"Wait, Ma! What about all our belongings? Our stuff? Did all that stay in the house? My little box of keepsake things I had collected, and the rest of our clothes. What about your dishes that you had from your Ma? What about pictures and stuff like that? Did the bank keep all that?"
"Oh, Zeb. You do fret the small stuff, don't you? Yes, I did think of that and it is safe until I can go back and get it. You remember our neighbor lady who lives alone? She has a good storage shed out behind her house, and has promised to keep it for us until we can go back and get it. You are going to have to wait awhile, though, because we are needed here. Now, we are going to go into the living room and thank your grandfather for his hospitality. Rose, please be gracious, if only for my sake?"
Rose nodded her assent, and we went into the living room to thank our Grandda for kindly inviting us to stay with them. The four of us went over and Les, Marie and I hugged him and thanked him.
Rosie simply stood near him and said, "We're glad we don't have to be out in the cold." She sounded rather grudging, but it was a thank you of sorts. I thought, "Ah, Rosie, so hard yet."
Ma lifted her eyes heavenward, and I could see she was having trouble not jerking Rosie up by the ears, but in the circumstances thought it best to leave well-enough alone. At least Rosie wasn't being rude about it exactly.
Just then we heard Grandma groaning, and I ran in to see what she wanted. She was trying to get out of bed. I shouted for Ma. Ma came running.
When Grandma saw my Ma, I could see the anger fill her face. "What is SHE doing here in my home? Get her out! Get her out! Let her take her heathen brats and get out of my home right now! Shane! Shane!" Grandma struggled even harder to get out of bed, then her energy spent, she lay back down.
"I thought I heard her earlier, but then I thought it was my illness causing me to hear things. Now here she is. Get her out!" Grandma's voice had dropped to a hoarse whisper. "I don't want her anywhere near me!"
Ma acted as though she hadn't heard a word that Grandma said, and picked up a glass of water and placing her arm under Grandma's shoulder, offered her a drink of water.
Grandma knocked it from her hand and got the sheets wet. By that time Grandpa was in the room. He picked up Grandma and sat her in the easy chair over in the corner of the room. Ma got some clean sheets and changed the bed, instead of leaving the room. I turned my back to them so she could help Grandda get Grandma into a clean, dry gown that Ma had taken from the dresser drawer.
Then she handed another glass of water to Grandma, who, by this time, was wondering how Ma could be so kind to her.
Grandma took the water this time and drank it, not giving any sign of gratefulness to Ma. Ma nodded to Grandpa and we left the room.
I guess I had just had a lesson in the kind of goodness that Jesus talked about, of being kind to your enemies, and doing good to those who persecute you. Ma had given us all a good example to follow, especially Rosie. I was going to tell Rosie about it later, for sure.
(To be continued)