Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast: Holiday Edition episode #1. Today we are reading chapter 1 of the novel “The Thanksgiving Letters” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
Gretchen McMillan pulled into the parking lot of the Executive Suites office complex. She gracefully stepped out of her silver Maxima. Pushing the car door shut, she looked up at the tallest of the buildings – The Patriarch – standing twelve stories tall. Well, that’s a biblical name, she thought with a smile as she pushed the double glass doors open. She stopped by the receptionist’s desk.
“Yes, ma’am, may I help you?” a receptionist asked. Her name tag read Cressida.
“I’m here to see Alexander Fleming, Attorney Alexander Fleming,” Gretchen said.
“He’s on the twelfth floor. Should I notify him that you are on your way up?” Cressida asked.
“No need to do that. He’s expecting me,” Gretchen said pushing her glasses up on her nose.
“Okay, well, the elevators are down to your left next to the vending machines. Have a wonderful day.”
“Thank you and you have a God-blessed day as well.”
Gretchen entered the elevator and after pressing the button for floor twelve, she turned her thoughts to the business at hand.
Alexander Fleming. She had never heard of him before. She had taken the opportunity to look him up online and she was quite impressed with what she saw and read from the testimonials. His personal secretary summoned him as soon as she reached his office.
“Ms. McMillan, it is good to meet you,” Alexander Fleming said, reaching out to shake her hand. “How can I help you?”
Gretchen McMillan pulled an envelope out of her purse. She passed it to Mr. Fleming. “This should explain why I am here,” she said, handing him the envelope. Gretchen made herself comfortable on one of the soft leather chairs in front of his mahogany desk. As he read the contents of the letter, Gretchen observed him carefully.
Alexander Fleming seemed to be in his early forties. He was well-dressed in a tailor-made, grey suit. His silk red tie added a rich touch. Silver cuff links and a silver watch complimented his outfit. Gretchen took special note of his wedding band — silver plated with three small stones. Mmmm, he must be doing well financially, she observed.
She took note of how he pursed his lips together, quivering his eyebrows as he read the letter. He blinked twice in rapid succession. He never once took his eyes off the letter except for one brief glance at her.
This is what Alexander Fleming read.
I hope this letter finds you in good health. By the time you receive this letter, I will have long gone to meet my Maker. Thank God, I have no fear of death having asked Him to bring salvation to me some years ago. I am at peace with Him.
Anyway, I have been battling cancer for three years now. No one knew about it except my sister-in-law, Gretchen, who I asked to deliver this letter to you. She now knows about our son, Alan, of whom you are the father. She has wholeheartedly agreed to step in as a surrogate mother upon my death. Of course, she will notify you of my death as well. Apart from her, only one other person will know that you are Alan’s father, and that is my son, Charles. He will have no knowledge of this until after my funeral. I have instructed Gretchen to tell him about this. As you already know, he is away at college, the same college as your son, Art. You have already met Charles and have been keeping up with his games even as I have. What fun times!
I request of you one thing and that is to please take care of our son. I want you to play a major role in his life and be a positive role model for him. I have, on purpose, limited your contact with him during his younger years. I did not want to cause a problem between you and your wife and family. Now, he is four years old and I am sure his curious mind is wondering who his father is. He asked Gretchen once what does his daddy look like. She told him he’ll know soon enough. Of course, she did not know at the time of his asking that you were his father.
Alexander Fleming glanced up from reading the letter. His eyes met Gretchen’s. He nodded his head and she flashed a quick smile.
Alan looks just like him, Gretchen thought. There is no denying it and I am going to hold him to his role as father.
The letter continued:
Gretchen knows the details of our relationship. She also knows the contents of this letter and is more than willing to work with you for the sake of Alan.
Alexander Fleming gently laid the letter down on his desk. He reclined in his chair allowing his fingers to meet at their tips.
He slowly rocked back and forth looking off to the left as if in deep thought. He spoke after a few minutes of silence.
“I guess there is no need for a formal introduction,” he said. “How is Alan taking his mother’s death?”
“For a four-year-old, he is taking it well,” Gretchen said. “We’ve explained her death to him as best we could and, of course, we have told him she is in Heaven.”
“I take it that he has been going to church,” Alexander said. “That was my request — that he goes to church every Sunday.”
“Yes, he’s been in church. I took him when his mother was too sick to attend and he loves it,” Gretchen replied.
“I never knew she had cancer, Ms. McMillan. She never told me, she — ”
“That was her make-up. She never complained no matter how much she was hurting. She often said there are enough whiners and complainers in this world.”
“When did she pass away and when is the funeral?” Alexander asked.
“She passed away three days ago and the funeral is this Friday at ten in the morning. It will be held at her home church, New Hope Cathedral,” Gretchen said. “We only desire one thing, Mr. Fleming, and that is that you become a part of your son’s life and not shun him now that she is gone. Your money and other gifts are fine, but he needs more than that now that he is older.”
“It has never been my intent to stay out of his life. Here is my contact information,” Alexander said, handing her his business card. “You can bring Alan by anytime. Call me anytime.”
“Will you take him home with you sometime, you know, to meet his other sisters and brothers?” Gretchen asked.
“Ms. McMillan, I’ll be upfront with you, my home situation is not the best and I would rather keep things as they are until they get better.”
“So, in other words, to put it more simply, your wife and children do not know about Alan,” Gretchen said, furrowing her brow and tilting her head.
Alexander sighed deeply. “That’s correct. I have not told them about Alan…yet. I am not hiding him, neither am I ashamed of him. I just have not seen the need to mention him to them yet.” Sighing deeply again, Alexander continued, “I am ashamed of how he was conceived; but what’s done is done.”
Gretchen stared at him quizzically before speaking. “Yes, Mr. Fleming, what’s done is done. But the ball is in your court now. For Alan’s sake and to honor Fiona’s wishes, I hope you’ll do what is right. You’re a lawyer and I hope you do stand for what is right,” she said rising slowly to her feet. She reached out her hand to shake his. Standing to his feet, Alexander returned the handshake.
“You can call me Alexander, seeing we now have some family ties.”
Gretchen smiled and nodded. “And you may call me Gretchen; you’ll be hearing from me again.” She walked to the door and closed it softly behind her.
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:
1. 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.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. 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.”
4. 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.”
5. 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.”
6. 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.