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Walker's Vale

By John J Zelenski

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At the risk of sounding a bit cliché, when we moved to the seemingly quiet and unprovakable township of Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania from Delaware, in the summer
of 2006, we envisioned a new start. Unexpectedly and quite abruptly, however,
our journey became a life-altering event for all three of us.

I was a tired and a bit overwhelmed father, husband, churchgoer, and whatever else can fit into the mold of a forty-one-year-old, burnt-out family man. My wife
of eleven years was still as appealing and unwavering as the day I met her. She not only was faced with helping to raise a child with a handicap, be a wife and all-around
mom, she then unexpectedly needed to find new employment. After being part of an “unfortunate situation” orchestrated by the doctor, who was eliminating positions and cutting costs due to changes in the malpractice laws in our former state, Maria wasn’t
bitter. “God always has something better,” she would say. At the time, however, I did not believe that. I had eventually grown quite cynical and tired of the lemons to- lemonade philosophy, especially after our daughter, Liza, was given the devastating diagnosis of a rare form of autism. My daughter was the one single force in my polluted
view of the universe that was unspoiled and purely uncorrupt. Since Maria had worked regular hectic hours for her former private medical practice, many times I was the primary caregiver for our daughter. I didn’t mind at all, of course, though at times I did
struggle. Liza needed parental support more so than a typical four-year-old would; so when my fledgling online sports card business began to allow me to work part time from home, we, or should I say I, thought a smaller home in the country would be ideal for her. My nine-to-five job was decent, the benefits were good, but my little girl needed me, and I needed her. Additionally, I felt the time was right to pursue my goal of working at something I really enjoyed with the advantage of being my own boss. The added benefit of being there to help Liza pursue life as normally as possible would be icing on the cake.

Believing we could be free of most of the boundaries that life in the city created would have been reason enough to move to the country. The thought of plenty of fresh clean air and void of the unwanted vermin that were beginning to populate in generous numbers back home sounded wonderful to me. Then, out of the blue, my wife was offered a position at a hospital just fifteen miles from the location of our prospective new home. This was practically only four months after she lost her job, so I knew it must have been fate. I also heard in the background of my thoughts my wife’s personal badge of honor: “God always has something better.” Maybe she was on God’s personal hotline? I thought. Unfortunately, my signal had been busy for years. Although this new direction in which we were headed was a mutual consensus and made sense for
obvious reasons, it was me who pushed hard for the relocation from Delaware to Pennsylvania. Looking back, I believe it was almost an attempted escape plan I suppose, from the cloak of heavy chains, which at the time held me prisoner. Though I was steadfast in my convictions, I couldn’t ignore the guilty fact that I had my own secret agenda behind the scenes.

The devil is in the details, at least that is what I’ve been told. I guess that could be considered another
way of saying, “Pay attention to the little things—they matter.” Now I’ve always considered that the smaller components in life are the most important because they are often overlooked and taken for granted. But to capture that phrase and have it take on a more physical or even literal approach would seem almost nonsensical.
Then again, a lot of what I’m about to recount will seem imaginative or in the realm of fantasy or horror, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. I know that we do not war against actual flesh and blood, but sometimes the unseen can manifest itself through the visible. The devil is in the details; this I now believe. In conclusion, after the events that occurred during the first few days we spent in Walker’s Vale, I have a renewed sense of love for my family, my life, and most importantly for my God.

But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.
Revelation 12:12

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