Trust God's Grace...
He does not do miracles half way!
This is a true story... written from the heart... without benefit of accomplished writer's skills. There are no long descriptive pages meant to build suspense...life can do that all on its own. How many of us live our lives routinely...going along day after day... assuming things will always go as we plan? This mother found the peaceful, normal life she so treasured, turned upside down in a split second. How she coped (or didn't cope) is chronicled in these pages.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A Mothers HeartBeverly's True Story
By Joan Judson
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Joan Judson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe early morning sun sent pink and orange shafts of light filtering through our bedroom blinds creating long ribbons of warm shimmering color across the soft cream colored walls. A light breeze pushes its way through the open window, swaying the sage curtains causing them to dance slightly. I draw in a deep breath of the fresh morning air, my hands reaching over my head toward the top of my bed as I arched my back and stretched to release my lingering sleepiness. The residue of sleep slowly begins to dissolve from my eyes as I let my head sink back deeper into the softness of my pillow for just another minute. Still not fully awake, my thoughts drift back and settle on the dream I had last night. It was the same one, in almost every detail, that I had had several times over the last few weeks. It seemed so real ... so disturbing ... my mind couldn't let go of it.
I pulled back the covers and slowly sat up on the side of my bed as Floyd came out of our bathroom, already showered and dressed, he greeted me.
"Good morning sleepy head, 'thought maybe you were going to sleep all day ... What's for breakfast?"
I quickly reached for my robe and met him in the kitchen as we readied ourselves for our busy day, the memory of that darn dream still lingering, heavy, in my mind.
The kitchen was lit by the morning sun, golden rays making the yellow room even brighter this morning. I loved the color of this room, always so welcoming whatever time of day I entered it. I started a pot of coffee and popped some bread into the toaster. I quickly made two sandwiches and stuffed the lunch box with extra goodies. Floyd was off out the door and on his way to work by 7:00.
Through the window by the table I could see the birds splashing in the birdbath, flying to and fro from the feeders, busily feeding their young, taking grass and twigs to the nest in the birch tree just outside the kitchen door. It was such a peaceful scene to look upon, yet I wasn't feeling very "peaceful" at all. I still felt disturbed.... uneasy.... unsettled, and I couldn't really say why.
I poured myself a cup of coffee and settled into my favorite chair by my kitchen table, leaned back and breathed in the familiar aroma as I reached for the newspaper.
There was an article on the front page about an upcoming event ... May 1st. 1969. Oh my gosh I thought, in eight days I'll be 34 years old ... it's funny but I really don't feel any different then when I was twenty! I started to read the article but I couldn't concentrate on the print. My mind started to wander from reading and my attention was drawn to the view outside the window. I became lost in thought as I again relived last nights dream.
I had read a magazine article that suggested that if you write down what you dream it might help you understand it, so I reached for a pad and started writing the details while the memories were fresh in my mind.
I am standing in front of a large pleasant home. There are many children milling about. The conversation is that more room is needed for the children. I have been instructed to open a room that has been closed for a long time, an "old" part of the house. From outside of the house I struggle to open the heavy doors that are made of dark wood with a gold color plate in the center and long handles in the middle of the metal plate. There are unusual looking windows in the top of the door.
The first thing I see as I enter the room are three cubes of ice, about 8 inches square, right inside the door and I notice they are starting to melt on the carpet. There are massive bay windows each side of the door that go almost to the ceiling, which looks like it is 20 feet high. A huge dark colored grand piano sits in front of the bay window to the right. On the wall to the left are book cases with heavy, dark, bound books, two large dark paintings of period dressed men hang on the wall above the book cases. As I walk into the room I can see that ahead of me is a very unusual balcony. It is painted a creamy color that looks like it has aged. It has beautiful, old fashioned script writing on its inward curved front. There are stairs that go up along the left wall, that lead to the balcony. It seems strange to me that the stairs are so wide just to go to that balcony. I can see nothing at the top of the stairs.
The room is very dimly lit, everything is dark colors, the rug, the furniture and the paneling. I can see a door on the right wall toward the back of the room that connects this room to the rest of the house, and as I start to walk toward that door I notice a child and her mother, standing there, waiting for me. The little girl is about 8 years old. There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on her gentle personality and her flawless beauty. The child happily skipped off to see what was down the hall. As she leaves, the mother turns to me and says, " to think, she was with Kennedy." The mother speaks in such a compassionate, loving and gentle tone of voice...... All of a sudden I hear the child start to scream.... a horrifying, blood curdling scream.... I am afraid, but I start toward the hall where the child's screams are coming from. The child comes running out through the door, just as I get to the hallway entrance. She frantically pulls on my clothing, trying to keep me back. She does not want me to see through that door.... or to look down that hall.... to see what has made her so afraid. I keep moving forward anyway as the child tugs at my clothing, until I can see through the door. I look down a long narrow hallway with many doors on both sides of it and there are small signs protruding outwardly over each door. I can't see what made the child so frightened.
I awake with a start, my heart pounding in my chest. The child in my dream looked like my Beverly, dark hair, fair skin and the same sweet demeanor.
Chapter TwoIt was early May, 1970 and in many ways my life was beginning to be simplified. Our family of six had been squeezed into our tiny five rooms, one bathroom house for all these years and now our dream had at last come true. Our new big house on the hill was finally complete and we were now officially moved in. David, now 17, was to have the bedroom on the lower level, adjoining the family room (which would soon have a pool table as its center focal point.) He was more than pleased with this arrangement.
Terry, 16, had chosen light lilac colored walls for her room and a white four poster bed with two matching bureaus and a bed side stand. Delicate white curtains trimmed in lilac gave the room a fairy-tale appearance. She just loved having her privacy, at last.
Cindy and Bev would be sharing the large north bedroom with twin beds and beautiful flowered bedspreads with matching curtains that they had picked out of the Sears catalog. They each had their own closet and bureaus with shelves where they could display their personal treasures. They were all delighted to finally have their own space, for the three girls had been cramped into one small upstairs bedroom at the little house and the battles for personal space occurred almost daily.
Floyd and I would now have our own master bedroom with our own private bathroom. Oh what a luxury!!!.
Once we were settled into our new home each day quickly formed a routine. The flurry of the morning rush, Floyd off to work by 7am, the girls usually made the bus on time. David, now a senior, owned a truck so he drove to school and he didn't have to contend with the daily bus ride anymore, (or the times he had missed the bus and I would drive him to school. Oh the embarrassment of having your Mother drive you to school when you're a senior, "Just let me off here at the corner" he would say.)
With Floyd off to work and the kids off to school the house became very silent. The temptation to just sit and enjoy the piece and quite for an extended period of time was very appealing but I knew that I better not dally too long, I had a busy day ahead, I had more to do than I'd ever accomplish before I had to leave for work at 4:30.
I noticed that the bird feeder was about empty so that would be my first chore. I walked outside with a scoop of sunflower seed in one hand and my coffee cup in the other, headed toward the bird feeder. Our yard is so beautiful and peaceful. Floyd takes great pride in keeping everything mowed, trimmed and pruned. He works all day driving equipment for the State of Connecticut and then comes home and still makes time to keep his lawn and shrubs looking pristine.
The dewdrop covered daffodils, tulips and bleeding hearts are a sparkling profusion of brilliance in the morning light. The pansy's little faces smile up at me as they welcome the warm May sun. I can't resist the urge to savor this quiet moment as I lower myself onto the flat 'sitting rock' by the bird bath and slowly sip my cooling coffee. I wish I could stop time and bask in these surroundings more often. I tell myself I'll sit here just a few minutes and watch my busy feathered friends before I get to work and pull out that darn old vacuum. A feeling of such awe and peace fills my soul whenever I sit here by the flowers, looking out over the view. I always say a silent prayer thanking God for His blessings, for choosing us to live on this land ... in this home ... I love the life Floyd and I have made together.
These twenty five acres of hill top land we now call home were originally part of Floyd's father's farm, which he had purchased in 1927. Floyd is the youngest of seven children. Wilbur, his oldest brother, was 20 years older than Floyd, next came Edla, Irma, Frank, Donald and Dorothy (aka Dorrie). Their father passed away when Floyd was only seven. His mother eventually sold the farm to Frank, keeping the 25 acres of hill top land that would one day be given to Floyd when he came of age. Floyd's mother remarried when he was nine and Dorrie was eleven. They moved to their step-father's farm, adjacent to the land that would eventually belong to Floyd. His dream, that one day he would build his home on this land, finally came true in 1970.
As I lingered in the warm morning air the fragrance of the blossoms on the apple trees that surround the yard seem to enfold me. My thoughts start to wander back over time. Where have the years gone? A vision comes to mind of me as a young girl. Who would have ever guessed, way back when I was in my teens and I was so desperately unhappy that my world would one day become so full of love and happiness, so secure ... so blessed?..
Since I was 16 my life has centered solely on my husband, my children and my home. My sisters and I had a difficult childhood. My mother was extremely controlling and domineering with a very negative outlook on life in general. Saying that my Mother and I didn't get along very well when I was in my teens would be a huge understatement. I know that it was God who brought Floyd into my life, he rescued me. I believe he saved my life. I still, to this day, refer to him as my 'Gift from God'.
Floyd and I were married in 1951. I was 16 and he had just turned 23 the week before our wedding. David was born in June of 1952, a month after I turned 17. Terry followed in November of 1953, then Cindy in October 1955 and Bev, March of 1958. By the time I was 23 years old I was the proud mother of four children and as far as I was concerned no woman had ever been happier in the whole world. We were a close family and when baby Beverly was added the other kids just loved her right from the start. They treated her like their own little baby doll. Even big brother David thought she was something special. This relationship has continued for them through the years with the three older ones always watching over their little sister.
My life was full and I was busy as a bee every day just trying to keep up with cooking, house work and laundry (In our early years I had an old ringer washer that was a hand-me-down and I had to hold my foot against the motor to make the water pump out after every wash load as I rinsed the clothes in the kitchen sink.) With two babies in cloth diapers, a toddler and a rough and tumble little boy, laundry was a daily challenge. I had three outside clothes lines, almost always full, winter and summer. (In those years I never dreamed that one day I would own an automatic washer and dryer).
With our growing family money was always tight and to help stretch the budget we planted a large vegetable garden and every fall I canned jars and jars of vegetables and peaches and pears that we enjoyed all winter. One day when Floyd came home from work he said he heard about a big freezer that a friend of a friend had for sale, cheap. So off we went to Waterbury and we came home the proud owners of a huge "Deep Freeze" as they called it then. I now could freeze vegetables and fruits, which proved to be much less time consuming than canning and I actually found it was fun to do. I felt great pride when I opened the freezer door and gazed in at the rows and rows of neatly stacked frozen packages. Floyd was a hunter and made sure there was always venison in the freezer for stews and roasts for those cold winter days. We picked apples from the trees up on the hill (where our new home now stands) and I made dozens of apple pies and froze them (ready-to-bake). The freezer sat in the corner of my tiny kitchen and dominated the whole room. I decided that if I couldn't hide it I might as well decorate it, so it soon became the centerpiece for children's art-work and school papers with a good report or an "A" or "B" required in order to be displayed. The competition to see how many papers each child could get on the freezer at one time was ongoing. It was always well covered.
I have always felt that God has blessed me so much. I don't know why He had chosen me but I am truly grateful and I try to always be aware of the blessings and say a prayer of thanks in everything I do. Even at such a young age I just loved being a mother and a wife. When the children were very young one of my favorite things to do at the end of the day was to peek through their bedroom door and watch them sleeping. I would stand there for the longest time just looking at each one of them. It always filled me with wonder just to look at those angelic faces. Sometimes I thought my heart would just burst wide open with joy. Those memories bring a tear to my eye even to this day. Don't misunderstand, they were not angels, they were typical kids and as they grew older there were times that I was sure they all must have lay awake all night long just scheming up things to get into the next day. The mischief they could think of usually got them in trouble and I had a hard time keeping a smile hidden as I administered the necessary scolding.
The sound of fluttering wings brings me back to the present and I realize I have been lost in thought a long time ... back to work Joan ... No more day-dreaming or I'll never get my work done!
* * *
The years have flown by so quickly. It is now 1972. My children are young adults and life is good and so busy. Terry works at the Woodbury Savings Bank during the day and has a second job as a cashier at the First National Store evenings and weekends. She and Bill are engaged and saving for their wedding next June. I'm still working nights as a waitress at the Charcoal Chef, the popular local restaurant. Cindy and Bev are both in High School and they bus tables at the restaurant some nights and babysit for the neighbors. David has made the decision to join the Air Force. We know it is a good decision for him and we are so proud of him but I feel like my heart is being torn out of my chest every time I think that he will be leaving home soon. When that day comes the precious family that I treasure with all my heart will be changed forever; I realize it will never be quite the same again.
* * *
Dave was stationed in Biloxi, MS for his basic training. He was then sent to Selfridge AFB in Michigan. His trip between the two places took him through Niagara Falls. We got a call from Dave a few months after he left telling us he had met a girl in Niagara Falls, Canada and they were going to be married. They wanted to be married in Woodbury so we got busy planning a wedding for January 19, 1973. The hustle and bustle was exciting for everyone. I made the first wedding cake I ever made.
Excerpted from A Mothers Heart by Joan Judson Copyright © 2011 by Joan Judson. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.