Sitting around the dinner table their last night in their rental home, the tone was anything but somber. Charles had pressed upon the kids the importance of being thankful even in the challenging times.
“We thank You for the many blessings You have bestowed upon us throughout the year. We thank You for the food on this table and blessing us with a place to rest our heads tonight. In Jesus’ name we pray.”
“Amen,” Alicia, Chelsea, and CJ replied, as they unfolded their hands and began to eat their meal.
“Daddy, how can you thank God and we don’t even know where we’re gonna sleep tomorrow. We’re about to be homeless, how can you thank God for that?” Chelsea asked. The scowl she wore upon her face, like a tattoo, was beginning to etch permanent frown lines in her forehead.
“Sweetheart, we are blessed whether you realize it or not. Tonight, we have a place to lay our heads. Tomorrow, we’ll be sleeping at the residential hotel and we’ll have heat and be warm, which we don’t have now. So we aren’t exactly homeless. I need you to understand that we must be thankful in all things, even when we’re facing obstacles. You know why?” Charles asked his daughter; at the shake of her head no, he went on to explain, “Because I’ve never faced an obstacle in all of my 42 years of living that He didn’t bring me through.”
Alicia nodded her head to support her husband’s assertions.
Charles continued, as he watched his family eat their humble meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas. “Baby girl, I’m just glad to still be here and have to face challenges. At least I’m still alive and breathing to try to make today better than yesterday, and I still have y’all.”
They all knew he was thinking about his father’s passing, and his brother’s challenges. Charles’ brother had gone through a divorce this year and was battling his wife for custody; he didn’t have his children to spend the holiday with.
“Will we go to the same school?” CJ asked.
“Yes, honey. You know there aren’t that many schools here in Pristine,” Alicia answered. She turned to look at her daughter to see what her response would be. They had discussed it already, but Chelsea always acted like everything was new news to her.
After putting the children to bed that night, Alicia and Charles stayed up packing the remainder of their possessions. Charles and the children had already taken care of the majority of the packing, since they were home from school on Christmas break. Alicia just wanted to make sure they had everything properly packed and labeled.
In the morning Eli, Charles’ brother, would be at the house with a Haul-It-All truck, loaned to him by the owner of the local truck moving company. Eli would be bringing a couple of friends with him to help move their belongings to storage. She and the kids would have to do minimal work. Alicia was grateful for the help they were receiving.
Sitting in the bedroom putting away the last of her and Charles’ clothes in a suitcase, Alicia crumpled to the floor. She had been as strong as she knew how. She knew that her husband didn’t like complaining and whining, but she couldn’t stand anymore. Her children were losing the only stability they had had in the last year. No matter what changes they had to undergo moving to the small town, they could always feel at home, as long as they could run to the little house on Bleeker Street, and be together.
Tears took a circuitous route down her face, as she reflected on the arduous task ahead of them.
Not knowing what their future held, scared her more than she cared to admit. Moving to the town had cut deeply into their savings, which continued to dwindle while she searched for a job. Just when they were on the upward move again and began discussing saving money once more, Charles had lost his job. They were now living paycheck to paycheck.
“Baby, I just—” Charles started. “Baby! What’s wrong...Chelsea, talk to me baby?” Charles said, bending on the floor beside his wife as she sat on the floor, her body racked with sobs.
“I…I...can’t dooo this anymooore” she sobbed.
“Come on, baby. We’ve come too far to give up now. Please don’t break on me now. I’ve got you. I don’t know how we gonna turn this around, but we will. We’re here for a reason.”
“Your ddaddy—” she continued sobbing.
“No baby. Nothing to do with my daddy. I mean the challenges we’re going through right now, we’re here for a reason. We have to rest on His grace right now to pull us through.”
“But it’s Chrissstmaasss…and we…and we…always have a nice Christmas for themmmm,” she continued sobbing.
“Baby. I know that, but we’ve also always taught them the true meaning of Christmas. We’ve taught them that it’s not about toys, clothes, and gifts, but about the celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We’ve taught them how special this day is because it is a manifestation of love, the greatest love ever, was God’s only Begotten Son coming here on Earth. We’ve taught them how important it was to give to others, love them, and care for them. It’s about peace, and love, and joy. That’s what’s important, not the gifts. Yes, baby, I know they’ll be disappointed, but they won’t break. They have something strong in them…they’ve got their mama’s and daddy’s blood flowing through them and that’s some tough stuff to be made from.”
“But, we’re usually the ones volunteering and donating to the homeless and I never thought we’d be in this situation,” Alicia sobbed.
“Leesha, it’s temporary. We aren’t homeless, we just have to find something else to rent. It’ll be okay after the holidays; I’m sure we’ll find something. I think it’s just our timing right now.
You gotta trust and believe, Alicia,” Charles pleaded.
Alicia nodded and then rested her head against her husband’s chest. Charles held her close and rocked her back and forth. She fell asleep and after twenty minutes he stood up, cramped legs and arms rocked him, but he stood strong. He laid his sleeping wife on their bed, and covered her with the blankets.
You won't want to miss what happens next...come back tomorrow for more.
Living Life Beautifully Inspired!
Inspirational women's fiction author, writing the script to my beautifully inspired life!
Be Inspired, Follow Me!