“I won, I won!” said Pearl, the eight year old.
Julianne Young heard the girls racing down the stairs. It was Sunday morning and they were ready for church. She didn’t need a fight right now.
“Pearl, Pearl, smells like a squirrel!” That was Ruby, the next in age. Why those two were always at each other throat, she couldn’t figure it out. She knew even before entering the room, Aqua, the six-year-old, would be under that kitchen table with her hands over her ears. She’d do anything to avoid getting the middle of a squabble.
“Girls, please!” Julianne demanded as she entered the kitchen. The ruckus stopped. All was quiet. Immediately she regretted her harsh voice because their faces told it all. They remembered who wasn’t there.
“Ok, ok let’s not have sad faces. We’ll get through this by sticking together and do it with smiles.”
Little Aqua came out from under the table and wrapped her arms around Julianne’s leg. Then Ruby latched on to the other and Pearl hugged at the waist. Tears were threatening to fall as Julianne forced a smile on her face. Her babies. It wasn’t fair to put them through this.
It was last Friday when Julianne got the phone call. It was their lawyer and he told her the bad news. Dan, her husband, was in trouble in another state. The business trip he was on landed him in jail. He had been caught embezzling the company’s money. Dan would have to stay the weekend.
Stealing? Her Dan? She didn’t understand, but that was all the attorney could tell her and he hung up with a promise to call her back when he knew more.
Try as she might to keep the news from the girls, she couldn’t. Pearl, the perceptive one, knew something was wrong within five minutes of coming home from school. So they sat in daddy's big comfy chair, as Julianne explained why daddy wouldn’t be home. They hugged as they cried over the horrible news.
Now, two days later, they were going out in public. How many people would have heard the story by now? Word gets round in a small town. It would be tough. But Julianne trusted God to see them through and protect her daughters.
“Let’s go girls. We have enough time to make it.”
“Mommy, will we have to sit up front?” asked Ruby.
“That’s where we always sit,” answered Pearl.
“But today? Everyone will be looking at us.” Ruby complained.
“I know how you feel, Ruby.” Julianne got down on her knees to look her daughters in the eyes. “It will be hard for all of us. Let’s put our trust in God to help us through this and pray for each other…and for daddy. We need to stick together.”
Walking up the steps to the church, Ruby told Pearl, “I don’t want to walk into that church. I know Crissy and Natalie will be laughing and talking at me.”
“If they do, I’ll get them after church.”
“No Pearl. That’ll only make it worse.”
“Well, I guess we’ll have to ignore them.”
“But how, Pearl, how can I ignore them?”
“I know, we’ll keep our eyes on the big golden cross in the front of the church, don’t think nothing about them girls. Look at the cross when we walk in.”
“Oh Pearl, you’re the best!”
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