It is Christmas time, so I should be happy, but I’m not. I feel depressed, stressed, and I wish life would go back to how it used to be. Though life has not changed much from the outside looking in, much has changed on the inside looking out.
For Christmas this year, my parents have sent me and my twin bothers, Oliver and Benny, to spend Christmas vacation with my grandparents in New York. My parents have been having a “rough patch” in their marriage recently and need space and time to work things out. However, if you ask me, I know it will all end in a divorce.
The fighting started two months ago when my mom’s car was in the shop getting fixed. My mom had a doctor’s appointment and needed my dad to pick her up from the office, so she could get home in time to make us dinner. Well, my dad forgot and that is when things went south. My mom claimed my dad forgot on purpose as a way of getting revenge on her for when she forgot to get him a birthday present the week before. This accusation about my dad was obviously wrong, but it was what my mom thought.
That night was awful. Yelling and fighting ensued and about a month later my mom told the twins and me that we would be spending Christmas alone with grandma and grandpa this year. All three of us siblings had been greatly disappointed and saddened by this, but my mom tried to encourage us with the thought that things would be better once when we got back.
For the weeks following after that night, the fighting and bitterness only grew between my parents. It seemed almost everything my dad did angered my mom and everything my mom did annoyed my dad. Dad had even started sleeping on the couch – that was something I think my parents did not want me finding out about.
I found out by coming downstairs before school for breakfast one day and saw my dad putting away his bedding. I asked why he slept on the couch and he made an excuse that didn’t make sense. After that I never saw him do it again, but every morning before school I would see the bedding tucked under the stairs, waiting to be used again.”
I put down my journal and looked up at my grandma as she sat quietly on the couch in front of the fireplace. She was coloring and was currently deciding on what color to use next. I decided to distract myself from my worrisome thoughts. So, I closed my journal and joined my grandma on the couch for coloring.
“We are seeing the light display downtown tomorrow. That should be fun,” Grandma said with a soft smile.
“Yes, I am looking forward to it! I always enjoy looking at lights at Christmas time.”
At that moment Benny and Oliver came running through the room with super capes on their backs and firetrucks in their hands. They were laughing and making whooping noises.
“No fair!” shouted Benny, “You said we couldn’t fly!”
“No I didn’t! I said we couldn’t die!” Oliver shouted back.
Then they ran out of the room and down the hallway into the room they were originally playing in.
“They sure are a bundle of energy!” my grandma said with a laugh.
“Yes, they are!” I said back with a grin. “You should have seen them on the plane flying up here. They were a mess! I had to tell them a million times to calm down and be quiet. At one point they spilled all of their pretzels all over the floor of the plane and Benny spilled his water on the lady sitting in front of us!” By now grandma and I were both laughing at the thought of Benny spilling his water all over a stranger.
“Sounds like fun to me!” Grandma said after we had stopped laughing.
I picked out a colored pencil and began coloring the page I had picked out. It was a Christmas page full of candy canes, mistletoe, and presents.
“So, how are you enjoying your old grandmother’s house for the holidays?” Grandma asked.
“It is pretty much perfect like always,” I said with a smile. “Except for mom and dad not being here,” I finished in my head.
“Well, good,” Grandma said as she patted my leg. “I was beginning to worry about you. You have been awfully quiet the past few days.”
“I guess I just have had a lot on my mind.”
“Such as…?” My grandma asked probing me on.
“Just the whole thing with mom and dad I guess. I really don’t want them to get a divorce!” For a minute I sat there shocked I had said the last part. I had told no one about my fear of my parents separating.
My grandma’s only remark was, “I see,” and then she just sat there and continued to color.
I didn’t know what else to say, so I sat there in silence waiting for my grandma to say something. I was about to pick up my pencil again when she finally spoke.
“You know what, Emi? There are things about this world we will never understand, such as what is happening with your parents. But there is something I do know. Do you know what that is?”
I shook my head.
“There is a God in Heaven who loves me and is always taking care of me. I may not understand His plans, His ways, or His reasonings, but I can understand that because God is so much greater than I am or ever will be. Because God controls the wind, creates the stars, breathes life into all living things, dresses the flowers of the field, and even takes care of the sparrows, who are such lowly creatures, then I know I can trust God to take care of me. I can trust God to sustain me and give me what I need, when I need it.”
I nodded and sat there thinking about her words for a minute. “That is easier said than done, Grandma,” I said with a smile.
“Of course it is! That is why I am telling you now, Lamb. So, you can have your whole life to practice and try and figure it out.”
To Be Continued…