About Who I am

Still trying to figure out who I am

Chapter Seventeen


I was not comfortable enough to ask where we were going so I enjoyed looking out the window at the outdoors. The curvy roads, no bumps or dirt flying up at the window. The two people up front were talking like they were friends, they weren’t yelling or saying naughty words.

I saw lots of big trees and sometimes birds would fly close to the car. I didn’t see many cars that passed up so I figured this is what mama called country side. It was real pretty and real nice. I wish I lived in the country side.

We drove like this for a little bit and then I started seeing more cars, less trees and big buildings. We got closer and closer to those buildings and there was a bunch of stores all lined up next to each other. I wished we could stop the car and I could run up and see what was in each window; but we didn’t stop, well not just yet.

We drove through town and then the buildings seemed to be saying goodbye. Just as the quietness started to come back, we pulled up in front of a house. The man stayed in the car but the lady got out. She glanced back at us kids. I think she wanted to make sure we were still alright, because neither my brother nor I said a single word the whole trip.

I saw a lady come out from the front door and then the two ladies shook hands. They even gave each other a hug. The lady was a little heavy, not thin like mama. She had a dress on with some kind of thing hanging over it. I saw her wipe her hands on it before she shook hands with the lady cop.

The two sure did act like they knew each other. They was talking for a long time. Soon the two walked out to the car and one of them opened the back door on the side where my brother was sitting. She glanced down at him and shook her head ever so slightly back and forth. She wasn’t smiling just then, but she wasn’t mad either. I could tell because her eyes looked nice.

She picked up my brother and the police lady came over and let me out of the car. The man driving the car turned around in his seat and said, ” You two will really like it here.” I sure didn’t know what he meant by that because this wasn’t our house and mama wasn’t even here.

We all walked up the sidewalk back to the house. I could see shiny windows with colored curtains hanging in them. On the porch was lots of big, green plants. There was even a swing and it was hanging from the porch. I sure would like to swing on that.

The two ladies sat on that swing. One lady held my brother and the other lady asked me to come sit on her lap. I did, even though I didn’t know her, her face looked happy. We swung for a few minutes and then the lady who lived here said, ” I’m so glad that you kids have arrived. I sure have been anxious to meet you both. Inside the house, I got some fresh-baked cookies and nice cold milk. I also have some clean clothes and I think by looking at the two of you; they are going to fit you just fine.”

The lady officer said so matter of fact, ” You see kids, sometimes grown-ups make mistakes and those mistakes have to be fixed. Until we get everything straightened out, you two will be staying here with Miss Bea. She’s a real nice lady and she’s going to take real good care of you. There is two other children here too so maybe all of you will learn to play together and have some real fun.”

“I want my mama. I don’t see my mama anywhere. Is she inside?” The two ladies grew quiet as they both knew our mama wasn’t here, in fact, she was in jail. ” No, your mama isn’t here. She’s going to help us get this whole mess cleaned up and then we will see what happens from there. I’m sure you will see your mama real soon.”

Her answer was sad because I wanted to see mama. Mama wasn’t at all like this new lady. Mama didn’t smile or offer cookies, but she was our mama. I had known her for a long time. I didn’t cry because big girls don’t cry and when I looked at my brother, he seemed to be saying with his eyes, as long as you are with me sister, I’ll be okay too.

To be continued…

Chapter Sixteen


My brother had been sleeping for a while. I think it was easy for him because his belly was finally full. I didn’t do much but watch people walk here and there. After all, a girl my age, needed more grown-up things to do with her time besides play with toys. I was three years old after all.

A woman came to the door and was looking at my brother and me as if she was trying to cement our faces in her mind. She stood there and finally disappeared. She appeared to be a pretty lady, with a floppy hat on and her curls were in place; but she didn’t smile at all.

Soon she came back but she didn’t stare this time, she opened the door and a lady cop followed behind her. She addressed us by our first names. She sure sounded like a cop to me. Her voice was as stiff as the way those officers stood.

The police officer explained that we would be going with this nice, young lady.”Come on children, take my hand.” I stood up but my brother was just opening his eyes and he didn’t stand up. No one seemed to remember that my brother couldn’t walk.

The cop leaned into her and whispered loud enough for me to hear,” The youngest one has some sort of issue going on. I think the record said something about maybe having rickets.” Once again the curly haired lady shot the officer a dart of a look.

“Young man, please stand up and follow me. We don’t have time to dawdle here, now let’s go.” My brother looked at her and then at me and then started whimpering. I could tell that the lady was in a big hurry. She reached down and grabbed my brother and sat him on her hip and then looked at me. Off we went, leaving the nice rug, the good food and that nice officer. It was nice there, it really was.

After stepping outside, I had to blink a few times. The room we had been in was sort of dark, and out here; it was so bright. I almost felt blind! Another gentleman pulled up to the curb in his car. He quickly got out and came around to open the doors.

He was dressed all up for sure. He had a black suit on I guess it wasn’t all black because there were these tiny stripes that looked a different color. He had a gold or yellow shirt on and he had a black tie. I had to giggle when I saw that. I never actually seen a tie before and it even matched his black hat.

After putting us kids in the back seat, they got in the front seat. The man turned around to look at us kids and as he did, he smiled, showing real white teeth. I don’t understand why, but I felt a certain trust feel good feeling. Soon the engine started and off we went.

To be continued…

Chapter Fifteen


I guess while my brother and I were eating, there must have been something special going on in another room. From where I was sitting, I could see one, two, three, maybe more officers going into a room. I could see them through the shiny glass in the door and every time they went through that other door, I could hear the door slam. I wasn’t really concerned. My brother seemed happy to play with the toys and when he was happy, I was happy.

In the other room there was a meeting going on. I couldn’t see or hear anyone but from what I learned later on, the meeting was about George and mama. It seems that mama had kidnapped us kids from our papa. I really didn’t know papa too well. He was always gone when I was awake and he was home when it was time for me to sleep. I learned George had been in some sort of accident and when the officers arrived, they found George gone, but there was a man laying next to the road. I heard one officer say it had been a “hit and run”.

Some cop had been driving behind George and since he was going a little over that line, you know, that yellow line that goes down the middle of the road? I always wanted to go out on the road and jump over the lines, but I never got the chance.

Well, anyways, the cop seemed to know who George was and so he turned that big bubble on top of his car, and as the saying goes, ” and the rest is history.” So that’s how this whole thing got started.

The officers had known our mama. They are the smartest people I have ever known, I swear to it, they seemed like magic. They know all kinds of things that no one else does. So they knew mama and and the bad thing she had done.

I don’t see what was so bad. They said she kidnapped us but how could that be? We were her kids. I know that’s true because I can remember her face even back when she used to rock me on her lap.

I don’t ever remember what happened to George, I never saw him again, but that was okay with me. They had put mama in some sort of room that had these long bars that went from the floor up to the skies. I wish I could see her, but then again, I don’t know if she could make all things right. It seemed like so much was always wrong at home.

To be continued…

Chapter Fourteen


I watched mama and George getting in the police car. My brother and I were still in the back seat. I watched until I could not see them anymore and then reality sunk in because before I realized what was happening to me, I began crying. I sobbed as some may say. I just couldn’t stop. Where was my mama going? Who was going to take care of my brother? Was I ever going to see mama again? The policeman walked up to the car door. He got my brother out and then he walked over and opened my car door and said,”Follow me,” as he took my little hand. His hand was big and not soft like mama’s. I had no problem following a man that was big and tall and had big hands.

My brother and I were placed in the police car. We were situated and my brother was given a pretty, blue blanket. Instinct kicked in and my brother cuddled to it. Maybe he thought the blanket was like mama, but then again, neither of us kids cuddled with mama that I can remember.

We were taken to a building. Inside the lights were bright and there were lots of men and women who wore those dark blue clothes. They all had hats that were the same color too. A lady walked up to where we had been seated. She and the one officer talked in whispers and then the lady, who I think was a policeman too, took us into another room.

There was a table and chairs. A rug was on the floor and there were toys there to play with. She sat my brother down and he looked at me as if saying, are you going to sit with me too? I went over and sat beside him. I offered him different toys and it didn’t take long for him to choose one and start playing with it. I didn’t play with any of the toys. I think my mind was more on; where was our mama.

The police lady started asking me if I was hungry. I didn’t say anything but I watched her as she started getting stuff out of the refrigerator. Bread, cold cuts, milk and cookies. Yes, I was hungry and I think she thought, since I didn’t answer her, I must be shy and I admit, I was. She got everything ready and brought two plates over for me. She gave my brother the cut up sandwich plate and I got a whole sandwich. I laughed because my brother went straight for the cookie, and so did I.

To be continued….

Chapter Thirteen


An adult story from a child’s eyes.

Some say there was abuse.

It was actually pretty quiet on the drive except the box playing from up front, even mama wasn’t talking. I think she was asleep because her head fell over to the side and was leaning on the window. George was quiet too but that was okay with me.

Soon there was a noise that was real loud. I had heard that noise before, plenty of times at our house. It kept getting louder and louder and then it seemed like someone was screaming from the top of their mouth.

George looked in that mirror and uttered, “Not this, not now, God dammit anyways!” That woke mama up and George was slowing way down. In fact, he pulled off to the side of the road but he kept the car running.Two big men, one white and one black, came up to the windows. Without saying a word, they looked in the back seat right at us kids. I got a little scared. Did I do something wrong and now I was going to be punished real hard? I looked over at my brother, and he was starting to cry. I think that big noise really scared him. “Please turn the car off. License and registration sir.” As George tried pulling his wallet from his pocket, the white officer asked,” Mam, are those your kids?” Mama shook her head yes but she didn’t say one word. The policeman handed the license and registration to the black officer and that man took them and walked back to his car.

The policeman kept staring at us. Boy, I must have really done something big this time. I was in big trouble. Everyone was quiet and I was too scared to ask or say anything. Soon the officer walked back to George’s car. He showed his partner a piece of paper and the two officers stared down through the window at George.

“Sir, George Taylor, will you kindly step out of the car.” George slowly did it. Boy, he sure acted like he was in trouble too. Well he wasn’t smiling, not even once. I watched as the cop turned George towards the car and leaned him up against it. Then the cop took these two circles and he put them around George’s hands. Wow, I couldn’t believe I was seeing this. George was in trouble too!

The one officer kept an eye on George while the other cop went over to mama’s side and he did the same thing with her. What? Mama was in trouble too? Wow, all of us are in big heaps of trouble.

After mama and George were both handcuffed they walked mama over to where George was standing and I head the black officer say, ” You two are under arrest for hit and run and kidnapping.” My eyes bugged out, I swear they did. Arrested? Just like on the TV shows.

To be continued…

Chapter Twelve


For me, it was the nicest three days in my life. People talked to me instead of ignoring or yelling at me. My tummy didn’t growl and even the older kids took me outside to play. I don’t really know what was going on with my brother, and when I grew up I felt a sense of guilt that I didn’t pay as much attention to him.

Like other things in life, the good does eventually end, and so it was on that Monday morning. Mama was sort of acting anxious and George was packing up the car. Everyone was standing around us and they watched mama put us kids back in our seats and those people were even blowing us kisses in the air as the engine started and we began pulling away.

i guess I was tired because after I quit looking my brother over from foot to toe; I fell asleep. I must have slept for hours because the next thing I knew, was we were stopped again. This time George gave mama some money and she went up to a window and when she turned back towards the car, she had a bag of food.

She handed me a hot dog and she tore up a hamburger and laid it on the seat between my brother and me and said,” Now feed him this.”, which I did. The food wasn’t near as good as back at those people’s house, but my tummy wasn’t hurting either. She had a carton of milk which she poured half of it in my brother’s bottle and she gave me the half carton.

After everyone was done George told mama to get rid of the trash and so she did. Climbing back in the car, George turned this handle and some music started playing. I didn’t recognize any of it but it made mama smile, so I relaxed and enjoyed the view.

We rode in the backseat for a long time, listening to different songs. Sometimes I found my feet tapping to the music and when I looked over at my brother, his fingers were moving. I decided right there that when I grew up, I was going to have one of those music boxes too because it made me and my brother happy.

To be continued….

The Holidays are Coming


Days are already getting shorter

Our minds turn to coming gatherings

The day of Thanksgiving

And the celebration of Christ.

Let’s not forget to take a deep breath

Take one day at a time

Before you know it, will all be passed

Give thanks for all those you are able to see

Because this could be their last yea

rAnd year after year, your’s will be different.

Written by

,Terry Shepherd

10/05/2021

Chapter Eleven


When we all got inside there were a lot of people. I wasn’t sure how all those people got inside because from the outside it sure didn’t look like it could hold all of them. It sort of reminded me of the time mama asked me if I wanted to try one of those things she was eating. It smelled so yucky. It looked like a bunch of tiny fish all laying dead in a small can or something. I didn’t want to try them so I just turned my head away and mama went about her eating.

There was kids in the house too. Some were little and running around. The girls had long braids with real pretty ribbons in their hair. There were older kids too, way older than me but not as old as mama. They were standing around in little groups in the corners of the room. Every once in a while they would turn and look at me and my brother and I could see them laughing. Were they laughing at us kids? Were we funny looking or something? I looked down at my skin and I thought maybe they was laughing at our white skin.

It didn’t take long for the smells to enter my nose. They were good smells. It made my tummy growl. I hadn’t smelled stuff like that and I wanted to smell it over and over. In no time at all, the older lady called everyone to come on in and sit down.

My brother was left on the couch. I didn’t want to leave him because, what if he tried to crawl off the couch? He might get hurt, but mama took my hand and made me follow her. She put me in this chair. It had some kind of tray on it. I barely fit in it but I could see what everyone else was seeing; food, lots and lots of food.

Wasn’t long at all that all those eyes were closed and someone at the table was mumbling something. I didn’t know for sure what was going on. Was someone hurt? Was someone saying they were sorry? I did hear a few words that sounded like, and we thank-you Lord for this food, Amen. I didn’t know who was talking to who, but then everyone opened their eyes and the plates were filled and something I never heard much, was laughter, plenty of laughter and talking.

To be continued…

Chapter Ten


We drove so long and there was nothing to look at different out my window and soon my eyes shut. My brother and I both napped and were both awoken by slams of the car doors. I opened my eyes and looked at my brother and then the two people standing outside the car.

We were in front of a house and I sure didn’t recognize it. The house was kind of small. I saw a couple windows on the bottom and a smaller one at the top. There were shutters that at one time must have been painted yellow but most of the color was worn off by now. The white paint on the house looked the same way.

I saw people running out from the front door and I noticed they all looked just like George, but I saw some kids too. They run up to George and they were hugging him like they loved him or something. I have to admit right here that I wish I could be hugged like that.

They didn’t pay much attention to mama, who had been moving her feet in a scribbling motion in the dirt. After all that hugging was done, I heard George say,”And over here, well this is my woman, and if you look in the car, you’ll see her two kids.” I saw those people sort of nod up and down and wondered if they all had a crook in their necks, lol, and then one big man stuck his head clear in the back window and I am pretty sure he was looking brother and me over.

“Well for land’s sake Selma, let’s get those two little ones out of this hot car. Get them something to drink Theo. They look mighty hot and thirsty.” No one offered mama a cold drink. I am not sure if they liked her or not.The big man reached for my car door and opened it and then he went to the other side and opened that door and lifted my brother out. My brother was two and I guess that man knew how old he was, so he placed him standing on the ground, but my brother fell immediately.

I guess no one told any of them that my brother couldn’t walk yet. I over heard my mama talking to a neighbor lady once and she was saying that my brother had some kind of disease. I think it was called Rickets or something. I didn’t know for sure because that’s all I heard. I didn’t want to hide behind the chair too long in fear my mama might catch me eavesdropping.

The man looked at George kind of funny but he picked up my brother and carried him into the house.

To be continued…

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rickets/symptoms-causes/syc-20351943

Chapter Nine


It seemed like we were in that back seat for years. The heat kept getting hotter and it made me feel like I was crying, but I swear I wasn’t. Water just kept running down my face. I looked at my little brother and his face was wet. Maybe he was crying too.

I really had to go pee. I didn’t want to make anyone look at me so I squeezed my legs together and I chewed on my bottom lip, maybe this would make the feelings go away; but sadly it didn’t. I think it may have made things worse.

With a softness in my voice I said, ” I have to go pee mama. I can’t wait much longer.” She looked back at me with an empty face and then looked at her companion. ” I wasn’t planning on stopping for another fifty miles yet.”

“Oh George, I could use a pit stop too. I need to powder my face, this heat is just going to make my make-up melt and you know honey, how you like a pretty face.” She purred as she spoke to him and he gave her an extra minute of looking at her face, then shook his head.

He continued driving until he saw a rest area. He pulled in and parked. Shutting the car off, mama got out and took my brother and me to the restroom. That man got out too and he stood at the side of the car and lit up a cigarette.

I peed almost before I sat down. When I got done I walked out of the stall and watched my mama change my brother’s diaper. I thought to myself, why is he so red? I am not red. He had tiny, red bumps all over his bottom. I didn’t dare say anything. I really didn’t want yelled at or slapped when others might see. I just hated myself for crying in front of others. They always looked at me so strange and then they would stare at mama. Usually they just walked off but I never forgot those looks. Sometimes when I was alone in my bed at night, those looks would bounce all over the walls and it made me scared. I would hide under my covers and wish for light.

When we finished our business and left the restroom, I think his name was George, yes, that was what mama called him. Well, anyways, he was drinking something out of a brown cup. I sure would like something to drink and I bet my brother would too.

“Donna, are you thirsty? Do you want some coffee? It’s real good.”

“That sounds good George and can you get a bottle of soda too? I’ll split it between the two kids.”

George did as she asked. Mama and us kids went back to the car. She took my brother’s bottle and unscrewed the lid, dumping the curdled milk on the pavement. She poured half the liquid in his bottle and putting him back on the seat; she handed it to him. He must have been real thirsty because I bet he drank half of it right down!

Mama got me situated and took the can I had from earlier. She shook it upside down, and then filled it with the other half. I don’t know what it was but it was real cold and I liked it.

George came back to the car and got in and started it. Without another word the car began moving again.

To be continued…