Why couldn't everyone be so supportive of her decision to stay with Tyler? Maggie, Eliza's mother, was staunchly against their marriage and had been so since the beginning. She thought Eliza could do so much better and felt that Eliza allowed herself to be used as a doormat. She also did not support Eliza's views on being a homemaker. Maggie had once been a homemaker herself, but eventually went out into the working world. Her once conservative views now smacked of feminism.
Maggie believed a woman should be able to support herself because men were unfaithful and unreliable. Eliza's father, Mark, had divorced Maggie once Eliza graduated high school after years of verbal abuse and blatant disrespect. This left Maggie very bitter and hard-hearted.
Thinking of her Mama made Eliza sad. Though she loved her mother, she had to limit her time with her because she was so toxic. Her sisters, Agatha and Flossie, were just as bad. There was no telling what they said about her behind her back when she was not around. But Eliza could not focus on them. Doing so would only bring her down and she couldn't afford to fall into the deep dark pit of despair and self-pity.
So Eliza chose to think on beautiful, happy things like baby names. She didn't care whether she had a boy or a girl, so long as the baby was healthy. But she also new that Tyler secretly wanted a boy. Oh, he said it didn't matter, but doesn't every father want a son to play ball with, to talk cars and shop, and such?
Being deep in thought, she was startled by a knock at the door. Opening the front door to the porch, there stood Esther. "Hello, Esther! Come on in." Eliza said stepping aside allowing her room to pass through.
Esther gave her a hug. "How are you, my dear?" she asked inquisitively. "I am good." Eliza said. "And Tyler? How is he?
"He was so excited when I told him we are going to have a baby." Eliza said with a smile. "That is wonderful news!" Esther agreed. "Now let's have a look at you, little Mama."
At dinner that night, Eliza told Tyler all about her appointment with Esther. "So when are you due?" he asked. "Esther calculated July first as my due date." Eliza replied.
"Well, that will give us some time to turn the spare room into the baby's room, buy a crib, car seat, and clothes." He was planning ahead for once rather than living for the moment. This was a good sign.
"I'm sure Reba and the ladies from church will throw me a baby shower which will help out. But starting out babies really do not need much. The main expense comes from the crib and car seat, but I can probably find a crib at the thrift shop." Eliza explained.
A lot of people these days thought they were too good to do their shopping in thrift shops and wouldn't dare to even set foot in one. Eliza thought this was just plain foolishness. Why pay retail's inflated prices when you do not have to? You may as well be throwing your money away.
Eliza loved using secondhand finds to furnish and decorate their little home. One man's trash is another man's treasure, she always believed. She bought most of her and Tyler's clothes there and they were always well dressed.
She found the prettiest dishes there, too. Her china hutch was filled with beautiful rose and chintz china. She found a set of brown transferware that she loved to use in Autumn and especially for Thanksgiving. She also had a set of dishes for Christmas and cranberry glassware that she simply adored.
Vintage linens, tablecloths, aprons, cast iron skillets, glass canisters, art work, wicker baskets, holiday decorations and various other household goods had all been found for pennies on the dollar. She also purchased some gifts there. Other gifts she liked to give was of her stitching; cross-stitch pictures and embroidered table scarves, pillowcases and the like. Another thing she liked to give was home baked goods and mixes made from scratch.
She loved to give to others. It made her feel good inside. Eliza had also volunteered at various organizations over the past ten years since, at the time, she had no children. She had volunteered at the animal shelter, a shelter for battered women, and the church's food pantry.
Wherever she went she wore a smile on her face and always had a kind word to offer everyone. Though she was a bit on the shy side, when she saw a need she put her shyness aside in the spirit of being of help to others.
Being a Christian meant to Eliza that she was to do as Jesus did. Jesus loved people where they were. He wasn't concerned with appearances. He healed the sick and the lame and reached out to the poor and needy. If Jesus, being the Son of God, could do all of this and even wash His disciples' feet, how much more should we be doing?
She lived by these general principles even within her marriage. She had long since given up trying to change Tyler and get him to quit drinking. It wasn't worth the turmoil it caused. She made the best of things as they were. When Tyler was sober, they enjoyed their time together. When he came home drunk, she tried to be patient, gentle, and understanding.
And now that she was with child, Tyler had promised to quit drinking. Oh, how Eliza wished it were true! But Tyler had promised her this a million times before, but had failed to hold true to his promise.
Eliza could only imagine how hard it must be for him. The alcohol helped to numb his pain only temporarily, but it caused far more trouble for him in the long run. But she had been praying for Tyler all throughout their marriage. Though there was no evidence that things were changing, she knew that God does not lie nor does His Word return void.
The only thing she could do was stay in a position of faith and keep her eyes on God. She did this by communing with God daily and getting into her homemaking. She longed to live her life in such a way that was pleasing to God. She hoped that the love of the Lord shined through her in both her words and actions.
To be continued....
Copyright by Tracy Hathcock