All of these characters belong to ELJames and are written for our enjoyment and to “carry on” the saga of Christian, Ana and the rest of the Grey’s, Taylor’s, Gail and whomever we want to introduce.
All of us are preparing to go to the All Pilgrim’s Christian Church. I ask Taylor if the instruments are loaded up. “Yes, Sir”, he answers. Mom and Dad are going to be totally surprised at what we have planned for them.
Elliot, Kate and Ethan, are picking up Mom, Dad, Mia, Gramma and Grampa Trevayln, Carla and Bob in my large Audi SUV that he picked up earlier from Escala and Taylor will drive the rest of us, including Gail and Ray. I want Gail to come along so that she and Taylor can spend most of the holiday season together.
We get to the church about the same time as the rest of the family and still Dad and Mom don’t suspect anything. We go into the church and the minister looks at me. I nod at him and he takes his place behind the pulpit. Taylor has already set up the instruments while the family is visiting and greeting each other and no one is paying any attention to him except Gail.
The minister starts to speak.”Brothers and sisters, this may seem a little unusual, however, it was a special request from Mr. Christian Grey. Mr. Grey, I have taken the liberty to invite the workers in for this special treat that I am sure we are about to enjoy. I hope you don’t mind”. “Not at all”, I say as I get up and walk to the front, followed by Elliot and Mia. The two of them take their places, Mia sits at her cello and Elliot stands with his guitar at the ready. I stand at the pulpit and start to speak. “Exodus 20:12 says: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee’. (KJV).
“Mom and Dad”, I continue, “this is our tribute to you who have taken us in when we were left parentless in this world. You loved us as though we were your very own and showed us what the love of “real” parents is. I know within my heart of hearts that Elliot’s parents’ prayer was for him to find parents who loved him unconditionally the way they would have, should they had lived. God sent him the two of you. Then there was the little skinny neglected child that literally was starving to death, me, and I, too, had no one to care for me. My birth mother’s prayer was for me, too, to find someone to love and care for me. This is evidenced by the note that she left for whoever found me. God sent me the two of you. Still not feeling as though their little family was not complete, along came Mia who stole everyone’s heart. Her mom being unselfish and caring, knowing that she couldn’t care for her, made her petition that she would find someone to love and care for her. God sent her the two of you.
Yes, mom and dad, you deserve to be honored in every way that is possible. Your three children love you more than life itself and even though some of us, me mainly, might have been a challenge, (which drew a chuckle from the audience,) know that our love for you and what you did for us, shall be never ending. As our tribute to you and so that you and your goodness and kindness of your heart, shall never be forgotten…..ever. We dedicate this plaque in your honor which the pastor has allowed us to hang in the vestibule for as long as this church stands. When it will no longer be able to hang here, arrangements have been made for it to hang in a wing of the main library that will be dedicated to you in a special ceremony to be held in the spring. We now dedicate the musical part of the program to you who taught us that music is from the soul of God as is our love for you”. I walk over to the organ, raise my arm to direct my sister and brother so that we start together. We start a melodious medley that reflects our feelings, ending with the Hallelujah Chorus with me pulling out all of the stops on the beautifully sounding pipe organ so that we sound like a full orchestra.
When we have finished our musical tribute, we each reach down and pick up the three bouquets of three dozen multi-colored roses each, walk over to our parents, hand them to mom who is by now sobbing uncontrollably in dad’s chest, and individually we say, “We love you mom and dad. Thank you . Merry Christmas”. This is the first time that I have expressed my love and emotions to my parents. It feels strange, however, I feel good about finally being able to do it…..finally.
We start back to our seats and notice that there is not a dry eye in the place with the exception of Taylor who has the strangest look on his face. Not impassive like usual, but almost like he is shedding a tear and trying to force it back but not being very successful. Dear God, he is crying…..Taylor is actually shedding a tear and hugging Gail who doesn’t even try to hide her sobs. Elliot, Mia and I hold each other in a loving hug before we take our seats. Ana and Kate are having their own little hugging and crying fest as are the staff that came to watch.
The pastor stands up again and before he dismisses us in a word of thankfulness to God, makes the announcement that we are to meet in the Lake View Cemetery. Transportation will be provided to all of those who want to attend another brief ceremony that has been arranged by Mrs. Christian Grey.
I look at Anastasia as if to say, “What is going on, Ana?” She just looks at me with tears still streaming down her beautiful face. So that we can all be together, we pile into the church bus and travel to the cemetery. Ana and I are sitting in the front so we see what looks like flood lights in the area where my birth mom is buried. As the driver pulls to a stop, Ana stands up, and announces that she wants to share what she has given to her husband for Christmas. No one makes a sound as she walks back to her seat next to me and holds me back as everyone else gets off. The pastor directs the passengers into a large circle around something that looks like a statue covered up. Finally, Ana lets me get off, holding my hand and leading me toward the light that has dimmed but sheds enough light so that those in attendance can see where they are going.
She takes the portable microphone which the pastor hands to her, and addresses me. “You have cared for everyone you could since you have been an adult. You have always been concerned that you couldn’t take care of your birth mom as the little 4 year old that you were. As a tribute to you and Ella, my husband, I present this to you hoping that you will see that Ella is now, finally being taken care of.
The pastor, Taylor, and Elliot remove the large tarp that is covering the statue. While the tarp is being removed, the flood lights gradually brighten. When the tarp is completely removed, the flood lights put on a show the likes you have never seen. All you can hear are loud sighs and oohs and ahhhs.
It looks like the heavens opened up and shone down in all of its glory, just in that one area. There in all of its beauty, stands a huge shining white angel with a wing span that is 10 feet wide and it looks like the wings are folding around a woman in a protective stance and the woman has her arms folded around a little boy, holding him, seated at the foot of the beautiful angel.
All I could do was to stare. Tears started rolling down my face as I think that my beautiful wife would do this for me. I grab her, give her a loving, holding hug and whisper, “Thank you, baby. Thank you for having Ella protected. It is another chapter in my life that is closed.
We all climb aboard the bus after the pastor says a prayer of protection and thankfulness for all of us, head back to the church and get in our own vehicles and head to the Grey mansion for the exchanging of our gifts and the traditional Christmas Eve meal.
After everything is over, we all head to our various homes and places where we are staying…..some in hotels. Tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas again at the Grey mansion.
Ana and I get ready for bed but not in our usual way. “Ana, I really would like for us to make love but this day has been so emotional that all I want to do is to hold you and reflect on everything that has happened. It has been a good day, Anastasia, it has been a good day”.