Friday, April 12, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (56)

(a novel continued)

She thought about her children.
George and Henry had been together for three years. Obvious to anyone who spent time with them, they loved and cared for each other. They suited each other. They were great best buddies. The kissing...that was gross.
John and Minnie had  talked to George about his sexual relationship. “Your body is just not designed for it.” Minnie had argued. 
“George, what do you with all those passages in the Bible that call homosexuality a perversion?” John said.
George had calmly replied, “God made me this way. I like men. Women don’t do anything for me.” He clinched his argument with a Bible verse, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Billy was also a story. He was a diligent armed forces man who took pride in his work. He lived on base and flew to hot spots in the world at a moment’s notice. He swore and drank. Right now he didn’t have a place in his life for Christmas ornaments, or for God it seemed.

And, Mary would probably throw the ornaments away as soon as her 'pastor' realized she had something that held her to a previous life. He might produce a rousing sermon on being willing to give up things that are dear and precious, even small things—things from your childhood....
Minnie imagined Mary would chuck the ornaments freely and deliberately as if she had been told by God himself.

John and Minnie carried the cardboard boxes down stairs and parked them in the living room in front of the tree. “We’ll keep putting these ornaments on a tree until the kids are ready to take them,” Minnie said.
She pulled out a popsicle-stick angel Billy had made in kindergarten. “Remember this one?" Decorating a tree had become ‘old’ for Billy when he was 12, but he always, always insisted on hanging this ornament himself. 
"I'll put it on the mantle for Bill." 
 "If he comes," John said.
John picked out Mary’s grade-one picture in a lumpy baked-dough frame. She was wearing her blue dress and had a big smile on her face. “This is my all-time favourite,” John said.
“Remember how George liked to place the glass ornaments in front of the lights so that the light shone through them?” Minnie said.
“Remember how you insisted that all the angels had to be near the top of the tree?” John said.
“Remember how you insisted we had to hang the icicles individually so they each one hung down straight?” Minnie said.
“I thought it was the only way,” John said. He flung a few icicles at the tree. “Now I know better.”
With the tree entirely decorated, they sat down. Normally this would be when they enjoyed a cookie and a glass of eggnog from Christmas glasses with poinsettias painted on them.
Instead they prayed, “Jesus help our children to find You.” In her spirit, Minnie heard, ‘I’m on it.’ When she shared this with John, he admitted that he had heard the very same phrase. 
“This is  much better than worrying,” Minnie said.

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