Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dark Day at the Ranch (1965)

We had been in Mississippi for a full year, and settling in pretty good from my 13 year old perspective. I had rather come to like this little ranch house my parents bought for $16,000. It seemed like a lot of money back then. Daddy was doing well and making pretty good money at the refinery. School was going well, and looked like my Grandma Joe would be joining us in Miss. (my maternal grandmother) So all should be well and right in my world right?

Nah...Mama wasn't happy...and you know what the old sayin is "if Mama ain't happy, then by golly, ain't nobody gonna be happy."

One bright and early Saturday morning, I woke up to someone pounding on our front door. For whatever the reason, seems I was the only one home that morning. I was somewhat irritated, having been awakened from a sound sleep. I went into the living room and swung open the door and was surprised and shocked to find the police standing there. Not just one or two but several and there were a few guys that did not have uniforms on but were in dress suites!

One officer asked if my mother was home and I said, no, I don't think she is. He then said he had a search warrant and that they would be coming into the house to search it. I had no idea what was happening or why. To say I was scared to death would be an understatement. In shock and standing there in my baby doll pajamas, I said "sure, come on in" and held the door open while they all filed in.

They turned our house upside down...looking for what, I had not a clue. I wanted to call somebody, anybody, but I was too petrified to move. What in heavens name was these people doing here in our house? What has happened? What are they looking for?

They were getting ready to leave when they found it. We had tiled floors through out the house but Mama had put down an 8x10 foot room size rug in the living room. Seems like it was almost an afterthought on the part of one of the guys with the suits on (detectives). He walked over to the edge of the carpet and pulled it back. There, spread out all over the floor, lay cash and a hand gun!

In my adolescent mind, I'm thinking, "someone has come into our house and hid money and a gun. Why would they pick OUR house to do such a thing"! You have to understand, we never had money laying around the house and we most certainly never had a gun. My dad was not even a guns of any kind...ever. The officers and suite guys just scooped it all up and left. I stood there in the aftermath of it all not believing what had just happened. I kept thinking, "surely this is a dream and I will wake up".

It wasn't a dream.You see, at the time, we had a juvenile delinquent of a cousin and his friend, "visiting" us from New Orleans. This cousin had been in and out of trouble and he was presently on the run from home. Mama loved him to death. Thought all his antics were so "cute"! So against the wishes of my aunt and uncle in New Orleans, Mama had given him safe haven at our house...when he and his friend decided to rob our neighborhood store...on a my Mama!!!

When an adult dares two 16 year old boys to rob a store and they do it, guess what happens? And oh, if they decide to take their gun with them? Well now, that's armed robbery isn't it? And the story just gets sweeter.

The teenage boys get sent back to New Orleans. Mama gets put in jail and makes headlines in the local newspapers. Woman Puts Nephew Up To Robbing Store!!! The local media just had a field day with it.

Daddy got Mama released on bail after a few days and eventually the charges against her were dropped. She said she was just playing with my cousin and his friend when she said, "yeah...right...I dare you...ya'll ain't gonna rob no store". Said she had no idea they would take her seriously. Thankfully, the law believed her. Did I? Well I knew my mother was quite capable of being silly and making way out there remarks and comments...

...but I also knew, in my heart of hearts, she could have just as easily been in on it. I'll never know for sure.

It's a good thing I never longed for popularity and a great social life. After this had happened, friends were not that easy to come by. Parents were wary of me and I guess they had good reason to be. I was ashamed of what had happened and embarrassed.

Time passed and I did go on to make quite a few close nit friends. As a group we bonded together throughout our junior high and high school years. Their parents came to know me as being a moral, good and safe person. They depended on me to be the responsible one of the group. Funny how that worked out.

Since that period of time in my life, I've never judged a person on who their parents are or are not. Everyone deserves a chance to let us know who and what they are...

...and if you give them just a minute...and listen closely...they will tell you...and if you watch intently...they will show you.

~~~Romans 14:12-13 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.~~~~

***So concludes this last day of January to post! Sunshine anyone???

Happier post are on their way as we speak!

Blessings, Peace and all that is good,


Anonymous said...

such a beautiful post memaw. you have such a wonderful heart.
love you

jennifer said...

This. Was. Fascinating.

I have history with my Mama too. Not quite like this but I know one day I SHOULD blog about it. What's funny is I think my mother realizes this because even though she doesn't read my blog she asked me not to blog about her. I guess I'll have to honor her and keep it to myself. But MeMaw? You have one of the most sincere Christian witnesses. It really doesn't matter who our earthly parents are because of who our Heavenly Father is.

Love you!!

Me Maw said...

Kellie...thanks sweetie, love you bunches too!

Jennifer...thanks so much. Sometimes it's been a painful process to blog about my childhood, but at the same time it has been very theraputic and rewarding.

My prayer is that, my readers, few that they are, can at least know that however a dysfunctional childhood we may have had, God can use that process for good... if we just let Him!

Blessings ya'll

Barbara said...

This could have come straight out of a novel. Amazing the skeletons in family cupboards. You must have been scared there by yourself.

You will see what's in my cupboard if you read 'My Story' or maybe you already have. Thanks for sharing.

Kanani said...

I've never judged a person on who their parents are or are not. Everyone deserves a chance to let us know who and what they are...

Boy, I wish other people would remember this.
Two weeks ago, my son had a run in with the principal. Will is a high functioning autistic kid with a hair trigger temper when struggling with stress. The principal called him a spoiled brat and the whole thing went downhill from there. Then the secretary called me and gave me an earful for not raising a respectful son. It was such an earbashing that if I were to see her today, I'd drop our 100 pages of medical records on her desk, and say, "Sort through those. We've done more for our kid than most with his condition."

Anyway, I just think it's an impatient way to get around trying to understand people!

Good story! I can't imagine having the police come into the house like that.

Polly & Steve said...

MeMaw, I love your stories and I thank you for sharing it with us. I agree with Jenn, about our Heavenly Father...He knows everything that coming and how it effects us, mold us, makes us. You are wonderful!
Love you

Brenda said...

Oh my goodness, Memaw, that had to be horrifying. It just shows how marvelous His grace, doesn't it!