Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast: Holiday Edition episode #82. Today we are reading chapter 25 of the book “I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
Rev. Nichols and his wife looked at each other as Cassandra hurried after her son. She banged on the door for him to open up.
“Go away! I don’t want to talk right now. You all have been lying to me.”
“Grant Lee, I can explain everything,” Cassandra said through the locked door. “Open up so we can talk. I knew nothing of this letter or this nightgown. Please believe me.”
“But you know who my dad is,” Grant Lee said. “You can go ahead and marry Paul if you want to, but he’s not my dad and I will not listen to anything he tells me. Have you also forgotten my dad is black and not white? Go away. You all have been lying to me.”
All attempts to get him to come out of his room failed.
“Your dinner is right here by the door,” Cassandra said to him around six that evening.
Around seven, Grant Lee called Mister Briley on his cell phone. “Hello, may I please speak with Mister Briley?” he asked Mrs. Mattie.
“Who’s this calling? I may have to give him a message.”
“Tell him it’s Grant Lee and that I must speak with him. Please?”
Mister Briley was on the phone within seconds. “Grant Lee, is alls well?”
“Yes, Mister Briley. I just needed some more advice.” Grant Lee told him all that took place including the conversation he overheard between his mother and his grandparents. “Why did they lie to me like that for so long, Mister Briley? What did I do for them to do this to me?”
“Son, calm down. God is still in control. Do ya believe that? Have ya bin a praying about it? If’n ya have bin, then trust God to work it all out, but ya have to do ya part. Remember, always let people explain themselves before ya cut them off. Ya owe that to ya family. An’ always remember there is place for forgiving. Ya promise me ya will do that?”
“I promise, Mister Briley,” Grant Lee said. “Are you doing okay, Mister Briley? You don’t sound too strong.”
“Only da good Lord knows, but I’ll be a praying with ya.”
Grant Lee retrieved his dinner from outside the door after he said goodbye to Mister Briley. He was in deep thought as he ate his food.
“Dear God,” he prayed as he knelt beside his bed later that night, “if my dad is still alive can You bring him home for Christmas so this Christmas won’t look so bleak? And if he’s alive, then I don’t want my mother to marry Paul. I want her to marry my dad. Did I do something to cause this? Help me to do what is right. I love You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
After laying in the bed for a while and unable to go off to sleep, Grant Lee got up and took some of the letters out the box he had brought down from the attic to his room and began reading them. One stood out in particular.
G.B., Grant B, he kept thinking as he walked over to his computer. To his surprise, when he googled the name Grant B, the top search result showed up for Raiders quarterback Grant Barnett. A few more clicks gave him further information that left him no doubt Grant Barnett was his father which made Rev. and Athaliah Barnett his second set of grandparents. I can’t believe this. He quietly went downstairs and returned with the family album and the letter which had been left on the side table. Thumbing through the album, he noticed that in three places the pictures were missing. A new hope was renewed in him. But why didn’t they tell me? What could have happened for them not to even attempt to tell me who he is. Mom has constantly evaded the question whenever I’ve asked her. He must have really hurt her like Grandmother said.
In spite of going to bed late and having these unanswered questions on his mind, Grant Lee had a peaceful night of sleep. He awakened before anyone was up and helped himself to a bowl of cereal, buttered toast and a glass of orange juice. It was eight before his grandfather came down to the kitchen for his daily cup of coffee.
“Want to join me, Grant Lee?” he asked.
“No, thank you,” Grant Lee answered.
Benjamin sipped at his coffee quietly. He always placed extra sugar and real milk in his coffee. “Grant Lee, I hope you’re not mad at me. I owe you an apology and a long explanation. Will you give me a little bit more time to think things through?”
“Grandfather, you’ve had enough time to think about everything.”
Benjamin sighed. “Well, remember that you mother’s wedding rehearsal is at ten this morning. I’m sure you’ll be there.”
Grant Lee didn’t respond. He left the table and went back up to his room. While everyone else was getting ready for the rehearsal at church, Grant Lee pulled out the boxes he had brought down from the attic and placed them on his bed with a note to his mother: Dear Mom, I found these in the attic. Please read them. I read most of them. I’ll be back later. Go ahead on without me. I love you. Grant Lee.
He quietly slipped out the front door and taking his bicycle, he headed for Big Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant.
“Grant Lee, we’re ready to go,” Cassandra called. “Grant Lee!” she shouted going up the stairs to his room. Pushing his bedroom door open, she was surprised not to see him in his room.
What’s this? she thought as she walked over to his bed to survey the boxes on top of his bed. She read the note. She quickly rummaged through the boxes.
“What are these?” she said holding up the clothes as she pulled them out the boxes piece by piece. Cassandra sat down as she took the letters out the box. Noticing each letter was addressed to her she started reading them.
“What in the world is going on here? There has got to be over one hundred letters addressed to me. Grant’s name and address is on just about all of them,” she said to herself.
“Cassandra, we’re ready to go,” her mother called from the bottom of the stairs.
“Just a minute, Mother,” Cassandra replied as she tore open the fifth letter.
Dearest Cassandra, it read. Her eyes scrolled down to the closing signature: Your one and only, Grant B.
“Cassandra,” her mother said entering the room. “Is Grant Lee with you? What do you have there?”
Cassandra tore open a sixth letter. The salutation and closing signature were the same.
“What’s that?” Natalie asked as Cassandra picked up a post card and read:
Cassandra, I wish you were here with me. I miss you and Grant Lee so much. Did you get the clothes I sent for him for his first Christmas? I hope they fit. Did you get the nightgown I sent for you? If you feel okay doing this, please tell your parents I say hello. I love you so much, Grant B
“So he did write me,” Cassandra said looking up at her mother.
Rev. Nichols walked into the room. “What’s the hold up? We’re running late, ladies.”
“Grant was writing me, Dad,” Cassandra said looking at her father. “These are all letters he’s sent to me. They were in the attic.”
Cassandra looked back at her mother. Natalie swallowed hard. “Do you know anything about these, Mom? Or about these clothes that should have been given to Grant Lee?”
As Cassandra pulled the clothes out the boxes, her father cleared his throat. “We should be going. We have a wedding rehearsal to go to and we are already running late. We’ll talk about this when we return.” Looking around he asked, “Where’s Grant Lee, anyway?”
“Oh, my goodness! Grant Lee! I forgot all about him,” Cassandra said. “He left this note.” Cassandra read the note to her parents. “All I know is, there will be no rehearsal until we find him,” Cassandra said.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family stories. You may purchase a copy of this novel and any other Christian fiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.
Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:
- Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
- Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
- Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
- Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
- Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you until next time.