Chose Freedom or Stay and Meet Tía’s Needs, be Paula Rose Michelson

Authors Comment

I believe we define ourselves by what we do and say. When our actions match our words we are congruent, and therefore usually happy. If each of us were able to peer into our heart I believe we would discover that dissatisfaction or sorrow stemmed from our disavowing what we held most dear. We aren’t happy or happiest when we allow something or someone to take center stage in our life. For we don’t know how to be other centered until we meet and fall in love with the lover of our soul! But that’s a discussion best saved for another day.

The Text

                While the doctor showed himself out, Naomi hurried to Tía’s room, opened the door, and entered. “Tía, do not worry. I am here.”
                “Good,” the old woman whispered. She motioned for Naomi to come close. “Did the doctor talk to you?”
                “Yes.” Naomi fluffed the old woman’s pillows.
                “So you know, the doctor says I need a companion to help me,” she rasped, her eyes appealing to the young woman for her assistance. “I am getting along in years and this fall has weakened me. I want you to stay with me.” She took a deep breath and continued, “Years ago you told me how you cared for the blind, old grandmother. I know you have a caring heart and will make it worth your while to stay and tend me. Since you have a desire to educate yourself, I will arrange for you to go to school so you can become an American citizen. If you decide to stay, I will leave you my savings, this house, and my business. I will make sure that you will have a good life and can make a living. I am giving you this opportunity because though your heart has not always been at peace with what we negotiated, you held to your commitment. I know that if you commit to my care, you will stay and complete your obligation. Many will commit to staying, but few will follow through on their word. I know that you will. Think what this will mean to you in the future. After all, what are a few more years if, after I am gone, you can have a life of ease that you would never have access to without this inheritance?” Vida closed her eyes and it seemed to Naomi that she had fallen asleep. She was about to leave when the old woman roused herself and muttered, “Think about this offer and let me know what you decide.”
                Naomi left the room, feeling as if she were in a stupor. Aware that she needed to think about the ramifications of accepting the offer, she sought solace, walked through the kitchen, and sat by the fountain. Over her years of isolation the solitude of this place, which reminded her of her family in Spain, had given her a great deal of joy. She ended each day either sitting by, or, in harsh weather, looking at the fountain, for it was the one place where she could have a few minutes or, on rare occasions, an hour to herself. This time, she did not sit for an hour or two. Instead, the night passed and the sky filled with the soft rays of morning. Still she did not move. Even the cheerful birdsong, which greeted her every morning when she awoke, went unnoticed. My dream is almost within my reach, she thought. In the next breath she wondered, Can I put my plans aside again or will I have to give up my dream? Her conflicting thoughts were impossible to sort out. Then she remembered all her tía had done for her and admitted, I owe my tía everything. How can I say no to her? She knew she could not leave and hesitantly, halfheartedly, agreed to stay.
                Even as she did, she tried to find another solution. It was through her process of letting go of childhood dreams that she allowed her feelings of longing and personal need to wash over her. Overwhelmed, she cried out and put her hands over her eyes, aware that the very thought of choosing to stay was more than she could bear. Spent, she lowered her head and sought God. She prayed and sat still while she waited for tears to come. No tears fell. None came. Since the children in Spain had ridiculed her and her family, she had been unable to cry for herself. Even when she had worried about her looks being unacceptable, she had not cried. Now she felt there were no more tears left. For she had cried them all long ago. She shivered and reached for the old woman’s lap cover to throw over her shoulders. As she pulled it tight, she heard a thud.
                Gripped by fear, she bolted from her chair and ran into the house. It was still somewhat dark inside, but she knew her way and was in front of Tía’s door in an instant. She entered and flipped on the light. Tía lay prostrate on the floor next to her bed. Naomi hurried to her side and rolled her over. She saw the look of humiliation in the old woman’s eyes. It was a telling moment for both of them. While Naomi struggled to get her tía back into bed, she realized, I could no more leave her than I could leave myself. She pulled the covers around her benefactor. “Yesterday I stayed with you because of our agreement. Today I stay because you asked.”
                “Call my lawyer … and have him come over,” Tía croaked. “Documents must be drawn up.”
                Naomi nodded and closed the door. She walked to the old woman’s study, felt the weight of responsibility heavy on her shoulders, and silently prayed, Adonai, help me. If you are listening, help me to do what I must.


Authors Observation - I believe that each of us, like Naomi, have called out for divine intervention. For I have spoken with many who struggled and eventfully decided it best to believe that there is no God because their prayer was unanswered.

Sometime what we thought was important changes as we mature. But for those forced to stay or become something other than they were intended to become that process may not occur. If it does at some future date occur the outcome might be very different than the one originally expected.

During these times one might ask, “What can I count on?” Isaiah 57:10 says, “You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.

I wish Naomi would have known the comfort found in Isaiah 40:31 for it says, “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” But Naomi had no Bible because all of them and every religious book belonging to or dealing with anything Jewish were burnt during the Inquisition. When she finally obtained a Bible she only reads what she knows, thus staying trapped by her lack of understanding of how much God loved and cared for her.

Today you have access to Gods Word which reflects his love and desire to care for and comfort you. Therefore even if you, like Naomi, chose to stay when all you wanted to do was go, you are never alone unless you chose to be.

Consider the choices and ramification, and then reflect.


Until we meet again may you know Gods Shalom for the peace that transcends our understanding is there for all who love the Lord and are called His! 

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