this is the day that my mother left the body that she still lived, breathed and worked in.It is the day she lost my baby brother at birth. I have another book ready to get to work, about my dark sister and how she came as a child to live with us when her parents Bruce and Essie we killed in accident.I won't write much now for work on Brucie. I mention them in Elizabeth's choice.
The saddest song that I ever heard is a sguare dance tune called Turkey in the Straw. It was and still is a sad, sad song.My Step daddy--- I hate that word for a man who was the only real father that I would ever know--- sat before the fire all night long, holding his dead son, rocking and singing turkey in the straw.
It was the same night that my mother stopped crying and went inside herself somewhere to only come out, and let us see a light in her eyes---a light that said I know you, I remember you, you are my child, only to go back into hiding after that split second, to look out at the world with eyes that said there is no one home.
It twas after that song was over that we turned to the grandparents. we had to turn to someone and they were there for us.
I still give thanks for all of the grandparents in this world. They are so needed in a child's world. They give love, hot buttered biscuits, and a feeling of safety in a world gone strange and wrong. They make things all right again, for a little while.
OH---but I still miss the mother that taught me to say "Now I lay me down to sleep, and Our Father". I do now wonder if she stopped saying it, and if she did, why wasn't it answered.
The last time I heard her say it, she wass kneeling on the bank of a swollen Town Creek in Jackson Mississippi. It was the day that she she finally left her marriage to my real blood daddy.
she lifted my sister and waded out into the water, and swam to the other side with her. she sat her on the bamk and came back for me. She looked all white in her face and she was shaking. she said, "come to my back and put your arms around my neck, and put your legs around my waist and hold on tight." she stood and waded out and I heard a sob from her as she went up the bank on the other side, and left me beside my sister.
she went back and retrieved the two flour sacks that held our few pieces of clothing.
We learned later that she was pregnant with another sister for me. All that I remember after that was the word divorce that I thought meant a disease, the horrible crying, and an unyielding doorknob beneath my hand as I tried to go to her.
Then, about a year later, we met Smokey, The man that would marry my mother and be the only daddy in my world. he would bring mother back for longer intervals, and she would truly love again and be loved--- until she went away again, time after time. he would also father a baby boy, the baby that he sang to all night long, until Brucie, my dark sister took him from his arms. he sired a baby daughter, and in later years adopted a little boy. He was a real daddy to all of us, and he continued to love and cherish my mother until the day she died, and I believe even after until he went to be with her.