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Authors: Angela Benson

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Sins of the Father

BOOK: Sins of the Father
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Sins of the Father
Angela Benson

This book is dedicated to absentee fathers and the children, young and old, who need
them. Fathers, it’s never too late to make amends. Children, forgiveness is not always
easy but it’s always worth it.

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or
on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down or worship them;
for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of
the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love
to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

—Exodus 20:4–6, New International Version (NIV)




I know you hate it when I call you Sonny,…

Chapter One

You can’t buy me,” Deborah Thomas told the distinguished man…

Chapter Two

You’ve got to talk to Michael, Mama Leah,” Josette said…

Chapter Three

Isaac Martin waited for his mother in the back of…

Chapter Four

That’s it,” Michael Thomas told his staff of fifteen as…

Chapter Five

Leah felt his presence before she saw him ease into…

Chapter Six

A few days later Rebecca sat on the plush couch…

Chapter Seven

That was a great meal, Mama,” Michael said to his…

Chapter Eight

Saralyn sat huddled with her son and daughter-in-law in the…

Chapter Nine

Leah held tight to her daughter’s shaking hand and strode…

Chapter Ten

Saralyn picked up her coffee cup and glared at her…

Chapter Eleven

Did I doze off?” Abraham asked Deborah, who was perched…

Chapter Twelve

It’s better than I thought,” Josette overheard Michael say on…

Chapter Thirteen

Rebecca lay in the antique four-poster bed she shared with…

Chapter Fourteen

Go to bed, Deborah,” Leah said.

Chapter Fifteen

Rebecca stood outside her father-in-law’s office on the twelfth floor…

Chapter Sixteen

Isaac saw the dapper Alan Weems, MEEG’s lead counsel, as…

Chapter Seventeen

Deborah glanced at her watch again. Alan Weems was a…

Chapter Eighteen

Leah drove around in her eight-year-old Nissan for half an…

Chapter Nineteen

Deborah sat in her plush leather desk chair in her…

Chapter Twenty

Deborah knocked on her brother’s front door. After learning that…

Chapter Twenty-One

Banished from the hospital by her husband, Rebecca sat flipping…

Chapter Twenty-Two

Michael Thomas strode into the hospital after midnight. The hallways…

Chapter Twenty-Three

Josette looked at herself in the bathroom mirror. She looked…

Chapter Twenty-Four

Leah stood, unmoving, outside the MEEG Building and stared at…

Chapter Twenty-Five

What are you doing here?” Isaac asked when he turned…

Chapter Twenty-Six

Smiling, Michael rubbed his jaw. “So big brother has an…

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Josette stepped off the hospital elevator, unsure she was doing…

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Deborah tried to present a calm demeanor, when she actually…

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Michael followed Alan down the hallway from the boardroom to…

Chapter Thirty

You can’t let Michael get to you like that, Isaac,”…

Chapter Thirty-One

Deborah shook her head. She couldn’t believe how her brother…

Chapter Thirty-Two

Why do women always have to clean up after men?

Chapter Thirty-Three

Isaac rubbed the back of his neck as he stepped…

Chapter Thirty-Four

Deborah sat in the passenger seat of Alan’s Benz while…

Chapter Thirty-Five

I want that one,” Josette said pointing to the white…

Chapter Thirty-Six

The bossy Nurse Ratchet reentered Abraham’s hospital room.

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Michael met Alan during one of their scheduled late night…

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Abraham sat in his hospital bed reading a report that…

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Deborah stood at her desk and flipped through the slides…

Chapter Forty

Dressed in a pair of his favorite navy silk pajamas…

Chapter Forty-One

Isaac pushed back his desk chair and stared out the…

Chapter Forty-Two

Seated on one of the marble benches in front of…

Chapter Forty-Three

Rebecca stepped off the elevator wiping tears from her face.

Chapter Forty-Four

Whoa,” Michael said to Rebecca, who had practically run him…

Chapter Forty-Five

Abraham stopped abruptly when he opened the bathroom door and…

Chapter Forty-Six

Michael didn’t like being summoned to Alan’s office like he…

Chapter Forty-Seven

Leah and Melvin sat huddled in the back of the…

Chapter Forty-Eight

Josette couldn’t get Isaac’s words out of her mind. Had…

Chapter Forty-Nine

It’s good to have you home, Mr. Martin,” Mrs. Hall gushed…

Chapter Fifty

Saralyn arrived home later than planned. It had taken longer…

Chapter Fifty-One

Josette drove around the block where Isaac and Rebecca lived…

Chapter Fifty-Two

Leah sat at the desk in her cramped office at…

Chapter Fifty-Three

Since Michael’s secretary wasn’t at her desk, Deborah went directly…

Chapter Fifty-Four

Isaac rubbed the back of his neck as he entered…

Chapter Fifty-Five

Abraham had been holed up in his study since he…

Chapter Fifty-Six

Abraham spotted Rebecca as soon as he and Saralyn stepped…

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Deborah and Alan sat at the small conference table in…

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Leah paced in front of the couch where Melvin sat…

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Abraham sat in his son’s hospital room with Saralyn and…

Chapter Sixty

Josette sat at the foot of her bed and stared…

Chapter Sixty-One

Did you see this coming, Ma? Abraham thought as he…

Chapter Sixty-Two

Deborah walked hand in hand with Alan through the hospital…

Chapter Sixty-Three

Don’t ask Michael, Dad,” Isaac told his father. He sat…

Chapter Sixty-Four

Abraham stepped out of Isaac’s hospital room for a few…

Chapter Sixty-Five

Michael’s mood had certainly improved by the time they reached…

Chapter Sixty-Six

I’m gonna be a match, Michael thought as he walked…

Chapter Sixty-Seven

Deborah hadn’t known what to expect when Alan offered to…

Chapter Sixty-Eight

A couple of days later the hospital called Michael with…

Chapter Sixty-Nine

Michael was surprised when he received the signed contracts from…

Chapter Seventy

Michael’s day was off to a good start. It had…


That was a wonderful meal, Rebecca,” Alan said, patting his…



Chapter One

Chapter Two




I know you hate it when I call you Sonny, but if you’re reading this letter, I guess
it’s okay since I’ve gone on to glory. I picked up the pen to write on Tuesday, November
15, 2006, right after you left my apartment, the one you bought for me. I had to write
because I couldn’t tell you all the things I wanted to say. I don’t know when it happened,
but somewhere along the line I stopped being your mother and became your dependent,
one of the people in your life who received money from you but very little else.

You’ve done a lot for me, Sonny, and I appreciate it more than you will ever know,
but I don’t think I’ve been a good mother to you. It was much easier when you were
a boy and we had very little when it came to material things. My job then was to keep
you off the streets and out of trouble, to make sure that you went to school every
day and that you
got your homework done each night. I cheered you on when your football or basketball
team won and encouraged you when they lost. I went without so that you might have
the little extras that most kids took for granted—a new pair of off-brand sneakers
or a new CD. I celebrated your every accomplishment and always told you that the world
was yours if you worked hard and believed in yourself.

You made me so proud. When I sat in the coliseum at that fancy Ivy League school and
watched you walk across the stage, I knew I had done my job and done it well. A single,
uneducated mother with only her faith in God for support had raised a son who had
not become a statistic—dead or in jail before twenty. I thanked God because I had
done my job so well. I even took a bit of pride in what I had achieved. My pride increased
with each of your accomplishments. That’s my boy, I would tell folks, and watch their
eyes widen in surprise, as though they couldn’t believe it. You went beyond what I’d
prayed when you started keeping the promises you’d made to me.

One of these days, Ma, you’re going to have a big house in one of those fancy neighborhoods.

Ma, you’re gonna have one of those foreign cars. I’ll make sure you get a new one
every year.

Once I make it big, Ma, you’ll never have to worry about money or work again because
I’m gonna take care of you.

You’re gonna visit the places in those travel books, Ma, just you wait and see.

Every promise you made to me you more than fulfilled.

So why am I writing this letter? Because today I realized that I had failed you. Somewhere
along the line I forgot to warn you to take care of your heart. Sonny, I fear you’ve
lost it in your quest to make money, to fulfill the promises you
made to yourself and me. I worry that money and power have become your gods.

I tried to tell you some of this today, but you didn’t hear me. It’s been a long time
since you’ve heard me. I’ve become another check you write each month. Oh, how I wanted
more for us than that! But it’s too late for us. I realized that today.

But it’s not too late for you. While in many ways, you’ve been a wonderful son, you’ve
also been a disappointment. I blame myself for not providing you with a male role
model who could show you what it meant to be a man. I tried to show you, but I failed.
All you learned from me was that a man provided for his family. You didn’t learn that
a man also cherished his family. Maybe you mistook providing for cherishing. But they’re
not the same. Not by a long shot. You’ve got some housekeeping to do, Sonny.

You met your match in Saralyn. She’s put up with more from you than many wives would
have. Unfortunately, in order for you to straighten up the mess you’ve made of your
life, you’re going to have to cause her and Isaac more pain. You’ve got to deal with
Leah and those kids. Yes, I know about Michael and Deborah, have known for years,
but I never said anything. I kept waiting for you to say something and you never did.
I have two grandchildren that I never got to know because I was too intimidated by
you to challenge you on your decisions. A good mother would have challenged you and
made you do the right thing. A good mother would have welcomed her grandchildren even
if her wayward son didn’t. God help me, but I haven’t been a good mother in a long

I love you, Sonny. No mother could love a son more. But I want more for you and expect
more from you than you’ve shown. I want you to know love, that sacrificing kind of
that a poor single mother shows her only son. With all your money and all you’ve achieved,
I don’t think you know that kind of love. How can you? Everything and everybody in
your life have been second to your work and your goals.

I hope to be a better mother now than I was when we were together. Know that I’m watching
from heaven and looking for you to become a better man than you are. You know where
to start. Take that first step. God will lead you the rest of the way.

Your always loving mother.

BOOK: Sins of the Father
13.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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