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Inky & John The Saga Continues

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The Wait Is Over!

I hung up the phone and sat for a few minutes, stunned by the news I had just received. I knew this day would come, but I now know I'm not prepared. I got up and went into the kitchen where the members of the mob were all lounging in front of the food bowls.

"Inky, we've received our orders. We are to report to the training center next Monday morning for your initial briefing. Apparently you are going to do your training in Houston, so you'll be able to come home on the weekends."

Inky appeared shaken. "So soon? That's just four days!" He trotted over and lay down at my feet. I picked him up and carried him into the den. We sat down and he gave me a nose kiss.

"Are you having second thoughts, little pal?"

"No, John, I guess it's just that my fantasy is about to become reality. Just give me some time to adjust and I'll be fine."

I gave him a hug. "OK, Astronaut Inky, just remember, Monday will come soon, so, if you need to discuss anything with me or Libby, we're here for you." With that he hopped down and returned to the kitchen. I got up and followed as far as the coffee maker.

When I told Libby, she said she was worried that Inky does not realize what he was getting into. "I just don't want anything to happen to him," she said, "and I'm afraid he'll be overwhelmed by it all."

"I explained that to the people in Houston. They understand fully it may be very different from what Inky has in mind. Our first meeting Monday will be with the training staff and they will try to reassure Inky about everything. They will take questions and, if he decides it is not for him, that's OK. But we need to be here for him this weekend as he goes through his preparations to make the trip. I promise you, I'm not going to let anything happen to Inky!"

The rest of the week went by too quickly and, before we knew it, it was Sunday night. We were in the bedroom packing for our trip (Libby and the rest of the mob are staying at home this time). Inky was supervising his packing when he suddenly stopped. He sat on the bed quietly, staring down at the little suitcase I had for him. Finally I asked, "Inky, is something wrong?" He looked up at me and the strangest look came into his eyes.

"John, does God go with the astronauts when they go up into space?"

I almost fell over. "Yes, Inky, God goes with all of us everywhere we go. He doesn't try to run our daily lives, but He is always there if we need Him and we can ask Him anything,"

Inky sat for a minute, then said "Well, if He is with me all the time, I don't have to be afraid." He was silent again for a minute or so, then he turned and looked at me. "John, I'm ready for tomorrow."

I hope I can be as brave as he is.