August 25, 2014
Monday Blog, coming down!!
Ya know that old saying “some days are diamonds and some days are stones, then ya make lemon aid out of them”…or, something like that? Well, last week was a painful walk on the stones, for me, my Friends. I felt like one of the “Fire Walkers” in a Tony Robbins 3-Day Seminar (which, by the way, I’ve done). I spent most of last week with a tearful broken heart, mixed with anger and disillusion. I asked for prayers and I got them. I admit though, I was seriously bummed out and I tell you this only because I know I was “lifted up” from my despair, having to accept the fact that I can control MY actions only, and no one else’s. I must be diligent in MY actions and cause noone any pain and suffering…intentionally. In addition, when there’s pain and suffering caused by others who are coming from a heart filled with HATE, I must FORGIVE them. That’s just the way it is, like it or not. I know this perfectly well; I wrote a book on FORGIVENESS, right? However, sometimes my heart is challenged, as it was this past week…not my FAITH, my FAITH is intact, but my little heart was broken in a million pieces. (The heart, as wonderful as it is, can actually “trick” us sometimes and we have to be mindful of this fact).
I guess my intent here, for YOU, with this recent experience of mine, is simply to remind us all, that no matter what is done against us, some we love or don’t even know, we must pray for the one committing the pain as if we had done it ourselves. WE are to LOVE OUR ENEMIES as ourselves. As crazy as it sounds and in some horrific circumstances, still, that’s exactly what we, as Christians, are to do. That’s what God tells us and He means it.
We are not responsible for anyone else’s actions, only our own—this includes the action of OUR forgiveness towards others, regardless of the severity of their actions:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”—Luke 23:34
Thoughts and Excerpts from: “That Melvin Bray”
Chapter 17 – The Good Bad Deed
“There are times when each of us have to have some gumption to take a stand as to what we wish to preserve or change in order to maintain our self-respect and not be as ‘a reed shaken with the wind’.”
—John Milton, poet, quoting from Matthew 11:7
The next year passed by mostly painfully and mostly slowly for all of us. According to Lu, though, apparently Aunt Lucy made Daddy one of those offers he couldn’t refuse. She sold her little house and moved into the big house with us. The first thing she did was have her phone line moved to our house. That was a good thing; ask the Browns. Aunt Lucy just couldn’t accept the absence of indoor plumbing, though; she was so civilized. She began looking for another house to buy that would be suitable for all of us.
With the events of that tragic year of loss, Aunt Lucy had been dealt yet another bad hand, and she was well aware of the wild card—our daddy, the Monster, My Hyde—and wasn’t about to give him even one inch.
She had inherited an infant, a three year old, and seven more to look after and bring up. It seemed that life never failed to pile just one more “little” thing on this woman’s proud but able to-carry-only-so-much-at-one-time shoulders. Aunt Lucy laid down her law with Daddy, with a zero tolerance for anything alcohol-related. Her terms were simple: If he ever laid a hand on anyone or anything in that house, it would be the last time laying a hand on anything. And the first time he dared to show up there drinking would be the last time he showed up period.
One Friday evening about five o’clock—payday!—Daddy came home drinking. Could that be possible? After a whole year, the wild card, our daddy, had finally shown up again. Guess he was tired of playing it straight. Daddy really had no friends, because he was a mean drunk and predictably unpredictable. That type of personality tended to make people a little nervous.
That Melvin Bray was his only friend, and he’d long since been gone—lucky dog. The fact that it was Mother’s one-year anniversary probably had something to do with the little celebration Daddy was drinking himself into. Even I could figure that out, and I didn’t have two little letters after my name, as Dr. Benis, MD, did.
P.C. was at work, and Lu and Lainey had run back over to the schoolhouse to pick up Lee’s cap and gown. Aunt Lucy and Ali had taken Fay and Mae with them to the Fancy Gap Market, and Lee, Paddy, and I had stayed at the house to do chores, as usual. Well, the three little Chillton piggies were about to get a visit from the Big Bad Wolf—I mean Lee’s monster. We heard a horn blowing—honk, honk, honk.
“Oh Brother, it’s him!” Lee shouted as Daddy stopped the Chevy at the old well.
As we watched through the kitchen curtain, we could see he was throwing beer cans and liquor bottles down the well. Empty, no doubt. He certainly couldn’t leave any incriminating evidence in his car for Aunt Lucy to find. Then he got back in the car and drove up the rest of the way to the house. Since his jail time that Easter when he had killed my little biddy, he had decided he sure didn’t wanta go back there, for fear of being sent back to the ole alcoholic hospital. Nope, he sure didn’t want any part of that place again. After Mother died, the sheriff actually came over to the house now and then just to check on him—more to check on US than HIM, certainly. As we watched him get back into the car, he tripped and fell.
“That’s it; we’re outta here!” Lee proclaimed.
She grabbed each of us by the hand, and we headed up the stairs. There was a curtain at the top of the stairs that created a door-like façade, and we all hid behind it, holding our breath. We could hear him loud and clear as he came in the back door, yelling our names and cursing maniacally.
“Where is everybody? You damn little brats can’t hide from me!”
That’s all Lee needed to hear.
“Be quiet; don’t say a word. If he starts up those stairs and makes it to the top, we’ll have to protect ourselves. He can’t see us, ’cause we’re behind this curtain. Breathe only when you have to. We can’t let him know we’re up here!” she whispered.
We could hear him stomping and yelling all through the house downstairs. He couldn’t just give up and pass out—no, he just had to come up those stairs.
“Here he comes; get ready. If he gets to this curtain, just push as hard as you can!” she whispered again.
Somehow he made it to the top, and as he pulled at the curtain, we all pushed against him as hard as we could, and thankfully, down went Daddy.
We heard every single bump as Daddy rolled and tumbled down to the bottom of the stairs one step at a time—in slow motion, it seemed. We didn’t dare look; we just listened. Once Daddy landed, that was it. The only sound we could hear was our little hearts beating like the drums in an old Tarzan movie.
We wanted to scream but froze in our tracks instead.
Finally, Lee whispered precise instructions. We were to back up and stay behind the curtain as she looked out to make sure Daddy was still there and not moving. She looked out, quickly closed the curtain again, took us by the hand, led us to her room, and then closed the door. We followed her over to her bed; then she took our hands in hers, and we all sat down.
“I’m pretty sure he’s dead, and we’ve just committed a good BAD deed, but we had to take a stand,” she said calmly.
I was not familiar with the look on her face. Grief, sadness, relief, and joy were all mixed together, speaking loudly through her courageous, big brown eyes, the path to her righteous young soul.
Paddy and I just sat there with our hands over our mouths as if we didn’t trust ourselves not to shout out to the top of our lungs that we had just killed our daddy.
I don’t know how long we sat there in total silence, but then Lee took a deep breath and calmly said, “Okay, somebody had to do it. He killed Mother; we killed him. Besides, if he’d gotten us at the top of the stairs, he probably woulda thrown us all down the stairs one by one, and of course we’d all be dead now. Then when our bodies were found, the liar in chief would tell the sheriff, ‘Hell, boys, I don’t have any idea what happened to those kids. I just got home and found ’em laying there dead, just like that.’ He wouldn’t get away with it, though, ’cause in his case, he’s always guilty until proven innocent. But as it is right now, only one person had to die, not three. And another thing: we didn’t deserve to die, but HE did!”
Man, what a way to live!! And yet, Life went on for the Chillton family.
Next week, join me for Chapter 18—”Lost Treasures”—It’s about an exciting treasure hunt! This particular treasure has been patiently waiting to be found for many lifetimes, and will prove to be the find of the century!!
Until then, here’s ME wishing YOU a gloriously happy and love-filled week. Whatever you do, my prayer is that you will do it with a loving and forgiving heart.
GOD is Good. GOD is Great!!
Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient, and the best things come to those who don’t give up!!
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” Gala 5.25