A Story to My Daughter

‘How could this be happening? Is it all gone? I can’t take this. What about my daughter? She is so little. Where will she live? I don’t know what to do. What about my wife? I made a promise to keep a roof over her head. How could I have avoided this? I don’t know. I can’t believe every single one of my crops failed. Every one! I’m not even that close to that land that they chopped all the trees down. Stupid moisture got sucked up from the soil. This isn’t fair! Why did God abandon me? Doesn’t he care about me?

Oh, here comes Danielle. How can I tell her that my business is dead, that I have no money or work, and that we have to move? She just made friends in her first grade. Oh man, and I just got introduced to her one friend’s parents too. What were their names? Carroll and Tim? Whatever. It doesn’t matter now.

“Sweetie, hi. I have to tell you something important. Let’s sit down,” I tell her. She looks so happy, but I have to tell her. “Honey, we are going to move. Daddy’s crops aren’t yummy this year, so no one wants to buy them.”

“I want to buy them, Daddy!” she exclaims. She is such a sweet heart. “Then we will have money. I don’t want to move! What about Cindy?!”

Oh that was her friend’s name! “Darling, I’m really sorry, but this is the way it has to be. Now you be a good girl and go get packed. The government isn’t going to let us keep our house for many more days.”

“Fine,” she replied. “I hate you!” Wait, she just told me she hates me. My baby just told me that she hates me. I have to fix this! Okay, I will find us an apartment. _______________________________________________________________________
Okay, so now we have a place to stay in, but it is a dump. Thank goodness our beds fit in our room! It is so tiny! We need food now though. All right, I really can’t handle this! I don’t have enough money to buy any. Geeze! I’ll just have to take a few things on a discount. My family needs me.

Giant Eagle. Yes, thank you for the discount. I’ll just take this loaf of bread. Phew! I’m out of the store and no one seemed to notice me!

“Excuse me, sir” I feel someone pat me on the arm. Oh no! I’m toast! “Here you go. I believe you dropped this receipt.” Oh thank goodness! I’ll smile at him and keep walking. Wait a minute though. I got away with that, but this won’t feed us for a long time. I need something that will be ongoing until I can get a job. I did see an Alvin’s Jewelry a street over, and they didn’t seem to have a policeman on patrol. I’ll go there that way I can sell the jewelry for money. We need food.

This is a pretty one! Okay, I’ve got it, now I’m out of here before I get caught.

“Excuse me, sir” a man taps me on the shoulder and I see the gun in his belt loop. “Sir, you’re going to need to come with me. You are under arrest for jewelry theft.” Oh my gosh! I can’t get into more trouble! I just wanted to feed my family! They can’t really get mad at me for this! I can’t do this. I’m running. Shoot, he’s fast! Ouch! He didn’t have to land on top of me!

“Sir, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will,” he is saying, and I’m going blank.

Where am I? Why am I in a gray cement room? What happened? I see a sign outside of the door. Five years for theft? Five more for failure to comply? Oh! I know where I am. I’m in jail for the next ten years of my life. That’s a long time. I won’t get to see Danielle grow up. Gosh all I wanted to do was live a happy life and be able to feed my family! I didn’t ask for this! You know if those idiots didn’t cut down those trees, then my crops won’t have failed, and I wouldn’t have had to have stolen those things! Gosh, people are so selfish! I can’t help my crying. I didn’t take my medicine today. Normally it keeps these thoughts out of my head when I have a rough day. But now, nothing is stopping me. There’s a rope. If I could just reach it, there, I got it. Now I’ll just loop it. Okay and…’ That is probably something like what was going through your father’s head ten years ago, Danielle. He was such a good husband. He always looked out for you and me.” I could see the pain in her eyes, but she needed to know.

“Mom,” she says to me, “ I’m really sorry I said that to him. I didn’t mean it! I loved him so much!” Danielle’s tears are pouring now.

“I know, darling. Me too,” that’s all I can say. “Me too.”





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