"Mamma" Lillian called, " I'm home" trying to be as quiet as possible Lillian tried to slip up the stairs of their two story home. Forgetting that the second step creaked she planted her foot firmly without thinking causing a creaking that echoed through the home ! Bringing Momma from the kitchen! Lillian is that you sweetheart ? Momma said rounding the corner ! "Momma was so beautiful" Lillian thought. Why hadn't God seen fit for her to look like her? She wondered to herself. Momma was tall not too thin just right Lillian thought,her long black hair pulled neatly in a bun showered off her perfectly rounded cheeks ,and her bright hazel eyes! She was wearing a pink day dress with her favorite kitchen apron . Lillian knew that meant Momma had been making Papa's favorite pies for supper the aroma filled the house ! Good heavens Lillian momma said when she caught site of Lillian and her dress ! What happened child ? Lillian just dropped her head . Nothing Momma I just slipped is all and well landed in the creek not meaning too. Lillian, Momma said I thought you were gonna go out and play with some of the girls here in town ? How is it you found yourself out by the creek all by yourself to play all by yourself again ? Oh no Momma I wasn't by myself at all ! I had Ellie with me ! She never leaves my side ! Just then Lillian twirled to show Momma her precious doll. Momma realized Lillian had torn the hem of her dress . Lillian, is everything okay ? You were playing by yourself wasn't you? Or did someone push you? No momma no one pushed me! I promises I was by myself !
I was just looking at my reflection when I lost my balance Lillian explained! I see Said Momma , go on upstairs and get out that wet dress before you catch your death ! Yes Mamma , I'll be down shortly.
Momma quickly lifted a prayer to her Heavenly Father. As a Mom she knew deep in her heart that Lillian was hurting. Having a hard time loving the person God had made her to be ! As a mom that was a heavy burden to carry . It was at that moment when the cruel memory of the incident she just had happened upon, a month earlier flashed through her mind. The cruel words the group of girls were calling her beautiful princess . The group of six surrounded her in a circle as they told Lillian she was fat, ugly, a baby for playing with her precious Ellie, and if that wasn't enough ,they told her that they didn't want to be a ugly freckled face girls friend ! Lillian stood in the circle crying as they taunted her. Never fighting back, just stood with silent tears! From that day forward it was as if something had broken in her sweet princess. Her sparkle had gone from her eyes, the pep in her step was no longer there , she was distant , and seemed so alone in this big world! Although Lillian was surrounded by many who loved her, she never felt good enough alone and unhappy. Momma knew that all too well. Lord Momma prayed " please heal Lillian's heart! Send her a friend, not just any friend a true friend! Someone who will bring back what this world has stolen! Remind her she is worth loving and deserves to be happy! I know you can do it Jesus ! I just know you can....
Lillian and Ellie bounced down the stairs! There wasn't much left in this world that made Lillian happy,but she loved her home ! It had been her grandma's home. When she went to heaven before Lillian was born. The beautiful plantation home was given to Lillian's family ! The home was decorated as if a royal family lived inside Lillian thought without any luxury left out. This was such an uncommon luxury for a Pastor's family. Momma's grandma had left her quite an inheritance. Making it possible for Lillian's parents Wayne and Marie to keep the stately home and give her a good childhood. Although she wasn't spoiled, she was treated like the princess they had prayed so hard for.Lillian always felt like a princess coming down the winding stairs. She headed toward the kitchen to find Momma, to see if she needed any help finishing supper.
Momma was busy preparing the table when Lillian entered the bright kitchen. The breeze blowing through the windows blowing the cream floral lace curtains danced through the air! Momma's number 18 cook stove made the kitchen warm and cozy as the evening began to set in. The warmth drew the lovely aroma from the dried herbs that hung from the rafters! The mixture of lavender, rosemary,mint, and other herbs made the kitchen a delight to enjoy. The bounty she had prepared for her family was as pleasing to to the eye as it was to the taste. The crisp fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and Momma's light and fluffy biscuits. Was one of Lillian's favorites. She couldn't wait for the flavor to explode with delight in her mouth! Princess could you please fetch me the water goblets? While Aunt Violet and I finish the meal please. Aunt Violet, will you be joining us for supper tonight? Why child I wouldn't miss it ! Why I haven't missed a meal with you in the nine years the Lord has given us with you ! Aunt Violet was Momma's nursemaid as a child and when Lillian was born she could not think of anyone else who she could trust to guide her in raising Lillian! In the Stewart home the color of the skin never determined how a person was treated. You were all equal in the eyes of God according to the Bible! So papa insisted the Stewart's home treat others as Jesus would equal! Violet may have been black but she was family! She would be treated as family as long as the Stewart's had breath in their lungs!
Moments later Pappa came bursting through the door! He had been visiting a new family that had just moved into their small mountain community. It wasn't often falls river got newcomers. When they did it was the talk of every dinner table in the small community! Hello darling have you had a good day? Papa asked Momma as she tilted her head for a kiss on the cheek. Yes dear I did. I take it by that grin on your face you're visiting the new family paid off? Momma loved to hear Papa recall his visits with the families of the community, he always repeats each conversation with such animation. Never leaving a detail out. It was such a blessing ! I feel they will be a true blessing to this little town! Where's my girl ? I haven't seen seen my freckled faced beauty ? Papa asked with a giggle in his voice ! Right here I am, Papa ! Lillian giggled. Her face beamed with pure delight as papa wrapped his strong arms around her and gave her a bear hug! Ohh Papa I missed you today! As I did you my sweet girl ! I hope your day was filled with adventure ! At the mention of adventure Lillian's cheeks blushed deep crimson red. Momma cleared her throat and told Papa dinner was ready. To keep from rehashing the scene Momma was still replaying in her mind, at the dinner table! momma made your favorite pie Papa ! For dessert, Apple just the way you like it !
Did she now ? Well then we must set down for this delicious meal so I may get to the best part !
Well then what are waiting for? Papa asked. Papa helped each of the ladies to their seats. Momma , Violet, and Lillian . Then they gathered hands and bowed their heads for the blessing over the food !
Lillian loved to hear Papa pray, he it made sound so easy as if He were talking to an old lifetime friend. Papa had taught Lillian that God was the very best friend anyone could have! He loved for His children to talk to Him as you would any other dear friend !
After dinner the family retired to the veranda for the evening. The cool mountain air made it a perfect end to a very warm day. The sound of crickets in the thicket serenaded the family as a symphony of the forest. The sun was setting in every hue of pink and orange that could paint the sky. The view never ceased to take Lillian's breathe away... The creativity God expressed through his creation made Lillian smile. It was a simple reminder to her that God loved her.
Papa tell us about the the new family Momma encouraged.
Well Marie they are from the coastal region , Wilmington I believe! They were brought here due to their daughters health. They came in hopes that the cool mountain air would help her weakened lungs. The father's name is Mason Gulliver , his wife Sarah , their son Pete who is sixteen, their daughter Natalie who is nine like Lillian , and Carrie who is three. They are such a kind family. They have obtained a substantial home on the other end of town near the mouth of the creek. Mr. Gulliver Is planning to open a saw mill ! It will be an amazing opportunity for this community ! It brings promises of jobs to struggling families! He wants to help those who are less fortunate. It's so exciting momma ! His wife Sarah loves to sew just as you do ! I think you will like her ! You have lots In common, I think you'll become fast friends! Of course his son Pete will go to work in the saw mill when his Dad gets it going, their daughter Natalie is Lillian's age, her health is is recovering. She so sweet ! She was cuddling her own little doll, much like your Ellie ! I think you could be great friends ! We have been praying for new friends haven't we ? Papa asked Lillian. Lillian's eyes dropped to the ground , she couldn't see how anyone would want to be friends with a ugly girl who acted like a baby ! She bit her lip and held Ellie tight ! Hoping Papa wouldn't notice the tears welling up in her eyes. Papa went on to say That Natalie's sister Carrie was sweet and bubbly... At that moment Papa realized Lillian wasn't okay ....
Lillian darling what is it dear what is it ? What has upset you so ?
It was at that moment Lillian couldn't hold back the tears any more .... She let them flow freely from her eyes , the tears streamed down her cheeks , and dropped freely into what seemed to be becoming puddles on the veranda.