What choices you have when your spouse walks out on you. First chapter.
| Sitting in church one Sunday morning, Stan was surprised to see Sarah Collins and her boys slip into the pew behind him. It was brave of her to come to church with her eyes red, but even braver still, when everyone knew what happened last week.
Stan thought about last year when he lost his wife to cancer, and how Sarah's husband, Jake had cancer, but it was the soul kind. Jake definitely had Jake's interests at heart.
After the service Sarah said, "I want to talk to you Stan, "and then to her twelve and fourteen year old boys, "Run along to Sunday School boys! They will be waiting for you if you don't."
As the boys were walking off to Sunday School Stan asked, "Are you sure you want to talk here?"
Sarah replied, "Everyone knows Jake ran off with Elsie from Joe's Diner last Wednesday, and they probably know he cleaned out the checking account and what little there was in savings. What they don't know is, I need to ask if the Deacons Fund could help me out?"
"I think so." Stan nodded affirmatively. "Let me think on this and talk to you tomorrow. Will that work for you?" Stan asked.
"For the next two weeks I've got the night shift at the hospital. Are you up and about in the mornings? The boys leave for school before eight, but maybe that's too early? I try to limit my sleep at night when I switch schedules from day to night. So tomorrow I want to sleep till the boys come home from school." Sarah answered, thinking out loud.
"I can come at seven thirty and see them off?" agreed Stan.
"Eight would be fine. When the boys get out of Sunday School, tell them I walked home. I'll talk to you tomorrow morning." And Sarah rushed out of church with tears in her eyes.
Sunday afternoon Stan sat in his easy chair with a paper and pencil as he watched the football games and jotted down some things. He knew Sarah and Jake had bought their house a few years ago and more then likely were still making house payments. Stan also knew what nurses made in this town, so he had a pretty good idea what she was facing.
Monday morning he took His morning walk and showed up at Sarah's by eight fifteen. For some reason Stan had the feeling she didn't want the boys to know He was there. When Stan knocked she opened the door right away and said, "You didn't need to knock, you could have came in the back door and yelled!"
Stan was wondering where all this trust was coming from, but then he thought, "I guess I am old enough to be her grandfather, after all I am almost seventy!"
Sarah had met him at the door in her housecoat and then he followed her to the kitchen where Sarah asked if he wanted a cup of coffee. Stan replied, "Yes, please, black would be fine."
Sarah sat down with our coffee and said, "I've got a house and car payment to make and not enough paycheck to make them with."
"Oh, I didn't know you were making car payments, too. Was Jake's pickup paid for?"
"Yes it was! And him cleaning out our savings was just vindictive! He showed no regard for me or the boys by doing that! He never did want to hand over his paycheck for the family. When we were first married we argued and argued till he finally gave me five hundred dollars twice a month and he paid for his pickup!"
"How much is the car payment and how much were you able to put into savings?" Trying to be the least nosy that Stan could be.
"The car payment is close to four hundred a month and I put into savings about that much as well."
"So if you didn't have a car payment, you lose about two hundred a month. Can you live with that much less every month and still make your house payment? You live close to the school and hospital so you don't need a car for now." Stan said, thinking out loud.
"But I still need a car for groceries and going to the boys' games and in two more years the car is mine and and --------" Sarah sputtered in utter frustration.
"I understand what you're saying, but that is almost ten thousand dollars in two years and the Deacons Fund doesn't have that kind of money. I know you would lose a lot of money if you sold your car since it was new four years ago, but the other alternative is to sell your house." Stan could see Sarah was up against the wall, but felt she had no choice.
"But I still would have to pay rent if I did that and that's more than what my house payments are!" Sarah was almost crying once again.
"There is one other thing we could do." Stan was thinking that this was something she'll never consider. "You could move into my house. You buy the groceries and keep the house clean and the money you make from selling your house you keep for a rainy day."
"You'd do that for me? Hold it! What else would I be doing for you? Where would I be sleeping?" Stan could see a dozen thought flashed though her mind, with the last one being that he was a vulture!
"Yes, I know what you're thinking but there are two bedrooms on the main floor and a full bath and what could be three bedrooms in the basement if I put a divider wall in one of the rooms!" Stan was still not believing what she had thought!
"I will be sleeping downstairs with the boys if that's alright with you!" Sarah spat out almost belligerently.
"I understand! A Christian should always consider the well-being of others as much as his own. I may be old but I'm not dead, and I'm sure you've heard many times, 'Never trust a man!' " Stan was trying to understand where she was coming from but still was feeling hurt.
"I'm sorry!" Sarah mumbled. "After what Jake pulled I've lost faith in men. You are exactly what I need to regain my trust in men!"
"It won't be easy! I'm set in my ways and I haven't even cleaned my wife's stuff out of the house yet and it's been almost a year. Could you help me clear all that out?"
"I can help you! I'll put my house up for sale and we'll work on your house! Thank you Stan, you're a good man!"
"You're welcome, now let's get your house payment made and get it on the market!