Families logo

Love's Miracle

A Mother's Message

By Jessica MillerPublished 3 years ago 8 min read
3
Love's Miracle
Photo by Daniel Park on Unsplash

I woke up freezing. The wind and snow cut through my windbreaker as if I was standing out in the weather wearing nothing at all. I knew I had to get up, get moving, but I was so, so cold; cold and alone.

What was the point? Why did I keep trying? Ever since I was evicted last month, my life had been in a never ending downward spiral. And now, it looked like the weather itself would be what killed me.

I was too sleepy to shiver, too tired to move and too depressed to even try. I canted to cry; to beg and scream for help, but what would be the point? No one had listened before. No one had cared. I was alone in the world for the first time in my life and soon enough I would join my mother in the afterlife.

If she had been there, I would never had been homeless. If she had been there, I wouldn't be choking on my loneliness and despair. If she was still here, I would have the most elusive thing of all...hope. It wouldn't matter that I had been furloughed for the last ten months. It wouldn't matter that not one employer had even so much as interviewed me, despite the numerous resumes I sent out all over the city. But she was gone. As completely and totally as it gets. And, true to form with the way my luck was going, I didn't even get to say goodbye.

She caught COVID a little over two months ago. We had tried so hard to stay safe and somehow, she still got it. We made jokes at first that it was just a super flu, that she would be back on her feet in no time. It should have been that simple. It should have been that easy. But God had already decided to call her home and suddenly, she was in the hospital trying to breathe.

She was there for a total of eleven days, three of them spent on a ventilator before her heart finally gave out. She was gone, just like that. I didn't get to see her, touch her, hold her and comfort her into her new existence. Instead, she was surrounded by the impersonal touches of the staff, and all I can do is pray that they had enough compassion to be there with her when she passed. It kills me that she might have slipped away all on her own with no one to care.

Two weeks later, drowning in grief and anger at the fact that we couldn't even hold a funeral, my apartment manager had had enough and evicted me. I know it's not supposed to be possible right now, but he found a way to do it. And now here I am. Stuck in the worst weather we've had in Texas in a decade with no where to go. By the time I reached one, the shelters were full. Everyone wanted to be out of the cold tonight.

I looked up and stared at the blurry lights of a nearby motel sitting yards away from where I sheltered in the alley and wondered what they would think we they found me. Would they think that I was a suicide? That I had wanted to die and that's why I refused to shelter? Frankly, the thought did hold a little appeal, but not enough for me to actually do it. That's what was so ironic. For the last month I had lived on the streets. I had lost my job, my mom, my home, and now my self respect. It would be a blessing for it all to end.

Yet, I had tried to walk for hours to try to keep warm. I had walked and walked until my I could no longer ignore the pain from my weary legs and feet. It was a combination of sharp tingles that ran up and down my legs and a dull ache that kept getting more severe with every step I took. I don't remember sitting down. I don't even remember how I got to this alley. At least I had the presence of mind to shove the dumpster forward a little and prop the lid against the wall so that the snow was falling onto it and not me.

I was drifting off to sleep, more than aware that I probably wouldn't wake up, when I heard it. A tiny cry, a squeak against the bitter weather and a plea for help that struck my heart. For a moment I wondered if I imagined it. What could be out here with me? I was tucked behind the dumpster, trying to stay out of the biting wind, and nothing so much as moved for a matter of hours. Then I heard it again.

I used what seemed like the last of my energy to open my eyes and blink away the snow that drifted down onto me. I had tried my best, but with the wind blowing steadily, I was still getting snow all over me. It wasn't until I looked down that I realized how bad it was. Add a scarf and a top hat and I would almost be a snowman. The thought alone should have given me the shivers, but I was too cold to almost even feel the cold anymore.

Had this been a month ago, I would have watched the falling flakes with wonder and appreciation of their beauty. I would have been excited to stand outside and see the glorious way everything went white around me. Of course, then I could have gone back inside, turned the heat up and thrown on a movie. Now, the snow was literally just another torment to survive.

Shaking almost violently, I pushed up with my arms and finally got into a sitting position. There was a large cardboard box pushed up against the dumpster. I heard shuffling around and the lid pushed upward for a moment before I heard that squeaky cry again. Squinting, I noticed the little black book that held the lid down for whatever was trying to scramble out. Shuffling forward, I gently removed the book, laid it beside me, and carefully opened the box. I gasped at what was inside.

Oh my God! Oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD! I burst into tears as I look at the contents and tried to understand what was happening. Of course, the little ones inside didn't care for all the noise and they started crying with me. Shaking, shuddering, I lifted each little body out and placed all three of them on my lap, their tiny, fur coated bodies giving me the first glimpse of warmth I'd felt since I lost my mother. I stroked one of the kittens head while I looked back into the box in disbelief.

I almost couldn't pick it up, my whole body was trembling so much, but finally, I steadied enough that I picked up a piece of their "blanket". I ran my hand over the paper that was so very, very valuable and tears poured from my eyes. I dropped it back in the box and looked around, seeing my surroundings with new eyes. I was out in the open. Anything could happen. Anyone could come by. Obviously, someone had already been here. I couldn't trust that the next person that came by was filled with good intentions.

I placed my tiny kittens back in the box and stood on shaky legs. I needed to get out of here, needed to make my way to the motel on the corner and get a room. Thank God I didn't need to go to a shelter, who knows what would happen to the box and its contents there.

I began to reach down to pick up MY box when I noticed the little black book getting rapidly covered by snow. Not wanting it to ruin and hoping there might be some kind of explanation inside of it, I picked it up quickly and opened it. It was empty. Frowning, I flipped through the pages quickly, knowing I was wasting time, but an undeniable need had grown in me to understand what was happening, Things like this weren't meant for the likes of me.

Just as I was about to give up, I reached the last page. There was only an small inscription with a signature. The book fell from my nerveless fingers as a scream built up within me. Emotions tore at my heart and ate at my soul as I stared blankly in front of me, tears falling from my sightless eyes. Shaking my head, I wondered if I was going crazy as I thought about what it could mean. Tilting my head back, I stared at the uncaring sky as the tears still falling began to freeze on my face.

I stared at the cloud covered stars and thought about the inscription I just read:

Annie,

There is more for you to do, more for you to love before you join me...I'm so proud of you. Never give up.

~Mom

I nodded slowly and wiped my face with my dirty hands to get rid of the tears. "I won't, Mom. I promise." I murmured quietly as I picked up the book that was now my most prized possession and placed it in the pocket of my windbreaker. Bending over one more time, I picked up the box and grunted. Who knew three tiny kittens and however much money was in the box would weigh so much? The thought made my lips twitch with the beginnings of a smile and I walked off into the first steps of my future.

parents
3

About the Creator

Jessica Miller

Where do I start? I have been writing stories my whole life, it feels like. I remember being around 11 when I found books. And it’s all been amazing since then. I get to read, I get to write. I get to see the world through many lenses.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.