Excerpt from Chapter 4: “Child, I Love You”

How will I make it through? I silently inquired of my Friend as I waited in the dedicated cheque cashing queue. My body ached to be walking in the bright, sunny warmth outside. I have three hundred dollars. There’s my utility bill. I need lens solution and tights, and so many other things. It’s not enough. Why is there never enough?

Do you remember when you were eleven and wanted some extra Christmas money? the voice asked. What happened?

I found thirty-eight dollars and bought things for the other kids. The boys said it was the best Christmas since their mother died.

Do you remember when you spent seventeen dollars on your Halloween costume and couldn’t return them even though they didn’t work? the voice asked again.

Oh yes. I found twenty dollars in the sawdust at the lumber shop. When I asked if anyone had dropped it, the owner said, ‘It must be yours.’ I responded my nose almost itching at the memory of the sawdust, my face a smile.

And do you remember this past Easter when your roommate was out of work and you had saved to buy a dress? the voice asked once more.

Of course I do. I really wanted that dress. I hadn’t had a new one in years. But I knew I’d have to help her. She helped me when I needed it. Then, the insurance cheque came, out of the blue. Enough to cover her share of the rent and tide her over until she found a new job. And the dress — it was the kind of silk Marmar used to wear. It felt so wonderful to wear a dress like hers, to feel that fabric again. I was really missing her.

Child, the voice continued, if I have cared for you all this time, what makes you think I would stop now?

I looked down at my shoes as I used to do during church when I was a child.They needed cleaning, Umm… I don’t know.

Child, I love you, the voice told me gently.

My lower lip curled.

Child, I love you, He spoke within my heart again.

Tell me what you think. Thanks.

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