The demons from Tyler's past haunted his dreams as well as his waking hours. He grew up in an abusive and highly dysfunctional home. His mother was an alcoholic. His father was never in the picture. They moved frequently or was his mother running from something? Tyler never discovered the answer to that question for his mother died a few years before he met Eliza.
So Tyler had lived a hard life. He had been living on his own since he was fifteen years old. He worked on a shrimp boat and lived and partied at the beach. He never intended to marry as his relationships never worked out, but he was enchanted by Eliza.
She was beautiful, sweet, smart, and innocent. He fell head over heels in love with her and was determined to do whatever it took to make her his very own. And she fell for it hook, line, and sinker. But his determination faulted and all of the good he resolved to do was cancelled out by his disease.
And so here they were, ten years later. Neither one of them truly happy. Both in need of something more - searching, hoping and praying, trying to fill the gaping hole in each of their hearts.
While Tyler was showering, Eliza took special care to set a pretty table for dinner. The timer went off so she swiftly headed into the kitchen to pull the rolls out of the oven and prepare their plates. She lit candles and turned on soft instrumental music to play in the background.
She rarely went to such trouble for Tyler liked to eat in his recliner in front of the television. She hoped he wouldn't fuss about eating at the table tonight, especially after she went to all the trouble to make the evening special!
Tyler stopped in his tracks when he came out of the bedroom and saw the candlelit table. Did he forget Eliza's birthday or was it their anniversary? Eliza saw him and her face lit up with a brilliant smile.
"Are you ready to eat now?" Eliza said sweetly. "Sure am. What's the occasion?" Tyler asked, looking around at the table. "Well, " Eliza began, "I have some news to share."
"Good news or bad?" he asked pensively. "You tell me." There was a long pause and then Eliza blurted it out. "Tyler, I am pregnant. We're going to have a baby!"
He nearly choked on his tea. "Seriously?" he exclaimed, as he ran over to Eliza and swooped her up in his arms. "Darlin', this is wonderful news!" and he let out a hoop and a hollar.
Eliza was surprised at his reaction. She was also relieved. Given that their marriage wasn't the most stable, she had been afraid this would only push him further away. She let out a sigh of relief and giggled.
"When are you due?" Tyler asked excitedly. "I have to make an appointment with Esther, the midwife, but I am guessing around July. I'll call first thing Monday morning." Tyler hugged her tight and kissed her. "I can't believe I'm gonna be a daddy." he said tenderly.
They sat down for dinner together for the first time in a very long time and enjoyed their tasty meal. Tyler even helped with the dinner dishes afterwards. Then they settled down on the couch and watched a little tv, but mainly they talked.
"I know things have been hard on you, " Tyler began cautiously. "I just want you to know that I am sorry for hurting you and I want to quit drinking, especially now that we're having a baby. I grew up with a drunk for a mother and it's no fun for a kid. I don't want to put my kid through the same."
"I know you don't, Tyler. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you as a child and how hard it is to stop. I will do whatever I can to help you. I love you, honey, and I want to be there for you. Please do not shut me out of your life." Eliza said softly.
"I won't, Eliza. I promise this time things will be different." he said with resolution.
Monday soon came and Eliza called Esther to make an appointment. Esther said she could come by later in the afternoon. Now Esther was a wise old woman who had been birthing babies in their town, Whispering Pines, for many years. She had long silver hair that she wore pulled up in a neat, simple bun and she always wore long modest dresses. She was well-loved in the tight-knit community.
People went to Esther not only when they needed babies to be delivered, but for advice also, for they knew she was not one to beat around the bush. She gave sound advice based on the Word of God, whether you liked what she had to say or not. Though she was a firm believer in God, she was not religious and she did not push her views on anyone. She was just plain good to people. She gave without asking for or expecting anything in return. And the townspeople loved her for it.
Eliza had a busy day ahead of her. On Mondays she had a good deal of housework to attend to after weekends, but she didn't mind it. She enjoyed creating a cozy nest for her husband and now her little one on the way. There was laundry to be washed and hung out on the line, dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, windows to clean, and dinner to prepare for tonight.
She went about her tasks mindfully and diligently. There was no need to hurry, what didn't get done today could be done tomorrow. She liked to listen to praise music and sing along while she cleaned. Her songs became her prayer and praise and it also reminded her that there is holiness even in housekeeping when done with the right spirit.
Eliza came into her marriage to Tyler knowing nothing about keeping house. She had never learned to cook, wash clothes, or anything that had to do with domesticity. Mama always took care of all of that stuff. The only thing Eliza did was keep her bedroom clean and she did it without ever having to be reminded by Mama, unlike her two sisters. She had come a long way since then, but still felt she had so much to learn.
To be continued....
Copyright by Tracy Hathcock