By Mary Moore
My father was a storyteller. Many Sunday afternoons he would lean back in his chair and regale the family with tales based on memories and colorful characters he had known. Like most families, we were prone to interrupt and talk over each other. If that happened when my dad was speaking, he would thump his hand on the table and shout, “Listen!”
The following story is one he told only a couple of times, but the gist of it stuck with me. I no longer recall names and details, so I piece it together here:
It was a cold, foggy morning in December when John Everett drove around a bend too fast. Ten-year-old Tommy Bellson was standing by the side of the road, waiting for his school bus. John hit Tommy, and the boy died instantly.
Tommy’s parents were beyond devastated, of course. After the first frantic phone calls and blurred hours of pain, Ed and Dana Bellson went home. A few close friends and neighbors came by to sit with them. There wasn’t a lot of talking, but some whispering in the corners could be heard about John: how he was a drinker and unreliable. How no punishment would be too harsh.
At dinnertime no one was hungry, but platters of food were set out on a table. Ed Bellson put on his coat, picked up one of the dishes and went to the door. His wife said, “Where are you going, Ed?”
“I’m going to see John,” he said. “He’s probably feeling pretty low right now.”
We are surrounded with wonders.
In a broken world, grace rises from the cracks.
Breathe the peace that passes all understanding.
In memory of Jess Moore (1925 – 2013)