A streetlamp flickered as Marcy walked by, and snow began falling. She wanted so badly to be inside, anywhere, any place that had heating. She didn’t know where else to go, she didn’t want to go there but it was the only place that would take her on this bitter cold Christmas Eve.
She was desperate. So she headed to the Gospel Mission. At least she could find warmth there and a decent meal. She knew she smelled bad, but it didn’t matter anymore.
Once she got there, it did not go well. There was no food left, and the staff argued with each other on whether Marcy should sleep with the men or the women. They looked at her with disgust and continued arguing with each other. Marcy’s face turned beet red with embarrassment and anger. She tried to explain why she was a woman, but they wouldn’t listen.
Marcy turned and headed for the door. No one, absolutely no one tried to stop her. There was only one place left she could try although she was sure they were closed now.
It was a long difficult walk including over a bridge and in the snow, and now the wind picked up. She asked heaven for help, and she was bold enough to ask for three small Christmas gifts.
“I could really use these gifts right now” … she said out loud, looking up.
Almost an hour later she made it…to the Pride Center. The door was locked! She banged as loud as she could, weeping and calling out for help. Suddenly the door opened, “What is all that noise!” And when the woman standing there saw Marcy, she said “Come in child come in, dear God look at you!”
Her name was Linda, an older woman and a psychologist who had fallen asleep after meeting with a client there. She took Marcy in and went into action, wrapping her in blankets and fixing something up in the microwave that smelled delicious. Marcy knew that smell, and with a smile on her face said, “Lasagna!”.
The two women talked, and Marcy told her about her night so far. They finished the coffee in the coffee pot, and talked some more about everything. Linda offered to give her fresh clothes from the attached thrift shop. They both hated red!
Linda pointed down the hallway and said, “Second door on the right is a bathroom with a shower.” Marcy smiled beautifully. Linda continued, “There’s shampoo in the closet.” And after the shower and fresh clothes, Marcy realized something.
Linda had given her the Christmas presents she was hoping for. When she told Linda, they hugged each other with tears streaming down their faces.
All Marcy wanted for Christmas was to feel loved, accepted, and encouraged.
“Merry Christmas Marcy!”
P.S. That night Marcy slept on the sofa at the center, warm and comfy. She and Linda became good friends, and Marcy now works at the thrift shop.
Merry Christmas everyone! This is such a beautiful time of year. At least for a little while we can freely talk of peace and love and being kind to one another.
Isn’t that amazing??
And I don’t think of this holiday as just one day. It’s a season. Ever heard of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”?
Many of you have a different faith than I do, so I wish you all Happy Holidays! Wherever you are around the world, may you have a blessed season of peace, time with family, rest, and provision for all of your needs.
I will be taking a holiday break this year. I know, I know what you’re thinking! I seldom do very well with taking breaks! I try, but I’m a writer so I write.
So as a compromise I will be sharing some older work, for about the next ten days or so. And I’ll share a couple new posts next weekend. I will check your sites on occasion. I love your work!
……Rosa began to see a faint outline where she thought a person sat down, almost like a grey mist. It took shape! The being, whoever it was, turned to look at her. The shape took the form of a woman. Rosa could make out the woman’s hair, which she recognize immediately – and then she saw the woman’s face!
The image said, “Rosa…”, Rosa was shaking now, and said “Mama?” Rosa instinctively reached out for her but, her mother told her no, “Only my spirit is here Rosa”. “Mama I’m so sorry for all the things I said that night!” “I know sweetheart…I did not die because of you though….I needed to tell you that.” “That’s one of the reasons I’m here. I love you more than I know how to say!”
They talked for awhile and Rosa’s mother mostly spoke about forgiveness. Streams of tears flowed from Rosa’s eyes but mostly they were tears of joy. And then her mother changed the topic, mentioning church.
“I only wanted you to experience the peace, joy and hope of this season sweetheart…..” Rosa suddenly had the idea of what she could give her mother for Christmas…..”Mama, thank you and I know what gift to give to both of us!…..I will go church tonight, this very night……it’s Christmas Eve after all!”
It wasn’t long after that, Rosa saw her mother fade away, but she had the biggest smile on her face as she faded. And her last words to Rosa this time were, “and remember to forgive yourself sweetheart….”.
Rosa sat for quite awhile alone, letting everything her Mama said, sink in. So everything did end well.
Rosa wanted to tell you that she did go to church that night, wearing her only dress, and her large overcoat, both she had bought from Goodwill. And no one there called her a whore.
In fact they were quite friendly, especially during the time of offering her the peace. As she continued going there, they also helped to get a better job. The last I heard she was working in the admissions department of the local community college.
Rosa heard music again, a choir singing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, in the distance. As she sat on the edge of her bed, tears flowing, she looked over at her mother’s picture on her nightstand. She could still hear the words, the arguing, from the last night Rosa saw her alive.
“Mama they will call me a whore!”. She knew it wasn’t true, but she was willing to say anything that night to get her off the track of Rosa going to church. “Rosa, please…it’s Christmas Eve after all.”
It was the night her mother passed away. And the guilt Rosa felt about everything, was crashing in on her now, including the wild parties, and drinking until she was senseless.
Grabbing her head, and laying on the bed, the pain was getting worse. And why were the women at her job so mean to her today? She could not help it that she didn’t know English very well. They were vicious, and all for working at a fast-food restaurant!
She shouted, “I hate Christmas!” into the ceiling, then sat up and went for the pill bottle in her nightstand. She stopped, there was that music again….. “Where was it coming from……?”
She also had a feeling, an unusual sense, that someone else was there in the room now…..but strangely, she wasn’t afraid. And then oddly someone sat on her bed…..or at least it seemed that way, but she didn’t see anyone…..