In the beginning
Rags to Riches
New Life/New Adventure
Dreams DO Come True
More on Dreams
More on Dreams
In The News
Story of Elijah
My adopted mother,
Ruth, was a beautiful, rich widow who had lost her true love. She
married Bob Russell before she finished high school at the ripe
old age of sixteen. There was never a doubt in my mind that she
married her soulmate. It was a wonderful love story - of friendship,
of trustworthiness, of pride, of intimacy, with so many of the of
positive attributes of what I believe a relationship should be.
They had it all - God, why did it have to end?
Now, over 40, she
became a widow who suddenly had to grow up and make her own decisions.
She was vulnerable.
For awhile my brother
and I lived in Kirbyville,
Texas with my grandmother, Mama's Mama. Mama's Mama was a tough
disciplinarian. She believed in the use of small, thin tree branches
if you did something that she disapproved of. At times she was frightening,
but at other times she was just a sweet grandmother. I remember
Mama's Mama making her "famous" fig preserves just for me. I also
remember her introducing me as Ruth's adopted daughter. I do not
know why she felt the need to explain my existence that way. I don't
believe she was trying to hurt me, I think it was because I had
a strong foreign accent at that time.
Ruth eventually remarried. This was NOT a match made
in Heaven. Her new husband had been married before and had a daughter
from a previous marriage. He was a jewelry salesman who traveled
all over the United States.
During the first few years of their marriage, we lived in Houston,
Texas. It soon became evident that they were from two different
worlds. Ruth had lived a glamorous life full of excitement and
prestige. Her husband, on the other hand, came from a lower middle,
cold, and strict English background. He had had polio at one time
and walked with a limp which resulted in his obsession with vintage
cars - the more he owned, the happier he was.
"I pledge allegiance..."
|| At ten-years
old, while attending Bunkerhill Elementary School in Houston,
I became an
American citizen, pledging allegiance to my new country.
The entire school had heard about this event and announced
it over the PA system. I felt so special! My classmates made
me feel as if I belonged. There was great joy and celebration
on that day.
husband was verbally abusive to her. Mother put up with it since
she was of the old belief system that if she was a good wife, prayed
a lot, attended church, everything would turn out all right. But
everything didn't turn out all right. The family moved to a small
isolated town in rural Texas. My parents built a home twice the
size of the one in Houston and my best friend was Baby, my horse.
Those were lonely years.
I would sometimes go outside at night and sing my heart out. Or
gaze at the stars for answers. Sometimes I would pretend that
a UFO would whisk me away from all the sadness and tension.
My soul cried out
for love and peace.
My high school years
should have been my happiest, but they were not. The tension kept
getting worse and worse with the years.
NEXT: College Days