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By Barshea Lowery All Rights Reserved ©



Following the untimely death of his wife twenty years ago, Bernard "Big Daddy" Mitchell is exposed to secrets that his now adult children have sparked onto him. Everyday is something new with the rambunctious Mitchell family. And with his wife gone, Big Daddy single-handedly struggles to keep his five children on the right path, overbearingly supporting them in their time of need. But not only does the Mitchell offspring have problems and secrets; they timely discover Big Daddy obtain some of his own. The Mitchells are one unapologetically flawed family.

Prologue: "Things End To Begin"

October 1995

“Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart feel lonely? And long for heaven and home?...When Jesus is my portion. A constant friend is he. His eye is on the sparrow. And I know he watches over me...His eye is on the sparrow. And I know he watches me...”

I’m in great disbelief that she’s gone. The woman I spent married to for thirteen years - my high school sweetheart - is indeed gone.

God didn’t plan me for this.

How does he plan you for something like this?

I’m only thirty-one. How in the hell does he plan you for something like this?

This can’t be happening. I’m standing here watching my wife being slowly dropped into a six foot hole. This cannot be happening. There was no last goodbye. There was no last “I love you.” No matter how loud I screamed at the coffin, she couldn’t hear me. “Baby, I took the garbage out,” “Baby, which tie goes better with this suit? The red one? Or the blue one?”

She couldn’t hear me. She’s dead. Gone. And now, I’m supposed to raise our five children.

As I look down through my black shades, I see them wrapped around my weak body. There’s Camille, Malcolm, Shonnie, Blair, and Jada - Oh, Jada. Just four days old. You are completely oblivious to what is going on. You are completely oblivious to how great of a mother your mom was. I cradled Jada into my arms, holding her close while silent tears ran down my face.

I have to be strong now - at least for my kids. I have to be a mother to my four girls and more of a man to my only son. I’m all they got left to look up to.

Oh my God! Camille is almost a thirteen. Soon, we’ll have to go shopping for bras. Oh my God! I don’t know a damn thing about periods. Does she wear a pad or a tampon? I have no clue.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” the pastor mentions. “God is with you, Mitchell Family. Bernard, receive the Lord’s blessing. May the Lord bless you and watch over you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord look kindly on you and your family, and give you peace. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

“Amen,” I repeat, embracing Camille, Malcolm, Shonnie, and Blair in my arm. I turn to look at Jada in my other arm and smile.

These five are the rest of my life. I don’t have a choice, but to be ok with that. I’m prepared for what God has in store for us. I see many trails and tribulations in our future, and many good times, as well.

We’re a family.

And there is nothing like family.

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1. Prologue: "Things End To Begin"
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