tagNon-EroticRedemption

Redemption

bymadengineer3©

Copyright 2008 by madengineer3, All rights are reserved! This story is not to be copied or circulated except by madengineer3 or by means of the Literotica website, and under Literotica's rules.

*

I lost my wife, of thirty-eight years, to cancer about five years ago. My life felt empty. We had a child, but several years back a drunk driver hit him head on. Our son had been on his motorcycle at the time. There was no question about his being dead, at the scene. This last month I took another hit. Our top management had made a couple of very risky investments in small start-up companies. The start-ups failed. They had to protect their exorbitant salaries so they laid off fifty seven of the people who were closest to retirement. Smart move, for them. The older employees had an excellent pension plan. New employees, as of four years ago, had a pension plan that wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Since I was "salaried", which means that they could get as much unpaid overtime from me as they wanted. After all I had no union to stand up for my rights. Since the company had good lawyers and didn't sell anything to the government they weren't overly worried about the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Well, I have a small side business and very good savings. Since I am over sixty years old I can access my retirement account without penalty. I'm going to make it. The company was being extra "smart". They know that the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to have poor productivity. Therefore we were all laid off in mid November. That way we wouldn't have to be given holiday pay.

It has been two days since the layoff. It is Monday of the week before Thanksgiving. The one thing that is currently oppressing me is my large old house. There are three bedrooms, other than mine. Add on top of that the fact that I will again have a solitary Thanksgiving. It is lonely here.

The phone's ringing broke my train of thought.

"Hello Bob, how are you doing?" It was my pastor.

"I'm doing o.k. Jim, what can I do for you?"

"Well, we have a major problem and I'm contacting people to see if we can solve it. As you know our fellowship hall is in the basement of the church. Yesterday, unknown to any of us, a break occurred in the water line just inside of the water meter. We have several feet of water in the basement. We can fix it, and our insurance will cover it; but, we have no place to prepare Thanksgiving meals for the homeless and poor. I've already got the Lowreys and the Bacons talked into doing up two birds in each of their ovens and having some people eat with them. I'm hoping that I can talk you into doing the same thing. You won't necessarily have to do the cooking itself. Oh, and by the way we have the turkeys and other food for the meals in the food pantry storage area. It hasn't been damaged. I'll personally deliver the needed food to you this afternoon if you'll agree to help. I'm sure we can get one of the women from the congregation to help you. What do you say?"

I thought for a moment or so. "O.k. Jim, but I like to cook I can do the cooking. However, how do I get the people here and home again?"

"We've put the word out to the social service agencies and they are telling the people to gather outside the door to the church's food pantry. We'll pick them up there and drop them off where they need to be dropped off. Is that o.k. with you?

"Yeah, it will work out fine. "

I spent the rest of the day organizing the food I had to cook, selecting the recipes, and starting to thaw the turkeys. Since I had purchased my wife a really nice Vulcan stove, with two ovens, I was all set for room. On Tuesday I decided to make pies. By Tuesday night I had four apple and four pumpkin pies. I also had good extra sharp cheddar cheese to go with the apple pie.

Thursday arrived and I drove to the food pantry. My run was scheduled to be the last one. The other families had already picked up their guests. When I arrived I saw that there were about six people left. I called the pastor to have him help me transport them, my car wasn't big enough. I was surprised to see that two of the homeless people appeared to be younger than my son would be, if he had lived.

When we got to my house everyone commented on how warm it was. Most of them had been sleeping wherever they could find a dry place, and most of those places were still outside. I showed everyone where the two bathrooms were, and told them that they could take showers if they wanted to. The looks of gratitude from those who lived on the street were heart warming and heart breaking at the same time.

The meal went very well. I had leftovers, but I also had heavy "Zip-Lock" bags. Every one of my guests was to get some of the food to take with them. The pastor showed up with a borrowed van and took four of the people back to where they needed to be dropped off. I had the two youngsters sitting at the table with me. I had learned that their names were Mary and Ruth. Both of them had been "throw away kids", i.e. kids who's parents just tossed them out of the house. They both lived on the street. They seldom had a roof over their heads except for certain cold days when they went to the rescue mission. As it turned out, neither of them did drugs but both had been forced to turn to prostitution to buy food.

"Would you girls like coffee and another piece of pie?

"That sounds good" was said almost in unison.. I got the coffee and pie.

"If you girls had your wishes, what would you want to do with your lives?" It was an open ended question. They were quiet for a minute.

"Why do you ask?"

"Because, as a parent I'm concerned for your well being. You both seem to be relatively 'with it' and I care what happens to you. You appear to be a year or two younger than my son would be if he had lived."

This seemed to shock them a bit.

"How did he die?"

"A drunk driver hit his motorcycle. I should never have taught him to ride the bike and now I will never again hear his laughter."

Things were quiet for a minute. Then Mary spoke up: "I'd like to finish high school, and get into nursing as an LPN or RN. I'd like to help people who are sick."

Ruth sat there and thought for a few moments. "I'd like to find a good man and settle down in a real home. I've never been part of a real family. I'm not even sure what one is like. But, the chances of Mary getting a nursing license of me getting a good home are just about nil."

I started to speak without even thinking it through. "What would you say if I told you that what you are looking for is available, and without cost or obligation?"

"You've got to be kidding. Those kinds of things don't happen."

"What do you know about Christianity?"

"Oh, its just a bunch of hypocrites who say one thing and do another. We've both been cheated in "deals" with Christians.

"I'm afraid that you may have never met a real Christian. A person isn't a Christian because they do or don't do things. A person is a Christian when they have released themselves to God's mercy. You see, He loves you and was willing to die to allow you to be with Him without cost."

"Yeah, I'll think about that when I'm trying to get warm and stay dry tonight."

"I'm asking you, for real, would you like a chance to fulfill those dreams? I know it can happen."

"What would we have to do?"

"Well, of course you would need new clothes to wear to school. You would have to be willing to study, and you would need to spend time with a licensed psychologist to work through the rough time you have had. There will be no sleep-overs for guys, and you'd have to start attending church. For that you will have a warm and clean room to sleep in, three good meals a day, a place to study; Oh, and for your information your room will have a lock on the inside so that you will know you won't be disturbed at night......... What do you say?"

They looked at each other and sat there quietly for several moments. Ruth spoke up first, "Where would this be?"

"I'll show you." I led them upstairs to the two spare bedrooms that had been decorated with guests in mind. There was a double bed in each room. Each room had a dresser, desk, and a closet. They both looked at the locks inside the doors.

"Is this for real?" asked Mary. "What kinds of things do we have to do for this?"

"The only other things that I can think of include doing your laundry in the machines down stairs and being in well before midnight so that you can get a good sleep so as to be ready for school."

"We don't have to 'put-out' for you?"

"Absolutely not."

"We're in" they said in unison. Where do we go from here?"

"Well, in the morning I'll set up a doctor's appointment for both of you. If you haven't had all the inoculations you need they can take care of that. The doctor will also probably want to do some blood tests and a pelvic exam. When that is done we will go shopping for a wardrobe for each of you. It won't be super fancy, but it will be good clothing that will keep you warm and comfortable. Oh, I should have told you, my doctor is a black lady. She is very sharp and very gentle. I have a friend who teaches at the alternative high school. She lives just down the street from me and can take you to the school each day. She can also make sure that your background is not made public. Is that o.k.?"

"Yes, but it seems too good to be true. What do we do for clothes in the meantime?"

"Well, you are both about the same size my wife was. I couldn't bring myself to get rid of her clothes after she died. You'll find bathrobes, slippers, pajamas, dresses, skirts, and blouses in the closet in this room over here. You may keep the clothes you like. If you want to you can get cleaned up change into clean clothes and wash and dry your clothes downstairs. There are two bathrooms. One is attached to my bedroom and the other is between your two rooms. Now, pick the room you want. If you are hungry you can raid the refrigerator. As for me, I have to get to bed, I'm tired. I'll wake you up at about seven when I have breakfast just about ready. Good night."

They both said "good night" and I went back to my bedroom, bolted the door on the inside, got out some porn and jerked off. I didn't want to be sexually frustrated with two young women around.

***** morning *****

I was in the process of making French toast when Ruth walked into the kitchen.

"Good morning, Ruth. Did you sleep all right?"

"Well, sort of. I laid awake for quite a while listening to see if you were going to try to get into one of our rooms. I seem to have misjudged you. You simply went to bed. I hope you don't take offense at that."

"No, I can understand you being uneasy. Like I said, I am not after anything but you two getting on your feet."

"Don't you get anything out of this?"

"Well, yes, I do. I get the pleasure of helping two kids who need it and I don't have to live in the old house with just memories of my wife and son. That means a lot to me."

"I've never met a man like you before. What makes you different?"

"I was changed by the forgiveness of my Lord Jesus. He changed me and put a soft heart in place of the stone that used to be there. Now would you like a cup of coffee or would you like to start off with juice?"

A bit later Mary came down to the kitchen. She was wearing almost nothing and the back lighting from the morning sun showed her outline perfectly. I quickly turned so that I wasn't looking at her and said: "Mary, please put some more clothes on. You could give an old guy like me a heart attack wearing what you are wearing right now." The last part of that was said with a chuckle so that she knew I wasn't mad.

Behind me Mary responded: "You passed my test. If you had undressed me with your eyes I would have figured you out for a sort of 'dirty old man' in disguise. You seem to be real. I've never really run into that before."

Over the next few weeks things settled down into a good routine. By the end of the second month the girls were beginning to loosen up and act like girls as opposed to street smart prostitutes. We had some rough spots, for example when the neighbor "busy buddies" started to hint that there must be something immoral going on in my house. That particular neighbor went to my church. The next Sunday Ruth and Mary asked if they could make a statement. They pointedly indicated that certain women in our area had started a rumor campaign against me. They categorically denied that anything immoral was going on and asked the rhetorical question "How many of you have fed the hungry, helped the poor, or gone to visit the sick or those in prison? Bob is doing what his Lord told him to do. Are you going to blame him for being a decent man with a big heart?" Then they sat down. A it turned out the pastor Jim's sermon was on gossip. The rumor mill was effectively put out of business.

After two years of school both Ruth and Mary had earned their high school diplomas. Our church has a scholarship program, and I know the registrar at our local community college. She did some extra homework and came up with a scholarship and a job at the college so that Mary could earn an RN.

Ruth and Mary still lived in my spare rooms. For graduation I purchased a decent heavy used car for each of the girls. I got them their own insurance so mine wouldn't take a big hit.

Ruth had changed her mind about more schooling. She decided to take the "food sciences" course that would teach her nutritional material and how to cook and serve meals. Since she wanted to get married and had no experience in the kitchen she knew that to keep a husband happy she needed to be able to feed him well. I, again, talked to my friend at the college and she found a scholarship for the "food science" and a job with the schools cafeteria.

***************

Toward the end of the first semester the girls told me that they needed to talk to me about something serious. We sat down at the dinning room table with a cup of tea in front of each of us. Mary started the discussion. "We have a strange request to make. This will sound strange but you are the only real parent we have ever had. You have, without asking for anything, helped to turn our lives around. We would be proud and very grateful if you would adopt us so that we can have your name. I know that this is asking a lot, but would you consider it?"

By this time I had tears in my eyes.

"We didn't mean to hurt you......."

"No, no, I'm not hurt. I am flattered and deeply touched that you would want to be my children. I would be honored to be able to adopt you but since you are both white aren't you uneasy about being adopted by a black man?"

"At one point we might have been, but we have seen that you are a good, honest, and gentle man who cares about people.. We would be honored to be able to share your name."

I put down my tea, walked around and hugged each of them in turn and said: "I always hoped my wife and I would have a daughter. Now I have two of them. Thank you."

Just before Christmas the girls became Mary and Ruth Rogers.. When I had my lawyer draw up the adoption papers I also had him change my will. As soon as the girls became 'my' girls I broke the news to them. "I changed my will a few weeks ago. Effective today you two are my heirs. When I go you will each get half of my assets and joint ownership of the house. You will not be without a home at that time."

This time it was the girls who had tears in their eyes. I was almost choked with hugs and smothered with kisses. They had had no inkling that I was going to do this.

It was just after the girls graduated that my health took a real nose dive. The doctor indicated that it would be best if I didn't do any strenuous work at all. He included doing dishes as being strenuous. He also said that I needed to have a nurse on hand at least an hour a day to monitor my vital signs and give me a shots of three medicines that he wanted me on. When I got home the girls saw that something was wrong. I told them that I wasn't sure what to do. My medical insurance wouldn't pay for a housekeeper or nurse and I didn't have funds enough to properly pay for them for any extended period of time. Without thinking Ruth said: "I can do the food shopping, cooking and some of the housework." Mary joined in, "I can do the nursing for you. It is the least I can do after the way you have helped us. I can also do some of the house work. We won't take no for an answer!"

It was my turn to cry and say "thank you".

**************************

Bob remained as an invalid for less than four months before he died.

It's been six years since Bob died. Mary and Ruth still live in his, now their, house. Each has married and the two couples are living happily. Mary and her husband, who is an EMT and Ruth's husband who is a teacher work outside the home. Ruth uses her skills so that the meals and all the numerous other tasks of daily life are taken care of. They have started their own families. Each of them has a child of their own, and each of them are in the process of adopting an unwanted child.

Like Bob's faith, their faith helps bind them together and make them better parents. They all attend church and try to give to their adopted children the love and care that Bob showed them. Love is one of the most powerful things in existence.

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