A Diamond From The Rough
This book candidly chronicles one woman's journey through life on Chicago's west side ~ involving poverty, incest, drug addiction, incarceration and lesbianism ~ to eventually gaining sobriety, spiritual redemption and inner peace. In Denise's words:
"Deep insecurity and inferiority, drug addiction and role confusion tormented me for many years. Often I wondered if I were a boy or a girl; if I were human or an animal. Who am I? What am I? Why am I?
In spite of all these obstacles, Denise grabbed hold to a seed of hope. She dropout of school at an early age, Denise now holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Sciences and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management.
As an author, motivational speaker and deliverance minister, Denise inspires individuals from all walks of life to reach above life's circumstances. Do not miss your opportunity to be touched by her powerful story. Her message is to the masses.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new".
2nd Corinthians 5:17
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Read an Excerpt
Who Said It Couldn't Be Done?
By Denise Jones
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Denise Jones
All right reserved.
Chapter OnePRAYER CHANGES THINGS
It is something of a miracle that I was even born. Back when my mother, Annie Mae Jones, was only eight years old, she and a friend decided to go bike riding through the neighborhood. Suddenly, a car struck forty-eight pound Annie Mae, she was thrown from the bike and flung haphazardly into the air. The driver of the car panicked and swerved all over the street. When Annie Mae smashed to the ground, the massive car made a remarkable finish as well. Its tremendous front wheel plopped down for the last time, and Annie Mae didn't move; she didn't do anything, not even blink. A growing pool of blood oozed from beneath the resting wheel. Everyone thought Annie Mae was dead. She was so small that the huge tire seemed to cover her entire body, though it rested only on her stomach. Neighbors from all around gathered, squinting at the alarming sight as they watched the firefighters pry poor Annie Mae from beneath that killer wheel.
Matted in clunks of blood and dirt, lifeless Annie Mae was rushed by ambulance to Mary Thompson Hospital, where it was determined that she was hemorrhaging. The Hospital Director signed proxy for the surgery required to stop the bleeding. When Annie Mae's parents arrived, they were told that, given the extent of Annie Mae's injuries, the Director's quick action probably saved Annie Mae's life. She was losing so much blood that she would have certainly died if they had waited for her parents to arrive.
After twenty-three hours of pacing back and forth in the waiting room, Nathaniel and Annie Belle Jones were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief when the doctor told them that the surgery was successful and all signs of hemorrhaging had ceased. However, their short spurt of jubilation fizzled fast as the doctor continued his report, saying, "We were able to stop the hemorrhaging, but it still doesn't look good. Annie Mae is in a coma."
My Grandmother screamed out in agony and grabbed her chest, falling back clumsily into Grandfather. He caught her before she hit the floor and helped her to a nearby chair. After the doctor had brought my Grandmother a cup of water and when she was able to compose herself, he continued with the worst part of the report. "Annie Mae's reproductive organs were irreversibly damaged by the accident, which means she will never be able to bear children."
"Oh my God. Lord Jesus! Oh my Sweet Jesus!!" Grandmother screamed out over and over, clutching her chest again. The doctor assured them that he and the rest of the hospital staff would do everything in their power to help Annie Mae recover, then he left them to themselves.
What followed could probably be noted as the first move of God in my life, or what would later become my life. During my mother's stay in the hospital, God used Evangelist Mattie B. Poole, a powerful, praying woman of deep spiritual faith. Evangelist Poole was a regular visitor at Mary Thompson Hospital in those days. Often this Woman of God would march down the halls of the huge building, stopping at the bedside of patients, known and unknown, to dispense her straightforward knowledge of God's Word, His loving care and healing power. Evangelist Poole knew that the Lord had given her the gift of healing, so her ministry largely involved prayer and the "laying on of hands" on the sick to aid their recovery.
During one of Evangelist Poole's visits, she entered little Annie Mae's room and marveled at the small, lifeless child lying there. Slowly she stretched forth her hands, placing them firmly on the comatose child as my grandparents looked on silently. "Heavenly Father, in Jesus' Name," Evangelist Poole whispered, "bring this peculiar child back to life. Awaken her from this unusual sleep; this unnatural, comatose state. Grant this precious and innocent child an opportunity to tread the path that You have marked and chosen for her feet to travel. Father, in Jesus' Name, I humbly ask that You restore ten-fold, thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and even one hundred-fold, health and strength so that she may accomplish and complete her destined purpose; the purpose You have ordained for her life, even before this precious child was born. Father, in the Wonderful Name of Your Darling Son, Christ Jesus, I ask you to restore this child's reproductive organs. Allow her womb to be fertile, that she may bear children, even children that will bring Thy Name glory and honor, both male and female alike in Jesus' Name."
Grandmother sat up straight in the chair and leaned forward as she witnessed Annie Mae's eyelids begin to twitch for the first time since she was pulled from beneath the car. As Evangelist Poole continued praying, my grandparents watched in amazement as Annie Mae began wiggling beneath the white cotton sheets. By the time Evangelist Poole concluded her prayer, Annie Mae was completely out of the coma.
Astonished, my grandparents looked at each other, then back at Annie Mae, unable to find words to express their amazement as well as their gratitude. Fully conscious and responsive now, Annie Mae questioned her whereabouts and expressed a desire for some of Grandmother's red beans and rice. Grandmother was smiling as she turned around to thank Evangelist Poole for allowing God to use her in such a mighty way, but she was nowhere to be found.
Chapter TwoLOSS OF INNOCENCE
Annie Mae had a mind of her own. She knew what she was doing and believed that George was in love with her. Why else would he let her help him build his bombs? George and Annie had been next-door neighbors for nearly six years and had become good friends. They, along with some of the other children in the neighborhood, often played games together. Catch a Girl, Get a Girl was one of the neighborhood favorites, as well as Hide-and-Seek and Spin the Bottle.
George always chased after Annie Mae when they played Catch a Girl, Get a Girl, and when they played Hide-and-Seek, he would always manage to hide in the same place as Annie Mae. George couldn't control Spin the Bottle, but if he could, I imagine that bottle would have landed on Annie Mae every time.
One day during a game of Hide-and-Seek, Annie Mae was hiding in the gangway behind the building where they lived at 16th and Ridgeway on the West Side of Chicago. George walked up behind her and began pressing his body against hers, the way he always did. Annie Mae leaned on George and let her head fall backward until it rested on his chest. Forcefully, he thrust his pelvis forward and Annie Mae got caught up in the moment, enjoying the liberty of grinding back on George. Silently the two stood there, twelve and thirteen years of age, grinding away. When they heard footsteps approaching, they pushed apart in a hurry; Annie Mae ran her way and George ran his.
Some weeks later, Grandmother made pancakes for breakfast, but did not realize she was out of syrup until she was finished. "Annie Mae, go across the hall to Miss Smith's apartment and ask if they have any syrup, if you don't mind sweetheart; and ask her if she wants some of these cakes I flipped up. Tell her it's a good batch, stacked tall."
Annie knocked on the door and waited for someone to answer. She hoped to see George, but her growling stomach yearned more to see the bottle of syrup and feel the warm hotcakes slide down her throat. To her delight, George did answer. "Hey George," Annie said, while brushing past him and walking right into the house, heading straight toward the kitchen.
"I know your big old gorilla-head, Martian-head-self didn't just push past me and walk up in my momma's house. Did I invite you in?" George said smiling, glad to see Annie.
"No," said Annie while sucking her teeth, "but you ain't never invited me in before. I always have to push my way up in here, 'cause you're always acting like a security guard, guarding that door. You barely even open it up, standing there talking to me through that little, bitty old crack. I can hardly see you. You might as well open it up, cuz I be in here anyway. Even when y'all ain't home, I be in here. I be in the living room watching y'alls TV and eating up y'alls food," Annie said laughing, while lightly muffing George on the side of his head. "My momma sent me over here to see if your mother will let us borrow some syrup. She made a big batch of pancakes, but we need some syrup. Y'all got some?"
"We probably do, but you know how my momma is. We can't let nobody borrow nothing unless she's home and she's not here right now," he said.
"Okay, I guess I'll go then. We don't need your nasty old syrup anyway. Besides, my momma's pancakes taste better with jelly. They good like that too, huh? Have you ever had them like that, George?"
"Yeah, I eat them like that all the time," said George. "I don't even like syrup. I always put jelly on mine, and I like it on my sausage too. I make sandwiches out of my pancakes, eggs and sausage. I bet you never thought of doing that, have you smarty pants?"
Annie rolled her eyes, ignoring George's teasing and asked, "You coming outside later?"
"I should," said George, "once my momma gets home and after you eat, why don't you come back over?"
Annie smiled at the invitation, "Okay, as long as you open the door, with your big Martian-head, so I don't have to be squeezing through that tiny little crack any more."
George smiled. "Alright, I'll see you when you get back, and hurry up, big head." He closed the door and Annie went back to her apartment across the hall.
"Momma, George said his mother wasn't home so he couldn't lend nothing out. Looks like we'll be having jelly on our pancakes today." Grandmother heard but didn't respond; she simply flipped the last few pancakes while softly singing Lord, Don't Move My Mountain.
Annie was eager to dig into the fluffy pancakes. Almost before her mother finished setting her plate down, she grabbed her knife and began spreading grape jelly all over them. Then she made a sandwich with her sausage and cheesy eggs, the way George said he did. When she finished eating, she sped through her chores and asked to go outside to play. Grandmother said it was fine, as long as she stayed in the neighborhood and didn't stay gone too long. Before leaving the house, Annie Mae changed her clothes, putting on her favorite plaid dress with the white collar and the two big pockets in the front. She liked that dress because it was wide and comfortable. She could run fast in it, which helped her get away when they played Catch a Girl, Get A Girl. She didn't bother putting on socks; she just slipped on her white Converse tennis shoes. They were a little old, but they still fit and were in good shape. Annie then combed her hair in three ponytails, leaving a big bang in the front. Everyone always said how cute she looked with bangs, so she always wore them.
After saying goodbye to Grandmother, Annie made lots of noise as she stomped down the stairs from their third-floor apartment. She went down to the second floor and sat for a minute, acting like she was tying her shoe before stealthily tiptoeing back up the stairs and tapping lightly on George's door. This time when George answered, he opened the door wide and was about to yell, "COME ON IN," but Annie Mae quickly put her hand over his mouth and hurried inside, looking back at her apartment door to make sure nobody was watching. She quietly closed George's door behind herself and pulled George into the living room.
"Girl, what is wrong with you?" George said.
"Fool!" she whispered. "Is you crazy? I don't want my mother to know I'm in here. I asked her could I go outside, not could I be in here with you." They both started laughing.
"Come on, Annie," George said. "Let's go in my room, so I can show you something." Sure enough, it was another bomb. She was always intrigued with George's inventions. It amazed and impressed her that he could build bombs that actually exploded. He had set the hallway of their apartment building on fire many times experimenting with them, but it never got too serious; they were always able to put the flames out themselves before any damage was done.
"Wow, George," Annie Mae said, looking at George's latest invention. "How do you know how to build bombs like that?"
"I don't know," he said. "I just do. I like making stuff. I experiment with things, put some wires together, and BOOM!" Startled by George's loud outburst, Annie Mae jumped.
"Why did you jump?" he asked, as he moved away from the dresser and walked over to the edge of his bed where she was sitting. He moved in on Annie Mae as much as he could, until his legs were straddling hers. Gently he placed his hands on her shoulder and leaned her backward until she was lying down on his bed. Placing his body on top of hers, he began slowly parting her legs with his knee.
"So, why you so jumpy?" he repeated, but in a quieter tone as he gently kissed her lips. Annie loved the way George's lips felt, because they were full and soft.
"Why you gotta make so much noise? You are too loud," she said. "Anyway, what time is your mother coming back?" George got silent. Why she got to go and mention my mother? he thought. She has to know I'm trying to get me some. Thoughts began to race through George's mind. He was upset that Annie tried to ruin the mood, but reality was beginning to set in. What if we get caught? What if I get her pregnant? I can't be no daddy. Maybe I should just get up and stop fooling with this girl. However, those rational thoughts came and went. Overwhelmed by his teenage hormones, George promptly forgot about his what ifs and maybes and made another move.
"Shhhh," he whispered in her ear. "Be quiet Annie Mae, with your pretty self. You know, I really like you Annie Mae, I really do. You're the only girl for me."
Annie Mae, like George, was having conflicting feelings as well. His sweet words were blinding her. She felt queasy in her stomach and light-headed, like when you climb up a big hill then run down real fast. She was inebriated by George's sweetness. Wow, I really like you too, George, is what Annie thought, but she kept her thoughts to herself. Although she had wonderful feelings toward George, she was also having second thoughts about their passionate moment and was definitely uncomfortable about going all the way. Yeah, he's cute and all, and we kissed and grinded before, she thought to herself, but having sex? Naw, I'm not doing that. Only a nasty girl would be sittin' up here having sex with boys. Annie and some of the other girls in the neighborhood had talked about it, but she never envisioned she would be in a situation like this. I ain't no nasty girl, she said to herself. What if we do it and he tells all his friends? Everybody will know we did it and they'll be calling me nasty. And I ain't nasty.
Annie's heart raced as she continued to contemplate the situation in her mind. I'm scared, she thought. What if this is all he wants? Besides, I don't know what to do. I never did it before, and I am afraid to do it. Will he still like me if I say no? Will he still play with me? Will he still let me help him with his bombs?
Annie did not know how to express all that she was feeling to George, and she did not want to hurt his feelings or lose him, so she laid there and allowed him to part her legs more. Besides, her concerns did not seem to be as important as the mounting pleasure she felt lying beneath George's body. They laid there another moment, enjoying the warmth that came from being so close. Staring into each other's eyes each thought and wondered about the possibilities of what could happen. As the air thickened in the room, Annie could not resist George's touch, nor did she want to. George continued kissing Annie's lips and her strength seemed to melt away with each juvenile press of his mouth against hers. She parted her watering lips a little more, to allow his tongue to slide easily inside. Caught in the heat of the moment, George began to sweat, but Annie did not mind. She enjoyed their closeness. She took her hands and placed them on his damp back, then hesitantly slid them downward until they rested below his waist. Delicate parts of her body were awakening for the very first time. Good, tingly feelings were jumping inside her. These were feelings that only George had made her feel. I must love George, Annie thought. I wouldn't feel this way if I didn't. Annie noticed George reacting to her body and could tell he felt the same way. At that moment, all Annie knew was that she wanted George. However, at a naive twelve years of age, Annie was not capable of comprehending the door she was about to open.
Excerpted from Who Said It Couldn't Be Done? by Denise Jones Copyright © 2010 by Denise Jones. Excerpted by permission.
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