Virginia’s Miracle; Part One
“When there was no place else this mother could go … nothing else I could think of to do, I did the most important, most appropriate thing … I fell on my face before God and cried out for mercy for my son, God’s child. He heard my voice and answered me.”
In a few words, this is Virginia’s miracle, but it’s going to take a while to write about it.
Virginia’s son came unexpectedly. She was only 17, and wasn’t married. The baby’s father, Ed, was just 16. When she found out she was pregnant, she was terrified. She had lived all of her teen years under the control of an extremely strict father. The fear of what he would do was overwhelming.
When Virginia told Ed she was pregnant, they both panicked and didn’t know what they were going to do. The pain and shock that her mother experienced to this day leaves hurt in her heart. She took it much harder than Virginia ever expected, and she went to bed for two or three days.
Ed’s parents were also shocked and met with Virginia’s parents and suggested that she be sent away to a home for unwed mothers and then give the baby up for adoption. Neither Virginia nor Ed was ever in favor of giving their baby up for adoption. They always wanted their baby, but just did not know how, at their age, that would be possible.
In the end, however, they did get married, and their son was born. They named him Eddie, after his father.
He was a robust little fellow. As Virginia was fond of saying, he was “all boy.” As he moved from infancy into being a toddler, he was into everything. Some might have said he was a handful.
Once, at the age of two, he somehow dismantled the window air conditioner located in another room. The adults chuckled and remarked he would probably one day be a mechanic or engineer. Little did they know.
In time Eddie had two sisters, and his playfulness took a mischievous turn. He pestered his sisters. He had accidents on his bike. He got into fights with other boys. He had lots of cuts and bruises. He was sweet at times and ornery at other times, and he loved fire.
By the time he was in elementary school, it became obvious that Virginia and Ed had a problem. One day Eddie lit a match and started a fire with some toilet paper in the bathroom. Then, he grabbed a can of hairspray and tried to put out the fire. As a result, the flames spread to the wall.
Realizing some serious punishment was in order, Ed made Eddie set his Halloween costume on fire, which probably wasn’t the most appropriate discipline for a budding pyromaniac. Another time Eddie built a fire on the indoor/outdoor carpet in the kitchen and tried to cook something in a pan on it.
His mischievousness continued, and by his teen years, it turned into rebellion. Talking with Eddie did no good. Reasoning was a waste of time. He was troubled in so many different ways. He seemed to hate his family and every effort to help him fell flat. He did not want to work at home or outside the home. He was impudent and disrespectful to Virginia. In time, Ed and Virginia had to make some tough love decisions; there were two sisters to consider.
Since Eddie refused to abide by any rules and chose to argue and insisted on doing his own thing, it was time to take action.
He was given an ultimatum: live by their rules or get out. He chose to leave, and it broke his mother’s heart. He was only 15-years-old.
Eddie was gone for several days, and each day Virginia’s prayers went up for his safety and his return to her. Later, she found out he slept on the cold floor of the local post office and then asked a couple of friends if he could stay with them.
Finally, the day came when he called home. He said he was ready to obey the rules; he wanted to come home. Virginia felt much like the father in the story of the prodigal son. Maybe, just maybe, it would be better now.
Alas, that was not to be the case.
One day the phone rang, and it was the principal of the high school where Eddie attended. He needed to see Eddie’s parents as soon as possible. Virginia and Ed arrived at the school not knowing what to expect.
As it turned out, their son had been disruptive in one of his classes and when the teacher attempted to discipline him, he responded by shouting at the female instructor, “You are a big fat Jew!” Ed came up with the punishment of doing research at the library on the Jewish nation and writing an essay on the subject. When he was finished, he had to submit it to the teacher with his apology.
Virginia thought this episode had to be the worst they would have to endure, but she was wrong. Eddie was a long way from hitting the bottom. We will tell you about that next week.