Chapter 7 ~ Doing it our Way

Chapter 7 ~ You Know He’s A Jerk, Mom. Don’t You?

It was seven p. m. and Grace and Matt were on their way home. Grace stayed much longer than she expected. Grace had driven nearly two of the four miles to their home and not a word was spoken between she and Matt. Every once in a while, Grace turned to look at Matt. Each time, Matt was staring out the window.
Grace came to a stop at a red light. She turned slightly toward Matt and said, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” said Matt. He kept staring out the window.
“Matthew, don’t give me nothing. I know when something is wrong, are you going to tell me?” said Grace.
Matt kept this body tilted toward the window, but turned his head toward Grace, “Mom, nothing is wrong, okay. I’m just quiet, that’s all.”
The light turned green, a driver blasted a horn behind them. Grace felt like making an obscene gesture, but Matt was in the car with her. Instead, she waved and drove off. Grace knew the problem. She wanted to hear it from Matt so they could talk about it. It was unlike him to clam up. She wasn’t sure how to handle it.
Grace said, “Want to go to Brenton’s for an ice cream? You love their waffle cones.”
“No thanks, Mom. I’m not hungry. I ate a lot at the barbecue,” said Matt, his face staring out the window.
Grace’s heart was somewhere in her stomach. She replayed the barbecue in her mind. She knew Matt did not like James the moment they met. As soon as he gave James the snarky remark about how he liked to be called Matt instead of Matthew, she knew. Matt was like Mike, once they made their minds up about someone, the door closed and the key was tossed away. There was no way of reopening the door.
Grace thought she didn’t like James at first. He came across as stuck up. But, then she warmed up to him. He listened to her. She laughed for the first time in the longest time. They clinked bottles a couple of times when they said the same thing at the same time. It was as if they were in each other’s head at the moment.
Jane came by a couple of times to see how it was going and she remembered Jane leaving and turning and winking, and Grace remembered that she gave Jane a wide smile. A sure signal that this meet up was better, much better than the previous ones Jane had put together. She didn’t pay attention to Matt. She saw him tossing a football with someone she didn’t know. He looked like he was enjoying himself.
Grace was pulling into the driveway, when Matt turned to her and said, “Are you going to go out with him?”
Grace didn’t speak for a moment, she pushed the garage door opener and watch the garage door slowly make its way up. She drove in, put the car in park, and turned off the engine.
“Well?” Said Matt.
“Well, what?” Asked Grace as if she didn’t know.
“Are you going to go out with him?”
“With who? I don’t know what you’re talking about?” Grace regretted saying what she said, the moment the words came out of her mouth.
“You know he’s a jerk, Mom, don’t you? He didn’t know who the starting quarterback is for the Cowboys. Everybody knows that one, even you.”
“That doesn’t make James a jerk. He’s different, that’s all,” said Grace defensively.
Matt rolled his eyes. Then he said, “You never answered me, are you going out with him.”
“He has a name, Matthew. His name is not him. It’s James,” said Grace.
“Whatever,” said Matt.
“I don’t want to argue, Matt. I don’t know if I’m going out with him. We didn’t make any plans. Yes, I gave him my number and he gave me his number. That’s all that happened.”
“I bet he doesn’t know a curve ball from a fast ball. Anyways, I’m tired. I’m going to bed early,” Matt got out of the car and headed into the house.
Grace sat in the car, her hands gripping the steering wheel as if she was hanging on for life. Matt had never gone to bed without saying goodnight. He had never gone to bed without kissing her goodnight. Oh God, she prayed, what am I going to do? Please help me. She laid her forehead on the top of the steering wheel and felt the tears filling her eyes and overflowing and flowing down her cheeks until they dripped off her chin, and landed on her jeans.

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Chapter 6 ~ Doing it Our Way

Chapter 6 ~ Don’t Worry About Me Mom

Grace parked her five-year-old Chevy next to the curb in front of Jane’s house. She pulled her visor down, opened the small mirror, and stared at herself. She looked at a tiny line near her eye. Next, she noticed a gray hair. She reached into the car console and picked up a brush, she moved her hair around until the gray hair disappeared. Grace took a deep breath when Matt interrupted her.
“Mom, you look great, I like your shirt. We’re going to a barbecue, you don’t have to look perfect,” said Matt.
Grace thought, perfect? I’m not wearing makeup, I have a gray hair. I have a line near my eye. And, I’m wearing the light blue Cowboys’ t-shirt Matt gave me for Christmas, year old jeans, and my Nike’s. Some fashion plate, she thought.
Grace said, “Best behavior, Matt. I don’t know if you’ll have anyone to play with. Just be polite. We’ll only stay an hour or so, then we’ll leave.”
“Don’t worry about me, Mom. I won’t cause a problem. Can I take my basketball in with me?”
“No. It’s a barbecue. Don’t overstuff your plate. You can always go back for more,” cautioned Grace.
“But everything tastes better with barbecue sauce, Mom.”
“Matthew, let’s go,” said Grace opening her door and sliding out.
Grace and Matt walked up the sidewalk to the front door. Grace heard country music coming from the rear of Jane’s house. When they reached the door. Grace saw a note posted on the door.
The Door’s Open
Bring Your Appetite and a Fun attitude
The Party is in the back.
Matt nudged Grace, “I brought my appetite. Let’s go.”
Grace took a deep breath, she wondered if Jane set her up with another guy who was as interesting as a rock. The last guy Jane set her up with was a piano player. He played in jazz clubs throughout the city. When Jane introduced them, the first words out of his mouth were, “If you’re into jazz, I’m into you, dig?”
“Great sense of humor, too,” added Jane. Jane hurried off to the kitchen to work on the dinner leaving Grace alone with the jazz guy who talked non stop about his last ten gigs. Grace vowed to never listen to jazz again after the evening was over.
Grace and Matt walked into the house, through the living room, and into the dining room. A sliding glass door was open and led to a large wooden deck overlooking Jane’s backyard.
Matt said, “It already smells good. I’m starving.”
Grace rolled her eyes, took a deep breath, and said silently, “Lord, help to get through this afternoon without making a scene, amen.” She followed Matt onto the deck.
Grace walked aside Matt. She went on high alert when saw Jane handing a beer to a man about her height, blond hair, cut neat and wearing clothes that made him look like he stepped off the cover of GQ. He was dressed in a white shirt, new jeans, and cowboy boots. Grace thought, give me a break, a want to be cowboy.
Jane turned and saw Grace, she hollered, “Grace. I’m so happy you came. Come over here, I want you to meet someone.”
Matt tugged on Grace’s arm, “Mom, can I go and check out the food?”
“Not until we’re introduced, then you’re on your own,” said Grace.
“I don’t like him,” said Matt.
“You haven’t met him,” said Grace.
“I can tell. I bet he doesn’t know the name of the starting quarterback for the Cowboys. Want to bet a dollar?” Said Matt.
“You’re on,” said Grace.
Jane met Grace and Matt halfway. “Hi Matt,” Jane said, then she took Grace by the arm. She added, “His name is James Donald. He’s perfect for you. Same age. He has a good job with a prestigious law firm. He’s never been married. I did my homework. This time, I know you struck gold.”]
“Mom, remember our bet,” said Matt from behind Jane and Grace.
“What bet?” Jane asked Grace.
“It’s nothing. Something about how much Matt said he could eat.”
A moment later, Jane gave a big smile and said, “James, this is Grace and her son Matt.”
Grace smiled, extended her hand and said, “Hi Jim, pleased to meet you, I’m Grace, but you already know that.”
“I prefer James, but it is a pleasure to meet you. Jane’s told me so many wonderful things about you. And, this is Matthew? Pleasure to meet you, Matthew,” said James extending his hand.
Matt shook his hand and said, “I prefer Matt. And, do you know who the starting quarterback is for the Dallas Cowboys?”

Today’s Quote – January 10, 2018

Today’s Quote

The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. ~ Thomas Merton

Joy – A Poem by Carl Sandburg

Joy by Carl Sandburg

Let a joy keep you.
Reach out your hands
And take it when it runs by,
As the Apache dancer
Clutches his woman.
I have seen them
Live long and laugh loud,
Sent on singing, singing,
Smashed to the heart
Under the ribs
With a terrible love.
Joy always,
Joy everywhere–
Let joy kill you!
Keep away from the little deaths.

Stars – A Poem By Robert Frost

Stars by Robert Frost

How countlessly they congregate
O’er our tumultuous snow,
Which flows in shapes as tall as trees
When wintry winds do blow!–

As if with keeness for our fate,
Our faltering few steps on
To white rest, and a place of rest
Invisible at dawn,–

And yet with neither love nor hate,
Those starts like somw snow-white
Minerva’s snow-white marble eyes
Without the gift of sight.

A New & Grateful Perspective

Too often I find myself so close to my challenges, I lose perspective. When I step back and view my challenges from a new perspective, everything changes. I see my strength. I see meaning in my challenges. I see everything with a different set of eyes. I am filled with gratitude. I am filled with wonder. I am filled with awe. In the following the YouTube video an American astronaut describes his sense of gratitude for our planet Earth from his view on the Space Station.

Turning A Knockdown Into A Triumph

Know anyone who hasn’t been knocked down? Know anyone who hasn’t taken a hard blow? I don’t. Those who reach down and find their inner toughness, get up, shake it off, and become determined to make something good happen from what was bad. They have the courage to transform the moment into a beautiful, creative piece of human courage. You and I have the capacity to be that person. Dig down, dig deep, never quit. Turn the bad moments into good moments. This brief Ted Talk will inspire you to turn tragedy into triumph.

You Are Strong – Hang On

Every adult person I’ve met has suffered at some point in his or her life. Life demands us to be courageous. It demands us to reach down and find an inner toughness. It demands that we take a leap of faith into the unknown with the belief that we’ll come out better than we went in. It’s not easy. It can seem overwhelming at times. Be strong. Be of courageous heart. Even if it’s one moment at a time, take it. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Hang on. Hang on. The following YouTube video is a performance by Josh Groban singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Get inspired.

Love Heals, Renews, And Recreates

Love comes to us from many sources. Love transforms us, heals us, renews us, and recreates us. Love lifts us up and all is well. In this one minute YouTube video you will be inspired by the unconditional love dogs bring to dying patients.

 

Choose to Rise – Never Quit

Have you ever been knocked down? Have you ever felt like you can’t keep going on? You’re not alone. It happens to everyone. Some people quit and stay down. They lost the will to get up and fight with every last ounce of strength. And others struggled to their feet. They rose while still weak, they chose to fight. They chose to continue the struggle. They wouldn’t quit. In the following short YouTube video, Donte Whitner has a lesson to touch you and me. Thank you for the lesson Donte.