She kicked a stone, and her voice faltered as she whispered those dreaded words. “You’re so stupid Becky, how could you do such a thing!” Her stepmother’s voice was on repeat in her head. Becky needed a miracle just in time for Christmas:
Becky hadn’t meant to leave the kettle on. But she had been so caught up in taking care of her brother and changing his wet diaper, that she had forgotten about the kettle. He had been soaked him up to his armpits and it had taken her half an hour to wipe him down from the mess that had accumulated over twelve hours.
She peeked out of the bedroom door and down the hall. Her father and stepmother were on two separate couches, strung out on drugs. She wondered how long the baby had been by himself.
It was Christmas Eve.
Becky had just finished her shift at Walmart, she had done a back-to-back to help buy groceries, diapers and formula. She flipped her curly brown hair over her shoulder and leaned down and picked up Brian. He was still sniffling and wrapped his chubby arms around her neck.
She sat down in the rocker and rocked as she fed her eight-month-old brother his bottle. Becky caressed his head as he grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled it to his cheek. Brian was the one person in the world that Becky knew had loved her.
She also felt responsible for his happiness and safety.
Their mother had disappeared six months earlier, after a night of being abused and a drunken rampage. Her dad was quick to replace his wife with a new punching bag. Becky had been his target for four months until her new step-mom had moved in.
She missed her mom. Sarah had been a beautiful, loving mother. She had always had time for Becky. Becky’s favourite memory was when she and her mom would turn on movies on Saturday nights, and her mom would brush out her long, curly hair.
A tear fell down Becky’s cheek and onto Brian’s bottle.
She thought her mom had loved her and Brian.
The kettle had filled the house with smoke, but thankfully nothing had caught fire. Her stepmother had slapped her across the face and called Becky stupid. Then she had walked into the living room and passed out on the couch…again.
That had been yesterday. Today she found her brother in the same mess and unfed, once again. Becky had been trying to come up with a plan for days. She had prayed over and over, “God, please give Brian and me a way out of this mess.”
Her prayers were falling on deaf ears.
Becky had bitten off all her fingernails in the past week and was losing weight. She couldn’t eat when she was stressed and filled with anxiety. Becky would wake in the night with her dad pulling her by the hair out of bed, and yelling at her over a mess he had found.
She had thought of taking Brian and running to the police station in the night. It was only six blocks from their house. But she was terrified they would separate her and Brian. Nobody wants a teenager…and a baby.
She prayed again, “God if you’re real like they said you are in Sunday School, please show me, by getting Brian and me out of here safely.” Another tear escaped, and she wiped it from her cheek.
Becky placed the baby on her bed and quickly looked down the hall. Her parents were still passed out, and dirty needles and garbage were spread throughout the living room. Becky breathed a sigh of relief, they should be asleep for hours. She hopped into bed and wrapped her arms around Brian as she pulled up her blankets.
She fell into a deep sleep. Tomorrow was Christmas. If she and Brian didn’t wake up, she wouldn’t mind.
Becky woke a few hours later to yelling and screaming…
“Police, put your hands up!” She grabbed Brian and ran and hid in the bedroom closet. He started to fuss, “Ssh, ssh, ssh” she tried to calm him, and he slowly dozed off. Becky didn’t want the police to find them, they’d be separated tonight.
She heard her dad yelling, “I’m not guilty, those drugs aren’t mine.” Her dad was one of the biggest drug dealers in the city, everyone knew it. He was guilty.
Finally, she heard her dad being escorted out of the house and she saw the flashing red and blue lights disappear. She was about to leave the closet when she heard voices, “Becky, Becky, BECKY!!!” She stayed quiet.
Something was familiar about one of the voices.
The voice got more desperate and closer. Becky trembled. The closet door flung open…
There stood her beautiful mother.
Becky’s heart flooded with relief and tears began to fall uncontrollably. Her mom dropped to the floor and enveloped her and Brian in a hug. Sarah sobbed for what seemed like forever, and so did Becky.
“Oh, Becky, I’m so sorry I left you and Brian. I went for help, and it’s taken this long for the police to track your father’s drug dealing and get a search warrant. Please forgive me!”
“Oh Mama, I missed you so much!”
“Becky, I prayed for you every day. That God would help you to take care of Brian, and that you would both survive until I came back. ”
Becky leaned into her mother’s arms and sighed. Oh, how she missed her sweet mama. They finally stood up, and Sarah reached for Brian. He came to her immediately and snuggled into her shoulder. “He’s grown so much I hardly recognize him!” Tears were still falling.
“He seems to remember you, Mama.” Becky smiled at the scene. Mother and babe reunited. A true Christmas miracle.
“Becky, I want to bring you and Brian to live with me, is that okay?”
“Mama, I have missed you terribly. I would love to live with you…forever.”
“Well, I’m in the witness protection programme, so this sounds a tad bit crazy, but we are going to fly to San Francisco tonight.”
Becky was flabberghasted…protection???
A new start, a fresh beginning – away from drugs and violence. It sounded too good to be true!
A miracle just in time for Christmas?
Four hours later, at midnight, a cab pulled up in front of an adorable bungalow. Twinkling white lights trimmed all the windows. They walked into the house, and Sarah turned on the lights.
Their home was cozy, warm and clean. “Oh, Mama this seems like a dream!” She hugged her mother and sighed.
As Becky and Sarah, stood in front of the Christmas tree, with Brian sleepily dozing in his mother’s arms, something caught Becky’s eye. In the corner on top of a small table was a manger scene. She picked up the small Baby Jesus figurine and kissed his forehead.
“Thank you, for taking care of Brian and me, and for giving us a miracle just in time for Christmas.”
Merry Christmas from Beauty from Ashes. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas together.