PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6 | PART 7 | PART 8 | PART 9 | PART 10

As I parked the car, I could see the cars of my siblings.

” Yep. The gangs all here. God, how will I get through this crazy situation?  My sisters and brothers are going to hate me.  I have no idea what dad is going to say!  What if they disagree with his decision?  Oh man!  What will mom say?  How will she respond?”


Trying not to hyperventilate, I take slow breaths as I climb the steps.

“Hi John. Everyone is here I see.”

Yes.  We are all here.  Your tardiness only adds to the tension of this situation.  Why are you. . .?”

“Hey!  Imma need for you not to go there with me big brother!  Let’s just go inside to get this over with.”

John held the door as I quickly headed for the sanctuary. Immediately I saw mom and dad sitting up front.  Two chairs placed side by side in front of the pulpit.

Always together in everything. Almost everything. This is too hard.

After all the greetings, dad stood and began to speak.

“We will not begin this without prayer. Lord.  We ask you to please be in our midst as we attempt to share our plans with our children. May they understand that you put us here in families for a reason. Please help them to remember that you are the foundation of this family. Grant it merciful Father?  Amen.”

Taking his seat, dad called Maddie up to pass out some folders.  Dad continues.

“I have called you all together to let you know what our wishes are.  In these folders you will find a copy of our Will and a list of things we want you all to know.  Understand me well.  NONE of these things are up for discussion.  This is merely a meeting to inform you of what we expect. I will give you a few minutes to look through the folders.”

I take inventory of the faces in the room instead of looking in the folder.  I already know what is in there.

Wait a minute Lisa.  They don’t know that you already know.  Better go along like you don’t have a clue.

Glancing up, I notice faces full of questions. Will dad change his mind and answer questions?  What will he say?  Is he going to tell them so I won’t have to carry this burden?

Mitchell cleared his throat and spoke.

“Dad, you mean to tell me that we don’t have a right to say anything about what is in this folder?  I mean.  It is our home too.  Why don’t we have a say?”

WHAT THE HECK!!!  He just had to be the one to stir the pot.  Why can’t he just take this as an information session and SHUT UP?????

I slid further down in my seat.

“Mitchell.  Your mother and I have written out what we want you to know.  She is fine with it and so am I.  That is all that matters at this point.”

Dad looked none too pleased with Mitchell’s questioning.  Nothing new though.  Out of all nine of us, he is the only one that my father danced for when he was born.  He is also the one that made my father cry when he got married without consent.  That boy has been nothing but trouble for this family.  I often wonder if he really is my brother.

Mom reaching for dads’ hand, smiled then spoke.

“Your father and I have prayed long and hard about what we have given you today.  Many of those things listed were not easy decisions but necessary ones. We love each of you.  We expect for you all, as you father has already said, to comply with our wishes. Whenever the Lord decides for us to leave here, we want to be certain that everything will be done decent and in order.”

I see a few tears being wiped from eyes.  Mitchell started to speak again.

“But Dad.  I don’t. . . ”

Man just shut up!”

A voice spoke quietly from behind me.  It was Junior.  Looking rather angry I might add.

“Daddy already said what he had to say and he already gave us what he wants us to know.  Why can’t you just leave it alone Man? Just leave it alone!”

Junior never looked up as he spoke. He just stared at the closed folder in his hand.

Mitchell turned to Junior.

“Look you. I can ask a question if I want to and you don’t tell me to shut up boy.”

Dad jumped up.  Mom grabbed his hand and spoke.

“Mitchell and Junior.  You are in a sacred place and you will not disrespect it. If your father agrees, I think that it is time to go.”

As I walked out of the door I saw Mitchell and Junior still going at it by their cars.  Mom and Dad had just pulled out of the parking lot.  My other siblings were gathered together at the foot of the church steps.  Hoping to make a clean getaway, I hear my named called.  It was Maddie.

“Lisa.  Would you come here please?  We need to speak with you a moment.”


To be continued.


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