Page 26 - Scene Magazine 45-12 December 2020
P. 26

Rena hung the last ornament, a gaudy glass Santa from Grandma’s ancient collection, on the only bare bough left on the tree.
“There! Right where it’s supposed to go!” she declared, clasping her little hands together with unabashed glee.
Hope chuckled at her little girl. Four months shy of her eighth birthday, she was the perfect age to fully embrace
the Christmas season. Hope was doing her best to make it memorable: putting up a live tree, decorating it together as carols played on the stereo. Brenner, an unapologetic Scrooge, was nowhere to be found. This left Hope bitter and appre- hensive, but she did her best to ignore it.
“Mama, how will Santa get into our house?” Rena asked, her gaiety collaps- ing into sudden worry. “We don’t have a chimney.”
“Sweetie, there’s not a house in the world that can keep Santa out. Not when he’s got lots of presents for a good little girl.”
Rena’s unease vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
“What do you hope Santa brings you?” asked Hope.
“Everything on my list!” the girl shout- ed at the ceiling, laughing as she did. “But even if he doesn’t, I already have the best present ever.”
“You do? What’s that?”
Rena turned and grinned at Hope. “You!”
She launched herself into her moth-
er’s arms. Hope held her tight. Her heart swelled, her eyes burned, and a lump lodged firmly in her throat.
“Why me?”
Rena turned her shining eyes upward. “You bring joy.”
In Rena’s voice. And in Mother’s. And
Grandma’s. And in a chorus of voices— friends and family and countless others, words spoken and sung and echoing across eternity as the little girl buried herself in Hope’s arms.
– and then her hand fell. The vision faded. Tears began to flow, harder this time. A shriek burst forth from within, a torrent of all the sorrow and anger and loathing that had driven her to this dark place, ready to let everything go.
Her heart. Her daughter.
Her life.
Through blurry eyes, Hope gazed again into the Tinsel Twilight, seeking one more vision, one more captured mem- ory. None came. She saw only the tree lights reflected there, dulled as the dawn asserted itself.
Only reality remained.
Reality, and a challenge. A challenge posed by the people who meant the world to her. A challenge that demanded a different choice.
“You bring joy.”
Still crying, she reached for her phone and tapped out a combination of num- bers and letters she never thought she’d dial: 1-800-273-T-A-L-K.
The line buzzed in her ear, then a bit of music. Then a voice spoke. A loving, car- ing voice. A voice that sparkled like Tinsel Twilight. A voice that would lead her to a better decision, a lasting one:
Christmas would be Hope’s first day.
Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, call the Summit Pointe 24/7 crisis line at 1-800-632-5449, or text 741741; Gryphon Place Crisis Helpline at (269) 381- HELP; or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
This Holiday Season these advertisers are “Giving Back” to the Community by having a portion of their ad cost being donated to a non-profit of their choice.
                                                2503 Capital Ave. SW • Battle Creek, MI 49015 (269) 883-9900 •
A portion of the proceeds of this ad will be donated to The Arc of Calhoun County.
   Discount up to 30%
with Drive Safe & SaveTM!
I’m inviting you to make our roads safer and get rewarded for doing so. Are you in?
Contact me today to get started.
 Paul Clark, Agent
2861 Capital Avenue SW 269-979-4000
A portion of the proceeds of this ad will be contributed to The Arc of Calhoun County.
     Convenient. Affordable. Mainstream.
ooking for another option for grades 6-12?
 A portion of the proceeds of this ad will be contributed to South Michigan Food Bank.
                           Douglas Gordon, DC
New Patients Accepted Daily Call-ins/Walk-ins Welcome
   (269) 979-2000 •
A portion of the proceeds of this ad will be donated to The Arc of Calhoun County.

   24   25   26   27   28