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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Potluck (Meal or Gathering) Deadline 7-26-12 @ 10 AM NY Time (07/19/12)

TITLE: I'll Fix The Spaghetti
By Gail Burks


My mother promised Cousin Robbie that she would bring a dish to the family reunion. It would be potluck. “Sure, no problem, I'll fix two large pans of spaghetti. Jennie will help.”

It was years since the Robinson and Gordon families assembled, especially in the Chicago area. I remember vaguely getting in the car with my mom, dad and little brother; traveling to Green Lake Forest preserve for a day of food, fun and sunshine. That was eight years ago.

"How are we going to fix spaghetti?", I thought, after mom hung up the phone. Dad's only working part-time, and we try to keep mom out of the kitchen, because she drinks too much. Sometimes, I help dad cook --- just basic stuff. Mom is really the cook.

But, the last time she tried to fix fried chicken, she fell asleep. When my little brother and I came home from school, smoke was everywhere – and the drumsticks were shriveled and black. That night, we ate rice and corn for dinner.

Being fourteen, I understand more now about my mother's drinking problem. It's not her fault. Things happened when she was young, I was told. Her dad drank alcohol and so did her brother. Her parents divorced – stuff like that.

Well, I still believe mom will get better. I read my bible every day and realize that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus – and so is she. Also, Dad tries to help her, but gets mad and frustrated at times, more than trusting God.

“Mom, let's go to the store Saturday and get what we need for the spaghetti. I found a good recipe.”

“Ok,” she said wearily. That's fine.”

As we prepared to leave for the store Saturday morning, dad whispered, “Don't let your mom buy any alcohol” --- while slipping me an extra ten dollars --- just in case she was short on money. I put it in my pants pocket.

I was never worried much about her drinking in the daytime, because she never did. The concern was often due to the potential embarrassment at the store. Like getting to the cashier and realizing the money was spent on a bottle a few days ago. Mom would say softly, “Oh, I left my extra money at home. Just put that back, please.'

Mom was a very smart woman, but alcohol often clouded her judgment.

“I think we have everything. Do you have enough money?" I inquired, while feeling inside my pocket for the extra ten.

“Yes, I do. Don't worry about it.” Mom knew I worried.

As I stood behind her, noticing her agitation, drawn face and graying hair, I prayed to God to deliver my mother from this demon. It was not the first time I prayed and I continued to believe that God could do the impossible.

The spaghetti turned out great and everyone complimented her. Mom was an excellent cook –- and of course, I helped. The family gathering was fun. Mom and dad enjoyed each other.

Well, that was decades ago and mom is now deceased.

By the way, God answered my prayer, because at the time of her passing, nearly fifteen years ago, Marie Hanna Robinson had been sober for twenty-two years. What a testimony and what an awesome God we serve.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 267 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Manley07/26/12
Your entry had a little of a lot of things. First, it covered the topic at hand, secondly it spoke of a little girl so very concerned about her mother's drinking... not condemning her, but praying for her, and lastly how she had come to know Jesus and lived for him many, many years prior to her passing. You touched my heart in this story. I grew up with an alcoholic father, but I didn't know Jesus as a young girl. Later in life, my dad accepted Jesus with the help of my brother-in-law who was a pastor at the time. The only thing I would recommend for this entry would be to watch your quote marks. I thoroughly enjoyed this entry.
C D Swanson 07/27/12
A beautiful journal of life and how it changes with Jesus in it. The torment children and/or spouses feel with an alcholic is devastating, overwhelming, and damaging.

I've had a friend who was affected by this...but her life was given to the Lord Jesus Christ and she was changed inside out. So Amen. He heals and saves.

Good job...Excellent entry.
Thanks for the story and message. God Bless~
lynn gipson 07/29/12
Absolutely awesome! I know first hand the miracles of Jesus and you just reinforceed my already strong faith. God Bless You for writing this, it was wonderful!
lynn gipson 07/29/12
Absolutely awesome! I know first hand the miracles of Jesus and you just reinforceed my already strong faith. God Bless You for writing this, it was wonderful!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/29/12
I really think you did a great job on this tear-jerker of a story. I could clearly hear the voice of a young teen girl who had to grow up too soon.

Instead of using taglines like she said wearily. Describe what she looked like. Something like She sighed heavily and her shoulders drooped. It helps the reader get to know your characters.

I think you covered the topic but still kept the story meaningful and interesting. You introduced a few conflicts that many people can relate to and that all helps draw the reader in.