Two Mothers, Twin Daughters
Some folks seem to enjoy reading excerpts from the book I am writing, so I’ll update you once again.
T hree years went by, and the twins were still separated.
Margaret listened; for once the children were quiet. It seemed they had settled down nicely for their naps, the two younger ones, that is, and Davey Juniour wouldn’t be released from school for another hour or so. She reached for her Bible on the nearby nightstand and took the latest letter from Marita out from just inside the back cover and clutched it in her hands while bowing her head in prayer. The much read letter was already a year old so Margaret carefully unfolded the sharp creases to read it once more.
I can’t bear to tell my dear mother-in-law what we are going through so hope you can take it since I feel I would crack up if I couldn’t share with someone!
Randall’s out of work—again, has been for three months this time. In a way I am not sorry he lost this job but we are in desperate straits. He had had an epileptic fit while on scaffolding and fell. The job wasn’t waiting for him when his leg finally mended.
Sometimes I am at my wits end to know how to respond to him. We are hungry nearly all the time but I know he finds enough money to spend on beer. How long must I excuse his behavior on the war? Does David sometimes seem to be unreasonable---still?
Oh, Margaret, what can I ever do? I would offer to take in babysitting but our one room suite and half bath are far too crowded to entertain extra children.
Thank you so much for the gift of money you slipped in your last letter. Oh, Margaret, it’s a good thing Randall wasn’t home when the mailman arrived with the cash. I bawled buckets and Emily was all over me trying to comfort me so I tried to tell her they were happy tears.
I hope I can someday repay you. I have to dole it out slowly so he won’t get suspicious and wonder where it came from. As it is I have to hide it because he rifles through my purse in the vain hope I’d have some money stashed away.
So far I have only bought a small bag of oatmeal and some powdered milk with the money, and oh yes, a bag of carrots because they keep for a long time in the icebox, we won’t go hungry for a while.
Emily is healthy, for which I thank the Lord. Her sweetness and innocence helps me to trust our Heavenly Father more. I have much time on my hands so often turn to Mum-in-law’s Bible in time of need. I still worry a lot and get sharp with Randall way too often, but I’m glad I have Emily and I’m glad I have God.
Lots of love, |
P.S. Sorry for being so full of myself: I really do want a long, fully detailed letter about everything that’s going on in your life and especially about Alice. (Sorry if I sound selfish.)
P.S. 2. We are in Vancouver now, but I’m sure we will be moving soon.
Margaret refolded the letter then gently placed it back between the worn covers of the Bible. She sat lost in thought until her burdened heart caused her to slip to her knees in prayer. She laid her head on her arm.
“It’s been so long, Lord. Marita is almost dearer to me that a flesh and blood sister might be. Please be with her. Keep her, comfort her, and help Randall to overcome his drinking habit. Thou knowest what awful memories are still gripping him, and we don’t. Thou knowest the anxiety Marita faces: please help him to find a good job, and keep it. May Marita continue to call upon you when the floods threaten to overwhelm her—“
“Mommy, Alice spilled the milk on the floor!”
It was obvious that Sally would have gotten the milk out of the refrigerator because Emily was too young to handle the door. Alice was on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor with a tea towel.
“Let’s not use a tea towel to clean the floor next time, okay, Sweetie. Sally, you fetch a rag from the rag bag.”
“But she spilled it!”
“Just do as I tell you.”
"Alice, wait for Mommy to pour your milk for you okay”— she almost called her ‘Sweetie’ again but then remembered it was too easy to favor the daughter of her troubled friend over the other two.
Margaret was thoughtful, prayerful, as she tended to her motherly duties . They walked to the corner to meet Davey and he prattled joyfully about his day at school, she served the children cookies and milk but hardly heard them.
David came home two hours later and once again Margaret was so thankful that the man she married had a steady job as a mechanic. There were still far too many veterans drifting aimlessly through life, addicted to the bottle, and not coping well with their violent past. David seemed to be so steady in comparison.