But he giveth more grace.Wherefore he saith,God resisteth the proud,but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6
Grace Ann Davis sat watching her pale mother at the edge of her wooden bed.She could hear her wheezing as she slept just as the sun peaked its way over the Colorado rocky Mountains sending sun rays spilling into their little cabin.Grace walked over to the window and lifted it open as the late summers air circled around the room.She closed her eyes just for a moment to catch her breath as her long chestnut hair bounced around her face.Her arms ached from all the wood she'd been chopping all morning.She opened her eyes and saw the oak wood stacked neatly by the chicken coop.She knew her Ma was awake when she heard her gasp and surrender to another coughing fit.Grace went over to where she had a bowl of Osha roots waiting and poured it into a glass of water and watched it dissolve."Here,drink this." she said as she elevated her mother's weak head and brought the water to her dry pale lips.Tears clouded her eyes as she watched her once strong and healthy mother now surrender to the terrible disease of consumption.Her dark glowing skin now paled from months of confinement to her bed and her once glowing brown eyes was now chained with suffering.Sarah Davis weakly lifted her cold hand to her daughters tear streaked face."It will pass Grace,just give it some time."She wiped the tears away."Time? Ma it's been three months and it's only getting worse.I don't care if Pa doesn't like it you need to see a doctor! What has he ever done good for us besides coming home drunk and accidentally doing this?" Grace pulled up her sleeve revealing five long poorly healed stripes from where she'd taken blows from her pa's horse whip when she accidentally knocked over the pale of water onto their cabin floor.She touch the long red scar on her neck from a recent encounter with it.Shaking her head to be rid of the painful memories.Grace stood and went to the window to dry her tears.She didn't want her mother to see her sad.She needed to be strong for her.A smile tugged the corner of the woman's pale lips."A stone is heavy,and the sand weighty;but a fool's wrath is heavier than both." Grace closed her eyes and drew out a breath.Her Ma's new found faith in God was sure a confusing thing to Grace.Ever since she was bedridden three months ago she was completely taken over by it.She said her sickness opened her eyes and brought her back to the faith she used to know when she was a girl.She knew what her mother was trying to say.Her temper always gets the best of her to an extent on where she couldn't control.A sudden breeze swirled around the room."Ma,don't throw scriptures on me."Grace turned to face her."I'm just worried about you." Sarah beckoned her daughter with her outstretched hand and her daughter humbly sank to her side."Sweetheart I know you are,but you must learn to control your temper.Your Pa doesn't like strong minded women." Grace's nose scrunched as if she'd smelled a foul smell.Just the mention of him made her stomach tighten in a knot.She bit her tongue,not wanting to trouble her mother."Ma, you know He has no right no matter what e blames for his behavior."she patted my hand "Grace,we must give God time to work in him."Grace shook her head in disbelief.How could a man like her father ever be loved by God,and how could God let him treat her & her mother like he did?Just then they heard the front door swing open and a drunken voice filled the house with cursing.He was already knocking over chairs."Sarah!" His deep voice bellowed through the wooden home making them jump where they sat.Grace clenched her jaw and looked down at her mother who had her head bowed in prayer.He didn't deserve prayer.What was the use anyway God didn't hear her mother's prayers or else her pa wouldn't even be here to treat them like he did.Grace inhaled a slow breath and stood to when Sarah's hand pulled her down"Don't Grace."She pulled the covers from off her and stood almost losing her balance.She was much to weak to stand."Ma you don't have to go." Grace,tried pleading with her ill mother."He's my Husband Grace.I can't hide from him." Grace let her go knowing that she wouldn't stand a chance arguing with her mother.Once her mind was set,there was no turning back.Grace followed behind her mother ready to catch her in-case her weak legs decided to give out.They reached the kitchen where his bold figured shadowed through the doorway.His face was dirty from the roads and Grace saw that his beard and mustache got bushier."Make the girl cook me some breakfast." Hello to you to Pa, she thought as she rolled up her sleeves and started for the stove.Clay Davis dropped himself into the wooden chair pulling out his pistol and rag and went to cleaning without a word.Sarah gripped the back of the chair across from her husband to keep her legs steady."Where have you been?" She asked as if she where having a normal civil conversation with the man.She never spoke out of anger.Grace turned to her mother.How could she not lash out at him? She sure wanted to but she didn't want to upset her Ma."That ain't none of your business woman." She wanted to turn around and smack him on the head with the frying pan.As much as his wife respected him he didn't even think about her health.Grace closed her eyes and took a deep breath.She hated the way he talked to her."Clay, you leave for days at a time without a single word to where your going and leave me and Grace alone out here.You know Fairplay ain't a decent town and Grace needs help around here.She's doing all the chores that's fit for a man to do." Grace threw the biscuit dough in the pan.Her mother thought her daughter,at eighteen should be married already and having children.But Grace didn't want a man-didn't NEED- a man.They were all the same to her.They just couldn't get enough of their whiskey.They treated their women like property.No ,Grace thought.She would never let a man claim her.She would fight her own way into the world.No one would ever control or own her.Clay slammed his gun down onto the wooden table.It snapped Grace from her thoughts as she jumped and knocking the pan with the biscuits onto the floor.Her heart raced.She would never admit it but she was terrified or her Pa.She didn't dare look up into his eyes she got on her knees and started picking the dirty dough up.Clay swore like a sailor. "You good for nothing girl!" Sarah tried to calm him "Clay,don't." He stood knocking over the chair he walked to where she stood and slapped her across the face."Shut Up woman." Grace cried out and ran to her side steadying her arm.She couldn't take it anymore.Just hold on Gracie.Don't make it worse. She thought . "She can't do a little work Sarah? And what's your point?" His voice turned cocky."Do you not like this house that I built for you? Do you not like that I provide for you and the girl?" Grace avoided his gaze.The girl? Somewhere deep inside that hurt her.She didn’t know why,she didn't want him to love her.But in a way she wanted to feel what a daughter would feel to be loved by her father."Grace,Honey.Why don't you go and get some fresh water for your Pa to wash up?" Grace could not believe what she was hearing.She looked to her mother and gave her a pleading look.She knew where this was going,she didn't want to leave her alone with him but her Ma's stern expression didn't soften.Sarah would always tried to get her out of danger when he started going mad.Grace snatched the bucket and walked out hearing his voice rise with her every footstep.Tears filled her eyes.Her Ma needed a doctor,and soon.She threw the bucket against the stone well and whatever she could find.She kicked their pathetic looking chicken coop sending the chickens squawking and flying around in chaos.She grabbed a stick and started pounding the ten letting the anger she had built up inside go right through her.She threw the stick as far as she could watching it rise into the sky and then fall not to far from her.She couldn't take it anymore,they needed to get away from him.Somewhere he wouldn't find them.She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.A thought flashed through her mind.Grandpa. They can go and stay with her Grandpa.Grace thought for sure they had to have a decent doctor where he lived.Maybe her grandpa would forgive her Ma and take them in.But he was miles away it would be hard for her mother to travel.But they had to try.Grace was pumping the water when she heard a crash come from the house.Ma. She dropped the bucket and ran to the house.That was it.If he hurt her she would kill him.She stopped midway in the door as she stared at her mother on the floor in another coughing fit.She looked at Clay who was standing over her poking her in the side with his boot screaming at her how she was ungrateful and it was her fault for marring him if she wasn't happy.No,no,no.Grace ran to him and pounded her fist into his back."Get away from her!" He swung around and his fist met her face sending her falling to the floor.Grace gasp as pain shot up from her cheek to her ear.Her ears where ringing and her head throbbed.She lifted her hand to her head in a failed effort to stop the spinning.She pulled her hand away eyeing the crimson red liquid that stained her fingers."You learn your place girl!" Grace looked up at his demon expression,she almost did believe that he was possessed.She tried to crawl away from him but his meaty hand inclosed around her neck and lifted her from the floor.She squirmed and cried out as he lifted her by the neck with both his hands till she could no longer feel the safety of the floor.She couldn't breath."That's for disrespecting your pa." She tasted the blood on her lip as she tried to opened her mouth for air.He shook her once more and threw her back on the wooden floor just before her eyes could roll back that would threaten to send her into a state o unconsciousness.Grace gasped for breath and sucked in all she could before giving him her daring comeback."You don't deserve respect." She coughed,still trying to regain her wind. "You keep on with your big head girl.No man want’s that in a woman.Then who's gonna come crawling to daddy to provide for her?" "I don't need anything from you." Grace new it was true.She could do everything for herself and take care of her Ma.Her mind was set,she didn't need a man.They think women are just another of their possessions ,some pet that could do with as they please.Well,not Grace she would show him no one will ever treat her the way he treats her Ma.She met his hard gaze and spat on his boot staining it red.He cursed and kicked her hard in the side.She held in the scream that was in her throat.One thing was for certain she wouldn't give him what he wanted."Think your tough,do ya?" Clay wanted her to scream with pain so he kicked her again and again.She heard a horse ride up and the man outside called her Pa's name."I ain't done with you!" Clay snatched up his pistol and slipped out the door.Huddled on the floor with her legs pressed tight to her chest she let the tears fall down.She coughed in her hand as more red liquid poured out.She crawled to were her Ma laid,who had fainted."Ma?"Grace put aside her own pain and managed to put her Ma back into her bed.