My thoughts wandered to how I was ever going to tell Mary that because of my layoff we would not be able to get Christmas presents. Little Russell would be so hurt but I couldn't help it. I heard Mary below in the kitchen. I suppose I should go tell her, "Mary."
"Yes, Russell. I'm glad you are up. I need to go see Mother this year. You know Mom and Dad don't even know about little Russell."
"Honey, I'm glad you brought that up. I need to tell you something." The look on Mary's face told me she had guessed what I was going to say and it hurt me to watch, "You know that we won't have money this year. I'm sorry to say this but you won't be able to go see your Mother this year."
The tears were rolling down Mary's face as she said, "We can't afford much of anything. You just had to get yourself laid off now, didn't you/ Little Russell will have to do without presents this year."
'i'm sorry Mary. Little Russell shouldn't have to go without presents, but it was something I couldn't control." There was a knock on the wooden, front door. I knew Mary and I needed to finish this conversation. I went to answer the door, "Hello, Rodney. What is the problem?"
"Russ, I don't know how to tell you but little Russell crawled out into the street and was hit by a green, Mustang convertible The driver stopped."
I heard sobs escape Mary as I opened the screen to go to my son/ Mary followed. Was giving up my family money worth the struggles that my family had had to endure? I hoped that our love for each other would be enough to overcome the odds.
Mary was just nineteen. but the years since our marriage had been hard on her. Her big, beautiful, blue eyes had big black shadows around them. Her eyes were the first thing I noticed about her. Her long. black hair was turning gray.
I was twenty years old and a laid-off auto worker. My dark brown eyes were red-rimmed from crying when no one is watching. I suppose my hair is standing up from where I had the habit of running my hand through my hair.
We ran to the street where little Russell lay unconscious. I saw Mary turn away and cross her hands to pray. Mary is trying hard to get me to believe but somehow I just can't do it. I had a good reason, I had prayed for a friend when I was a young child, who was very ill. He died the next day and I felt betrayed by God and the church.
The ambulance pulled up to the curb and after checking little Russell loaded him into the ambulance and off they headed to the hospital. Mary and I headed back to our ill-furnished, slightly run-down house. My mind returned to my forgotten inheritance. Should I go talk to my parents about the money I was entitled too? No, I didn't want the kind of lifestyle that went with the money. I had more to think about just me now. I had Mary and Little Russell now. I opened the door to get the keys to the beat-up, red Buick that passed for our car. ii wished I had enough money to put a new lock on the door, but we didn't have anything worth taking. for
"Honey, let's kneel and pray for little Russell."
"Okay, Mary." I felt I needed to give her something to hang on to even if it didn't work. When Mary and I stood we both had tears in our eyes. Mary's were from hope and mine were from doubt. I grabbed the keys and looked at the Christmas tree. I had cut the tree just the day before. It was decorated with just the three balls that we had for the three years we had known and loved each other. I guess this tree didn't do much for us. I might just throw it out when we got back.
Mary sensed my thoughts, "No leave the tree. Little Russ will want to see it when he comes home. I really didn't mean to sound mean when I said it was your fault you are laid off. I know better. I was hurt."
"I know you didn't mean it. I can't blame you though. I have been thinking of contacting my father about taking that job he offered me. I know we don't want that kind of life, but you deserve better than I can give you. Have you ever been sorry you married me?"
"No, Russell, I wouldn't trade our love for all of their money. They always seem so unhappy. I love you not your money."
"Well, Mary I suppose we better get headed toward the hospital. I love you and Russ."
"Russell. God will help us through this. It is an awful time of year for this to happen but we will get through it."
I couldn't believe what Mary was saying as I had such bitterness to God because of his betrayal of me in the past It seemed like forever before the doctor came out to tell us how our son was.
"Mary, Russell, your son is going to be just fine. A few bumps and bruises but no permanent damage."
"Hon, did you hear that? Our son is going to be just fine. I told you God would help us through this unfortunate circumstance."
'Yes Mary, I have to admit you are right. I will admit that I have been skeptical."
"Why would you be skeptical of what God can do?"
"Well, Mary I prayed to him when I was young to heal a friend of mine who was very sick and the next day he died. I felt that God had betrayed me. I had always heard pray and He would answer my prayer but he didn't. Haven't you ever had doubts?
"No Russ. If I had doubts we wouldn't have lasted as long as we have. He has been looking out for us from the very first day of our marriage."
We started for home. Mary was fretting the whole time. She said if we hadn't been fighting this wouldn't have happened. She should have been watching Russell better. She told me it was all her fault. I was laughing on the inside at Mary. This couldn't be the same woman who had been telling me that everything happened for a reason. I tried to convince her it wasn't her fault. For a few minutes, we traveled in silence. "Russell, do you I want me to get a job?"
"Honey, no. You need to be here for Russ."
I was pulling into the yard when we noticed that there were lights in our house. "Who would be in our house?"
Mary and I walked slowly toward our house. On the front steps we stopped and listened, "Jason, I think the kids could use some new furniture."
"Jessie, maybe the kids don't want us messing up their lives. They don't want our money."
"Jason, they are just kids. They don't know what they want."
We were about to enter the house when the conversation continued, "Jason, why don't we buy them a new house and furnish it. All as a surprise."
"Jessie, that sounds like a good plan. Do you think it should be large or small?"
"Why a five-bedroom starter home would be perfect. After all, it is just the two of them. We have no grandchildren yet"
At this, we decided to enter our house, "Mom! Dad! What are you doing here? What do you mean about a new house and furniture? Isn't our house good enough for you?"
"Russell, calm down! We just thought we would help you out. We know you don't want our money. We thought you might like something nicer and newer."
Mary stepped closer and put her arm around me, "I am quite happy with what Russell can provide. We don't go hungry. God makes sure to provide for us."
"Well Jessica, are you happy? You have upset our daughter-law." Jason said. "Mary, I am so sorry. When Jessica gets an idea in her head, it is next to impossible to change her mind."
"Well Dad, Russell is a good provider for me and Russ. our son."
"Well, kids we get what you are saying. I want you to know that if you need anything, call us."
"Mom, Dad. Could we have a loan of enough money to set me up in business?" Rusell asked.
"Consider it a gift for all the Christmas that we have missed. We never wanted to alienate you because of the money. The house and furniture will be our wedding present to you a little late."
"You mentioned a grandson. Where is the little tyke? We want to take him to a toy store for his gifts." said Jessica.
"You will have to wait until he is released from the hospital. He crawled out into the street today and was hit by a car. He has just bumps and bruises but they are going to keep him overnight." Russell said.
"How did he get hit by a car? Oh yes, you said he crawled into the street."
"I looked away and the next thing I know he was in the street. Mary and I were having a disagreement."
"Can our grandson come and see us occasionally?: said, Jessica.
"I think he would enjoy that. Can Russ and I come too?"
"Yes and please forgive us."