The Almighty has a plan for every life but forces His will on no one. Lives begin in myriads of circumstances and social settings and we have no control over the world in which we find ourselves. But God’s hands are always there to comfort, to nudge and to beckon us to seek Him. Here’s the first chapter and story of one such life.
Brian came into the world a baby boomer and was skinny and struggling for life as his mother tried everything to help him grow and she almost lost him trying formula after formula until she finally found one that he could keep down. He hung onto life knowing instinctively better days must be ahead, but not yet.
His family was scourged with what was called “the drink” in that day and so his very first memory was a fight between his parents as they lived in an old cabin in the mountains. Brian was just four but can vividly recall the vicious emotional and physical battle between his parents. Then his dad drove away in an awful thunderstorm. His mom, an emotional wreck, watched him retreat as she stood weeping under a great oak tree while the rain poured down and lightning flashed all around her. He looked on through the screen door the vivid image imprinted on his mind forever.
Somehow the family was reunited which was a cycle that would repeat itself again and again in the early years. They moved into a little garage that had a kitchen sink and cabinets hastily installed along one wall and sparse furniture scattered around the garage bays sitting on a throw rug which formed a living room. A couple of small bedrooms were in the upstairs and there was a smoke belching oil pot furnace that provided heat at the bottom of the steps. One morning they all woke up and looked quizzically into each other’s blackened faces as the furnace had malfunctioned during the night and showered soot over everything. I suppose their guardian angels kept them from tragedy and may have chuckled at the comical sight. Brian knew a better life must be ahead, but not yet.
Their next home, purchased through the kindness and support of his great-grandmother was a dream come true and the whole family thought they had arrived. Brian ran the fields and the forest pretending he was exploring the frontier as he climbed trees, gathered fossils, caught crayfish and frogs in the nearby mountain stream. But heartache wasn’t far behind as the “drink” and its caustic effects began to again seep into the family’s life.
The mortgage payments were way behind and one dark dark night as he lay in bed Brian heard the fighting begin again and then he was dragged into the kitchen joining his mom as they stood trembling along the wall as his dad pointed a single barrel shotgun at them threatening to pull the trigger. The gun wasn’t loaded but they didn’t know that. His father threw down the gun and stormed out of the house. His mom said that was it, they were moving away from dad for good and she meant it. Brian thought life would finally be better, but not yet. (to be continued)
For the next chapter see: Bud’s Haven