time.) When a golden retriever ran up to Diana right as she was wondering if she’d be allergic to goldens (she wasn’t, and it inspired her to adopt one).

Moments in Hallmark movies may be total fiction, but this real-life stuff, you just can’t make up. The truth is, when we need support, love will find us. It’s how the universe works.

That’s why animals find those who need them…why my friend Holly (married to Dave), in full Hallmark mode, showed up with a ton of homemade soup and yummy meals as soon as I got to my parents’ house.

Maybe these movies just show us how energy really works, when you let it work its magic. ✨

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