So here we are at the start of the Holiday season once again. This will be my 54th time. Fifty-two of them without a mother. Can’t say I even have any memories of her…her voice, smell, touch, the sound of her laughter. No, my earliest memories are those of an aunt and uncle raising me and my older brother while Grandpa and Grandma (maternal) raised my two sisters.
Aunt and uncle got tired of my brother soon enough (in fact, I barely remember this episode of him dwelling with us) and shipped him off to Tucson to another aunt and uncle. That lasted two years for him then they didn’t want him anymore and sent him to…you guessed it: Grandma and Grandpa.
Meanwhile, I was still living with my mother’s sister and husband..and I can remember a lot of bad stuff there, a lot of sadness that a little boy should never have to deal with…at least till the day their son who had barely gotten his driver’s license took me and some of my clothes over to…yup…Grandma and Grandpa’s. No explanation, just being abandoned again. First his mom left him (he sure didn’t understand death) and now he was no longer wanted by her sister. I can remember it was a warm September day and I just stood at the door of my grandparent’s house watching the car drive away down the long gravel drive throwing dust into the air, tears flowing down my cheeks.
That was around 1966. My father was in Viet Nam and his four children were in the St. Louis area.
This 34 or 35-year-old man didn’t stand a chance of winning his children’s love anymore. He was never around. He was in a war. And, for good or bad, Grandma and Grandpa didn’t want to lose their only link to their deceased daughter so they started legal maneuvers to steal us away from him. And they told us he (our dad) had abandoned us.
Abandoned. What an ugly word.
1966 was the last time I ever saw my dad.
Funny how you always relate to a person as to the last time you saw them. I still, at my age, refer to my ‘daddy and mommy’. I know, it sounds a tad bit strange for a man of fifty-four to speak of his parents like that, but they are forever etched in my mind that way.
So, we were adopted by our grandparents and life was fine until somewhere around 1983 when up that long driveway came a car from Ohio with a woman and two teenage girls who said they were my sisters.
Life is full of surprises, is it not?
Wow! I can’t believe that has been thirty years ago.
And…..I have learned a lot about my daddy…um, sorry….my dad.
Seems he was a wonderful man who loved his two girls and his new wife. But, according to stories told me years ago, he would sometimes drive cross-country and always would take a slight detour around the St. Louis area…stop on the highway at the same place and look at a little country house that was aways off the highway. His wife never knew about us four kids till he was dying. Then he told his story about his first wife and their family that he had to leave behind.
There is so much more to this story but, for now I want to say this as we come to the Thanksgiving Day Celebration;
There are those who curse God and run away from Him when He does something that hurts them or that they don’t understand. AND…
There are some who draw closer to their God when these things happen.
For some reason, I am one of those who ran to Him.
He has been the Only Constant in all my life.
He drew me to Himself a long time ago and promised that He would never leave me or forsake me.
A little boy has no idea what a word like FORSAKE means…..
But he sure knows how it feels.
Make sure this Thanksgiving that you give thanks to the One who has done it all…..for you.
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good….even when it seems all bad. It all works out for those who love Him.
Thankful for a dead mother?
Thankful for the living God!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, AMERICA!!!
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