Myra looked out at the deepening of the snow and knew that she could not walk to the grocery store to replenish their food supply, which was dangerously low. Her rheumatoid arthritis was causing her such acute pain, making walking in the frigid weather nearly impossible.
She did not know her neighbors, so more than likely none of them would be stopping by to ask if she needed anything from the store. To her chagrin, her husband had walked away earlier in the year, unwilling to meet his obligations to her and his children.
She looked at her children playing in the living room, keeping near the fireplace, for it was their only source of heat, other than the stove in the kitchen. Her oldest, Sean, age 8, looked back at his mother and saw the pain and worry in her eyes.
She caught him looking at her, and she thought that he seemed to have an old soul, capable of understanding the pain and suffering of others, a skill a child his age should never possess. Childhood is meant to be a time of carefree fun and a worry-free existence, but for children growing up in poverty, it is seldom so.
He knew that she was worried about feeding him and his little sister, Chrissy, age 3, and his little brother, Marcus, age 1. He had to do something, for he had been told by Mr. Jarrett, a deacon at their small church, that he was now the oldest male in the house, so he was responsible for taking care of his mother and siblings. He took the job seriously.
He walked up to Myra and said, “Mommy, what’s wrong? I can help.” With tears of frustration but also of pride in her “little man,” she had no choice but to tell him. She said, “Sean, we need food from the store, and Mommy can’t go get it.” He looked at her with love, and he said, “Mommy, write me a list. I can take my sled and go to the store for you.”
She had no choice, so she gathered him in her arms and she prayed to God to protect him and keep him safe from predators and other possible harm on the way to the store, while at the store, and on his way back home. He put on his red coat, and she added the two woolen scarves, gloves, and woolen hat that she had purchased for a total of two dollars last week from the Goodwill store to give him for Christmas, but which he needed now.
She placed the money and the list in a green sack, so that he would not lose it, and she watched as he walked away from the house, with his sled trailing behind him. He seemed so small in all the snow, but to his credit, he walked with the determination to prove himself capable of doing what she needed. On his part, he exulted to be out in the snow, with the cold wind blowing on his face, pulling his beloved sled, the last gift that his father had given him.
Written for the Daily Writing Challenge by The Haunted Wordsmith (a pictorial) .Ragtag prompt is Exult. Your Daily Prompt is Frigid. Scott’s Daily Prompt is Acute. Word of the Day Challenge is Chagrin. Fandango prompt is Credit.