Monday, February 23, 2015

Children Lost---Needs Love

The winds whipped and pushed as two small children made their way along inundating sidewalk holding hands as they faced the stinging wet rain and strong winds from the approaching Hurricane Annabelle. Walking as fast as their five-year old little legs could carry them; making it a very slow progress, against the wind as it became stronger; the closer it came to shore.

Little Tomas and Charlene had run away from their foster home in Key West, Florida. They carried all their belongings in a Walmart plastic bag. It was difficult for little Charlene to hold her bag, and her Teddy Bear—Clyde at the same time, he was already soaking wet and heavy from the rain.

But she would not let him go, as her little fingers curled around his collar that held his name tag. Tomas reached over and took her bag, and hung both on his little short arm, and carried them, for his little love—Cha-Char.

Key West was being evacuated, so when the foster children and the MacDavis’ were rushed into a school bus with the other people; Tomas grabbed Charlene’s hand and pulled her into a closet. They stood silently in the closet, until the house was quiet again, and then, Tomas opened the door slowly, just as the bus drove away. This is how they got away from the MacDavis’.

It had been a bad year for them both, as they had lost their parents at the same time, from a freak storm at sea. Mr. and Mrs. Hemmingway, (Tomas’ parents) and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell (Charlene’s parents) were passengers on a cruise line out of Miami. 

However, their parents were not acquainted; and after the accident, Tomas and Charlene became wards of the court with no living relatives who wanted them. So Tomas and Charlene were then placed in a foster home, with an elderly couple, named MacDavis, who already had five foster children who were school age.

Living there was a nightmare for all the children, and the only attention they received was being screamed at, and given chores to complete before they could eat anything. The seven children slept in the same room, until it was time for the state inspector to visit, and then, with threatening instructions from Mrs. MacDavis; the children showed the beautiful bedrooms. 

The bedrooms doors unlocked for the occasion and the children stood at attention outside the rooms. Giving the appearance that each one had a bedroom of their own. However, when the inspector left--- the unlocked doors became locked again--- and the children had to finish all their chores.

The children thought the inspector lady’s name was Mrs. Damn, because when the MacDavis’ were called by one of their informers telling them they would have a surprise visit, they would always say, "Damn.”

Tomas spoke softly in Charlene’s ear, “Char-Char, we should walk the back alleys until we find a place to hide, maybe in the woods. Then, we will eat some of the things I got out of the kitchen—you will never believe the food I saw that we never get to eat.”

“Tomas, thank you for taking care of us. But what will we do after the storm? Will someone nice want us?

Tomas grabbed her hand and said, “Let’s run Char-Char, the rain is getting harder and the wind is blowing big limbs down on the sidewalk.” They ran as a falling limb broke the electrical wire down the street, and was spitting fire and whipping like a snake, in all directions.

Rosie Maxwell lived in a large Victorian House, a mile off the main road back in the woods, where she was difficult to find; if not impossible. No mail delivery for her because she rented a large box at the post office, and she picked up her mail once a week. 

She had a lot of important friends in Key West, whom she had done favors for over many years; as she had lived here all her life. 
Her friends thought she lived in a houseboat somewhere in the Keyes. She allowed them to think this because she loved being alone, most of the time.

Rosie was a little rough around the edges and a tough cookie to get near on a personal level—she had close friends, but they knew not to step over the line and invade her space. If she ever leveled her baby blue eyes at someone in a stare---watch out—fireworks would be going off; very soon. 

She was a little strange, one reason being she was a very talented artist. Her painting sold up to 750,000 in Key West. Buyers came from New York, Canada, Bahamas, and as far as Paris to buy her paintings, and she had ten shows a year.

Rosie was a beautiful woman when she cleaned herself up and put on a dress, and makeup; then she would get second looks from both sexes. But on an average day, she mainly looked like a bag lady—in her baggy overalls which covered her tall shapely frame, and had paint from top to bottom. 

She wore her long black hair in a ponytail that reached her backside. And, this is how she went to the grocery store, or anywhere else she wanted, she did not give a flip what anyone thought---as long as she was happy and her actions did not harm another person, then everything was copacetic.
Also, she was a wealthy woman, facing her 45th birthday next year, with no regrets; because she was living the life she wanted, in her beautiful home, with her rainbow parrot—Maggie--- on her wooded land, a fourth of a mile from the Ocean, straight out her back door. This is where she kept her houseboat, which she used to go from place to place to paint the beauty of Key West.

A local news station blared out with the news the evacuation completed by the law enforcement in Key West. And, the winds were blowing harder now with higher waves, which was perfect for all the surfers. The surfers were all gone, in cars, trucks, and buses. One lone wolf of a reporter was left shouting out the weather report.

“Now, that is a stupid man,” she said to Maggie, as she pointed her finger at the television. Maggie flew from her stand to land on Rosie’ shoulder, and offer her a sunflower seed, which Rosie took between her teeth and held it there for Maggie to take back. She took the seed from Rosie and flew back to her stand--- Rosie laugh and called Maggie an Indian giver. 

This was a game they had play since the day Rosie had brought the tiny rainbow colored parrot into her home and life. The way Rosie figured it she and Maggie would both grow old together—and hopefully died together, as Maggie was her only family.

Maggie finished her sunflower seed, and decided to give her opinion with, “Stupid man, stupid man” she shrieked. Rosie laughed—Maggie always made her laugh—and she was still laughing when she walked over to the window to pull the curtain shut. She saw a small bundle running across her yard with four very short legs toward the barn on the side of the house. “My word what was that? Has ET landed again?” she said to Maggie.

Rosie put her raincoat on and placed Maggie’s stand in a safe place. A precaution if a limb came through one of the ten foot windows that were in the Victorian living room.

After stepping outside, the force of the wind almost tore her raincoat off---and did take her umbrella out of her hand, and she watched as it floated up through the Oaks out of sight. She pushed on against the rain and wind—ducking a metal bucket as it flew by her head.

Finally, outside the barn door, she turned the handle and pulled with all her might to open it. She stepped inside quietly and walked softly to the back stall where she heard a faint noise.

Rosie stepped into the stall next to the last one, and put her head over the stall wall to look at what might be on the other side. Not much ever shocked Rosie, but what she was looking at—had to be one of the biggest shocks of her life.

Rosie saw two little children--- just babies--- wet to the bone and asleep with their little arms wrapped around each other. She walked around to their stall and quietly sits down by them. She saw a little girl who looked like an Angel with her long dark curly hair, wet and mangled liked it had not been brushed for a very long time, and her little dress was dirty, torn and faded. 

Rosie’s blue eyes soften as she looked at the precious little boy who had his arms around the little girl to protect her, she felt tears slide down her face as she continued to look. The little boy had on what looked like hand me downs which were too big for him, and a big safety-pin holding his little pants together, because the zipper was broken; with a string belt wrapped around his tiny waist.

She knew she would have to wake them up now, because the wind was getting stronger. She reached over and touched the little boy and he put his hand up as if he expected someone to hit him. This action tore her heart out---what had they been through, and with whom? She would find out if it was the last thing she did in her life time.

“Wake up, Darlings and don’t be afraid, everything is fine, just get up and we will go to my house to get you dry, warm and something to eat.” She said so softly that she did not recognize her own voice.

Both children looked at Rosie like she was one of God’s Angels, and they were not sure if Rosie was real. 

Charlene reached out her hand to touch Rosie and said, “Are you an Angel, and did my Mama and Papa send you for us?” she asked with her bluest-green eyes so big glued on Rosie, as if waiting for her wings to unfold.

“No, I am not an Angel Darling, my name is Rosie, and we will talk when I get you both to safety.” 

Rosie gathers the two children in her strong arms, and because they were so light, it was almost like carrying air; Father in Heaven, please let me find the people who did this she prayed---and she carried them home.

Tomas and Charlene thought they were in Heaven, to have someone be so nice to them; they always received the opposite from Mrs.MacDavis. As soon as Rosie placed the children inside she took them each by their hand and led them to the bathroom.

“Now, children who will be first to clean-up? Because you need to take a hot shower, and then eat some good food, and I think I might have some clothes that will fit you, both.

Just then Maggie flew into the bathroom and perched on Rosie’s shoulder, and stared at the tiny humans that were taking up Rosie’s attention.

Charlene squealed with delight, and stuck her arm out for Maggie to land on it. Maggie took the invitation and gently landed on Charlene’s arm, and it didn’t stop there as Charlene puckered her lips to kiss Maggie. 

Well, Rosie could not believe it, but Maggie rubbed her head over Charlene’s little lips, and Maggie made a purring sound—that Rosie had never heard before. By word thought Rosie, what will happen next?

After the children were bathe and fed, and put into their P.J.’s that Rosie had previously bought for the children who were victims of a tornado in Alabama. I can always replace the clothes, and buy some for these children, Rosie thought. 

She had made a bed for each of them in a room of their own, and had read them a story, and listened as they said their prayers. Tears glistened in her eyes as she listened to each thank God for the Angel Rosie he had sent them, and blessed Maggie, and their Mama and Daddy.

Everyone was settled in their beds---so Rosie decided she would turn in for the night as the winds howled and pushed through the trees and against the house. Rosie was trying to relax but Maggie had another idea, as she started her chattering,” Char-Char---Tomas-Tomas, and she would not stop. Rosie looked up and the children were standing at the foot of her bed, what in the world she thought.

 “Miss Rosie, Char-Char is scared and wants to stay in here—we will sleep on the floor.”  Tomas said.

“No you won’t sleep on the floor—my bed is King size—jump in children—and we will go to sleep together.” Said Rosie softly

With big smiles on their faces, Charlene and Tomas jumped in bed, and before Rosie could say good night again; they were asleep.

By the next morning Hurricane Annabelle had done it worse, and Rosie was on the phone to Judge McIntyre of Miami.

She had told him the story the children had told her, and that she wanted to adopt them—Rosie could not believe those words came out of her mouth. But this did not shock the Judge; he knew this was what she had needed for a very long time.

Judge Mac, as everyone called him, sent the State Attorney to the house where the MacDavis’ lived and took all the child from their custody, and placed them under arrest for abuse of the lowest nature, fraud, endangerment of minors, and the list went on. He told Rosie those two will never see the outside again. I will make sure they stay locked up for life.

Then Judge Mac sent for the state inspector, a Mrs. Wilcox, and fired her on the spot, and told her she evidently did not like her job. Because from her actions of ignoring what the children were going through and the clothes they wore, and how under fed they were -- was not important to her, because of her shoddy way of handling it. 

She was given a warning and Judge Mac told her that he had better not hear of her in Florida. Mrs. Wilcox had two days to pack and leave the state.

After he finished with her---he called a Private Investigator---the best in Florida, a Fred Maxwell, and told him the story, and that he wanted that informer the worse in the world. And bring that piece of human garbage to me as soon as possible.

The very next day, Fred Maxwell had standing before Judge McIntyre—the Private Secretary to Judge Langston, the Judge who sent the children to the MacDavis’. The secretary’s name was Maria Locus Ford, and she came in with a bad attitude. 

Judge Mac could see, as she stuck up her nose and said, “Just who do you think you  are bringing me here? Do you know who I work for? You will be sorry about all this." she shouted.

Judge Mac pushed his glasses down on his nose, leveled his dark blue eyes at Maria Ford, and then he lowered his punishment in a loud voice that shocked the rafters, and traumatized the secretary.

“Maria Ford you are under arrest, for aiding the abuse of children, knowingly assisting in assigning them to a home of abuse, starvation, inhumane treatment, and used as slaves, and put in a poor living environment. Now you tell me and tell me now, how much did they pay you for informing them of every visit in advance?”

Maria Ford did not have an attitude now, as she was shaking from head to toe—she looked down as she replied, “$500.00 each time I called.”

Judge Mac was so mad his face turned red as Maggie’s red feathers. He nodded to the FBI, and they took Maria Locus Ford away.

"Now, one more thing, Mr. Maxwell, I want Judge Langston in my office in two hours, and then, my work with compost is complete."

It was a beautiful day the sun was shining and a cool breeze was blowing from the Atlantic behind Rosie’s house, and three happy people were outside waiting to walk with Judge Mac into the house.

A black Limo drove into the circular drive and stopped in front of a happy group. Judge Mac knew he would make them even happier when he told them what the surprise was he carried in his briefcase.

Judge Mac, a very handsome man when he smiled. One could see his perfect teeth, and dimples in each cheek, and he stood tall and straight; for his age of 50. 

He still looks great thought Rosie as she took in his smile that ran all the way to his eyes. Wow, she thought—not many ever saw the smile he had today. He stood by the Limo, and watched as the children smiled back at him.

Finally, they were inside and seated around the long table in the library, when Maggie flew in and landed on Charlene arm. The Judge witnessed the love between the bird and Charlene, as Maggie gave her a seed to take between her lips, and then she gave it back to Maggie.

“I have a surprise for everyone, so I will begin with the business at hand first. I have here papers that make you Charlene and you Tomas the adopted children of Rosie. How do you feel about that?”

Well, the children showed him by first hugging and kissing Rosie, and then, it was the Judges turn, and his face turned red at first then, he picked them both up and hugged and kissed them back. Maggie joined in by shouting adopted, adopted, and everyone laughed.

The children giggled as they left with Maggie to go to the play attic---they whispered as they peaked around the corner to see the Judge and their Angel Rosie holding hands. They might have to sleep in their own rooms soon; they giggled and ran up the stairs, thanking God as their little feet touched the stairs so lightly.

© BEPH 2015 All Rights Reserved

PurvisBobbi44 is the sole author of this article and if it is seen anywhere
else on the Internet or in print it was taken without my consent.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Old Church of God in Williston Florida---Lives in My Heart

Sometimes when one reaches a certain age it is easier to remember a time when you are very young; than remembering what you ate for dinner the night before. And, for me this is one of those times, which I will share with you a special time at the beginning of my life.

When I was a baby my Grandmother and Grandfather Knight took me to church with them every Sunday. When I was probably three years old I began to realize that Church was where God lived and we came to visit with him. I could not wait to walk through the double doors of the “Old Church of God in Williston Florida.”
I always held my Grandmother Knight’s hand as I skipped up the church steps every Sunday. We walked through the open doors into God’s house. I could not reason it out in my baby mind that God was all around us and that he did not live only in the church.
In this little church is where I learned about Christians. And, I learned about the good Christians in the church; where help was always given with joy in their hearts when there was a need. And, in Sunday school I learned about the Bible, and how to pray.

I remember the beautiful music Norma Yancey played on the piano as her fingers flew across the keys; while she sang with John Yancey and Nolan Smith. I can still hear them singing “When the Roll is Called up Yonder,  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, Rock of Ages, The Old Rugged Cross, He ,” and so many more.

The little church had a choir behind the pulpit where beautiful singing echoed through the church and made my baby heart jump with happiness because I knew God was there listening with us. My Grandmother said he was all around us so I could talk to him anywhere and to remember to thank him for all my blessings. I really didn’t know what blessings were then, so I told God I loved him and was thankful for him.

I loved everything about church until the man up front who everyone called the “Preacher” talked really loud. Grandmother said he was trying to get our attention and to make a point about God’s words from the Bible. I always wondered what God thought about the loudness that scared little children like me. I knew his son Jesus loved children---I learned about Jesus in Sunday school.

I remember the beautiful faces of the church women and how they always glowed with happiness; and some of these women were: My Grandmother Alice Knight, Mrs. Goodman, Mrs. Nail, Mrs. Cribbs, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Hoppings, Mrs. Chesser, Mrs. Sullivan., Mrs. Norma Yancey, Mrs. Nolan Smith, Mrs. Othie Chesser, Mrs. Hazel Lee, Mrs. Frazier Sullivan, Mrs. Slater Sapp and there were more---but I cannot remember their names.

I remembered most of the women had long hair like my Grandmother who wore her hair braided and in a bun with long hairpins to keep it in place. Their dresses had long sleeves and the skirts were long---half way to their ankles over thick stockings. And, my Grandmother Knight did not wear jewelry or make-up. Since my Angel Grandmother did this---it had to be right with God.

These were the women who impressed me with their gentle spirit and I learned by watching them is how Grandmother Knight said ladies should always act. I don’t know if I became the lady she wanted me to be---because---I never accepted the saying: Children should be seen, but not heard. I received many disdainful looks from my Grandfather Knight when I talked at the wrong time. However, I tried to always please my Grandmother Knight---just to see her smile was worth all the effort it took---she was my sunshine.

The men I remembered were: Grandpa Tom Sullivan (not a blood relative---but close enough), Mr. Goodman, and Mr. Smith, Mr. Hoppings, Mr. Nail, Mr. Edgar Chesser, Mr. John Yancey, Mr. Slater Sapp, Mr. Frazier Sullivan and Mr. Nolan Smith.

The Old Church of God is no longer standing and most of the older people who worshipped there are in Heaven now; with my grandparents. In my heart and mind it is still there---waiting for me to enter; because this is where I first felt the powerful presence of God so many years ago. I can still envision the women fanning their babies on warm Sunday mornings; with the paper fans fastened on a flat wooden stick because there was no air-conditioning in the church, and I doubt there was heat---I do not remember.

The men put the church windows up in the summertime and everyone used paper fans. My Aunt Dora and I found a fan in the back of Grandmother Knight’s closet; a fan with Jesus on the front talking to children---I cried---grandmother had saved it because she loved it.

The essence of that little old Church of God has carried me through many sorrowful times, especially when I lost a love one. I would let my mind recall the glorious days I spent sitting with my grandparents on the wooden benches, as I watched everything happening around me. During these times I listened intently as a song softly echoes through my mind and is now branded on my heart forever, “When the Roll is Called up Yonder” because my Grandmother loved this song.

When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder

My mother remarried and she joined the Baptist Church, so I went there most of the time. Although I went with my Grandparents as often as I could to God’s Church, it was like going home to my Grandparent’s farm---it felt right.

When I go to Williston I always drive slowly by where the little church once stood and I can visualize a little blond girl holding tightly to her grandmother’s hand; as she smiles up into her Angelic grandmother’s face; while she skipped up the steps to visit God. I wish I had taken a picture for my memory book, but I never thought it would one be replaced with a bigger church; but it will live in my heart forever.

I thank God for the blessing of knowing where the roots of the good Church of God Christians began, and I pray it’s carried on by their descendants.

© BEPH 2014 All Rights Reserved

PurvisBobbi44 is the sole author of this Blog and if it is seen anywhere
else on the Internet or in print it was taken without my consent.

If God Is Not There                                               

A church is only a building if God is not there,

Then all who dwell within---are without a prayer.

God can be worshiped by his Christian followers, under the sky,

Without a building to cover them---they do not ask why?

Jesus preached on the mountain-side without even a tent,

His followers listened until they were spent.

The Multitude was fed,

Jesus prayed over the five small loaves of Barley bread.

Including the two small fish given by Ben Ezra, the little boy,

Hunger sated the 5,000 and they felt joy.

God was there on the mountain side,

He watched his son Jesus with great pride.

A church is only a hull if God does not live within,

It is not for Saints, but for we Sinners who sin.

From a small town country church many were saved,

Christians---Heaven bound their golden road was paved.

It is said many talk the talk and boast about---their Salvation,

And others walk the walk with Jesus on this earth---God’s creation.

One can feel God anywhere if your heart and soul is right,

Is your church just a business---where money is the plight?

Do you hear the “Word of God” in church on Sunday morning?

Or goals of raising money----this could be a forewarning.

Take it to the Lord in Prayer,

And, he will be there.

Your heart will hear his answer and then you decide,

Is your church worthy for you to abide.

Take that walk with the Christians of the “Old Church of God” of long ago,

And feel the spirit from within start to glow.

© BEPH 2014 All Rights Reserved