Sunday, January 17, 2010

Have A Little Faith (Short Story)

Have A Little Faith by Vanessa Richardson © Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

It was one of the darkest times for her. Try as she might visibility was next to nil. She just could not understand how she came to be in this situation. Reminiscing over her life wondering if somewhere down in her past she had inadvertently done wrong to someone and God was punishing her for it. She readily admitted that she was not perfect. She believed and lived by her motto of treating others the way you would want to be treated. Growing up she was a volunteer at her local hospital. She was active in her community and attended church faithfully. She was always faithful in her relationships. She had no answers. Why was this happening to her? Feeling the familiar sting of tears forming, she swallowed hard willing them away.

A sob broke forth. A single tear fell followed by another and another until a full out tsunami erupted. She came out of nowhere smelling like fresh flowers. Mama wrapped her arms around her only child. This loving move caused Mercy’s tears to fall fast and furious. It seemed her mother always knew she needed her the most. Mercy turned into her mothers comforting embrace, clinging tightly to her, she released her deep sorrow. Mercy felt like a drowning victim, of late, it seemed as though her mother was the lifeline keeping her a float. So the tears of not understanding continued there flow.

The combination of denial and hurt caused her soulful cries to escalate. Through this mama remained unflappable. Steadily, she continued to rock her only child, soothingly brushing back her long dark tresses, all the while singing an old familiar gospel song. Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand I’m tired, I am weak I am worn through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand precious Lord Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light: Mercy normally would have been embarrassed by such display of weakness. Not today.

She needed this cry. Mercy could not help but to wonder if crying had categories. She only knew that this would be the last cry over this particular situation. The famous quote from civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer came to mind. She was “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” reluctantly removing herself from her mothers comforting embrace. Mama nodded her head and smiled. Standing mama gave her privacy to recollect herself. Mercy was grateful to her. Mercy sat staring into her glass of lemonade. “Mercy, baby, not every dark cloud mean its going to rain. Have a little faith,” Mama sipped her lemon lime lemonade smiling. They had adjourned to the kitchen both drinking a tall cold glass of lemonade. After her gut-wrenching cry, mama had suggested that she take a long bath and to later join her in the kitchen.

Food always cheered Mercy up. Mama could make a meal like no body’s business. In her late fifties mama was often mistaken for being in her mid forties. Her cinnamon skin was wrinkled free and her onyx eyes still sparkled with youthful gaiety. Mercy looked at her mother in askance. Her mother has taken this journey with her from the beginning. She saw the hurt and pain she was enduring this latest episode was testimony of her hurt. There was no it looks like. It is what it is. Chuckling softly mama put her cup down and clasped her daughter’s hand.

Mercy was her only child and was a gift from God. She was her miracle child. Doctors told her she would never be able to conceive. The news was devastating to her. However, God had mercy upon her. Some women get married only to have kids because they think it is the next thing to do. Mama knew from a small child that she would be a mother. She wanted to have a house full of children. God’s plans were different. She and Almer her husband of thirty-five years never gave up faith that they would one day be parents. Their Mercy was their gift from God. That was a dark looming cloud, but no rain had followed. “You know the story of how you were born. I know you hurting but I want you to really listen to me,” Mama held up her hand stopping Mercy’s denial. “Listen to me with your heart. If this door closes, God can open up another.

You can still be happy, baby. It is your choice.” Mama leaned forward capturing her loved child’s eyes. “You can be happy.” Looking into her mothers warm eyes, Mercy did indeed feel she could be happy. Looking at the phone, she sighed. In ten minutes, her Doctor would be calling her to confirm if she was pregnant. She smiled wistfully. History had a way of repeating itself. She had inherited the gene that her mother has that made conceiving almost impossible. She and her husband Stanley had been trying unsuccessfully for five years to have a baby. The sudden a strange phenomenon occurred. She was craving weird foods and she was nauseated every morning. She kept these changes to herself for almost a month. Finally telling her husband of her suspicions together, they schedule an appointment to see her family doctor. Due to her rare condition, several types of blood tests had to be run. The result would be back in two days. Today was day two. A tremor began to course through her body. Just then, Stanley and her father came in. Stanley said not a word he just held her. Mercy embraced her husband of seven years entrance. He was still able to make her heart soar just by entering a room. At six feet three, he made her feel safe and secure. His skin was the color of mocha, his newly grown goat tee made him appear ruggedly handsome.

Mercy rested her head on his broad shoulders. He tightened his embrace. Mercy sighed tightening her hold She silently offered up a pray of thanks to God. Family meant every thing to her. Hazarding another glance at the clock, Mercy realized she had only two minutes left until “the call.” Her father a big burly man with skin the color of molasses kissed her forehead taking a seat next to mama. Although expected the call, the shrilling noise of the phone caused all four occupants to jump. No one moved. They were afraid to. What was the answer behind the call?

Finally, Mercy forced herself to answer the shrilling phone. “Hello.” Mercy barely recognized her own voice. “This is she. Ok. Thank you for all you have done for us. Good bye.” Mercy looked at her loved ones grateful for their presence, their combined strength made this journey bearable. Finally replacing the phone Mercy numbly went into her husband-awaiting embrace. Her silent pillow of strength. True to character he said not a word, he just held her.

Mama bowed her head as papa wrapped his arms around her in comfort. “We’re going to be the proud parents to twins,” Mercy finally revealed. The room remained silent at her announcement. Mercy lean back to look into her husbands eyes. They were wide with shock. His mouth moved but no words came forth. He laughed spinning her around in a circle. Mercy laughed aloud at his joyful display. My but how good it felt to laugh. She thought. She could not stop herself, did not want to stop really, laughing felt good. “Did I hear you right, Baby? We’re having twins?” His voice cracked. Her husband’s tears were falling free and fast. Mercy nodded her head wildly sending her tresses everywhere. Her joyful tears matching that of her beloved. Stanley lifted her spinning her around. “Praise the Lord!” Mama shouted spinning around in her own little circle. Papa leaped up and began doing an off beat jig. “This is cause for a celebration. We are going out to celebrate. Yee haw! I am going to be a grandpa twice in one day. My baby is having babies,” Papa continued his offbeat jig. “We are doing no such a thing, Papa,” Mama cried. “I have already prepared a feast for the heavens. We will eat right here and celebrate in the privacy of our home, not in a restaurant filled with strangers.”

Mercy and her husband were oblivious to her parents bantering. They young couple continued to hold each other, tears of joy steadily flowing. It was contagious as Mama and papa’s own tears began to fall. Silently they watched the young couple. They had endured much and were deserving of great happiness. Papa nodded at mama, gently guided her out of the kitchen affording the young ones some privacy. The table could wait they had time.

Disclaimer: artwork by J. Mayers

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