This was the best and last brilliant idea. She had to make this work. If it didn't, they were doomed. Living on the streets would not be an option, especially for a family. As a mother and wife, you could not fail her children, her husband, and the expectations of those who knew her. She had to prove to her family that choosing a life of love over status and wealth was the right decision.
She announced her master plan to the family that day. "We are going to remodel the living area. Myron, Reggie, from now on, you guys will be sharing a room with us. And with the spare room we are going to build a shrine!"
Instantly, her announcement was met by looks of shock, then disbelief, then anger.
"What?!" "Are you outta your mind?!" the boys fumed.
The little cottage that was barely a house was already cramped. The bedroom that could barely fit a bed must now house the entire family?! They were expected to all sleep in the same room? And mom wants a shrine? A SHRINE? Mom was crazy, but who knew she was this level of crazy. No doubt this train of thought bulldozed through the minds of the family, except Mom's of course, who was standing before them giddier and perkier than ever before.
"Hear me out!" she argued back, raising both hands to command silence from her frustrated children and confused husband. "This is the last straw. If we don't do this, we won't be able to pay rent for much longer. We still get to keep our home but now just without a living room. It's really not much we have to give up if you think about it."
"Can I just sleep in the living room at night?" Teddy grumbled.
"Me too!" George immediately chimed in.
"Honey, but how is a shrine supposed to help us?"
She smirked. Oh how they will be in awe of her wild imagination; her geniosity. Master plans come from masterminds, and there was no doubt she was one, especially after all the times she's saved her family from being thrown out onto the city streets or when the water stopped running in their home.
So the next day, they began. Building the shrine that is. The boys were in charge of construction, while she made sure everyone in town and all surrounding towns knew of the up and coming place of worship. Unlike the temple, this shrine was close enough for the locals to worship without having to make the trek. And emergency prayers for successful test scores and job interviews were now within walking distance.
And so after construction, slowly the inflow of worshippers gradually increased, until the regulars were familiarized, many of whom were housewives and mothers praying for her child to ace the upcoming test and the wellbeing of their families. Sometimes, reluctant believers in stark situations found their way to the shrine, hoping, just hoping, that maybe their prayers would be heard.
You may be wondering how the family could gain a steady income from a charitable shine. Well, everyone knows you can't leave a shrine without offerings. So, by the door, Mom made sure the donation box was always in clear sight to those who entered and exited the presence of the Giving Stupa.