An Approaching Storm
by Carolyn N. Kuykendall
The day had been sunny and hot. It was July in Alabama and afternoon storms were not uncommon. I heard the approaching storm with thankful ears knowing that after the storm the temperature would drop and the evening would be pleasant. Of my four children, only the youngest was still at home. Harry had just turned nineteen and finished his first year of college.
I decided to run to the grocery store before the storm got there and to my surprise Harry wanted to go with me. He never wanted to go to the grocery store with me. Oh well, I thought, his car is broken so maybe he needs to get some food. We hurried to the store with full view of the dark clouds forming before us.
After purchasing a few items we headed back to the car. Low and behold, I had a flat tire. Thank the Lord Harry was with me. He put the spare on quicker than I ever could have and we jumped in the car and raced toward home. The thunder was growing louder and the clouds now covered every inch of blue sky.
The roads that lead back to our house are lined with tall pine trees. The trees were doing the thunderstorm dance as the first drops of rain started to fall. Harry cleared his throat like he was going to say something. I glanced at him and he looked like he wanted to say something.
“Uh,” he said, “Mom.”
I knew by the tone of his voice that what he needed to tell me was something I didn’t want to hear. Many things ran through my head while he was still clearing his throat. Wrecked car, committed a crime, dropping out of college, needed a large amount of money, drugs, illness, disembodied heads, skulls and crossbones, problems with his girlfriend …
Wait. No, that can’t be it. I just talked seriously with both of them about being careful. She’s only seventeen and still in high school. Oh no! I don’t want to hear it, don’t tell me, not while I’m driving in the middle of a thunderstorm. Wait. We’re almost home and I can go to my room and you won’t have to tell me.
“Katie is pregnant.”
The news hit me like a ton of sand from the beach. I wish I was at the beach. I’m just going to go there right now. I think I’ll drop Harry off at the house and just drive to the beach.
About that time the storm hit full force. We were a half mile from the house as the rain beat down in torrents. As we pulled into the driveway Harry looked at me with his handsome young man face and suddenly he was four years old again. He had the same expression as he had the day he put pennies in the vents of my food processor and turned the thing on.
“You’re not going to kick me out are you?” He asked.
Where would he get that idea? If I didn’t send him packing over the food processor, I certainly wasn’t going to put him out with no job, no car, and a baby on the way.
Katie and Harry got married in September. She finished high school early, and gave birth to my first solid gold grandson in March. What a wonderful spring gift for our family. Harry has a great job now and takes college classes when he can. They had two more wonderful babies over the next six years. Katie takes college classes, home schools, sews, and draws portraits with pencil. They are both active in church.
Just like the approaching storm of that July afternoon gave way to a lovely evening, life's storms eventually give way to better weather.