In this post I want to:
- Share Part 4 of 4 of a story about the 110 year old house I was born into more than 60 years ago.
- Share 100+ book discovery opportunities.
- Give you links to Parts 1, 2 & 3 – ICMYI (More free Books!)
- Final Thoughts
I Grew Up in a Spooky House (Part 4 of 4 – 704 words)
This excerpt is a first draft of a chapter from the book I am working on.
Readers of this newsletter get first look.
The whole story is over 5,000 words.
If you are in a hurry, now might not be the best time to read this part 4.
Take a moment to hit reply and please tell me what you thought.
Shouts, screams, and all sorts of commotion woke me up the next morning. Everyone was hollering. What could possibly be wrong now was the thought weighing heavily on my young heart?
“What’s going on?!” somebody yelled.
“You’re not gonna believe it!”
“What’s wrong?!” I screamed.
“Momma’s back!! Momma’s back!!” was the chorus being sung
I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it. I ran to the top of the steps, jumped on the forbidden banister and defiantly slid down. At the bottom of the staircase in the room opposite the chair where my Pop had been sitting was the totally unexpected – an answer to prayer.
I ran in, looked to my right and there in a black dress standing in front of a white wall was none other than —- my mom. She was holding something, maybe a purse. It wasn’t important because she immediately threw it down, bent over and held out her arms. I ran to her and then she picked me up and hugged the life back into me. Hugs… I suppose I had been hugged before. Maybe when they held me tightly as they put me a paper bag to bring me home from the hospital. But this hug, on this day, I remember.
Momma was indeed back.
With Hindsight I Understood
It was many years later when I found out where my mother had gone and who she was with … that time. It is not a happy story. She had been there before and ultimately went there again. And never came back.
On that day, however, she was home. That spooky old house lost a big one and in my young life a spell had been broken and the stage was set for how I would live the rest of my life.
From that day forward all that was bad and hurtful, I thought, could be beaten and crushed by simple prayers and a childlike faith. More people praying the same prayer seems to help, too.
We Left That House
We moved from that spooky place not long after that and with no return on my dad’s investment. Indeed all was not peaches and cream, peas and carrots for my family. For me, however, I can say with complete honesty that from the night I was asked to pray my very first prayer until now nearly 50, okay 60 years later, I have prayed at least once every day of my life, and usually more often, and it has made all the difference.
I still do not blame the house nor do I believe it ever had any power over anyone. I do not accuse my mother who was and then wasn’t there for me and for my siblings. I don’t blame anyone or anything for how my life or the lives of my siblings has turned out. I find no scapegoats for what is lacking in my life or character. Instead, I am convinced that had all my brothers and sisters learned that day what it meant to live our lives with prayer and faith it could have made all the difference for them, too.
I wonder now why everyone doesn’t live a life where prayer and faith is an integral part. But all that wondering really doesn’t amount to anything if you’re an expert in stupid. As for me, I pray now and will keep at it.
Post script: I got an unexpected visit from my brother, Jerry, right as I was wrapping more original version of this story. He reminded me of a time when we were little guys still living in that old house. One night he had convinced our parents to let him sleep in one of the small rooms in the back of the house on the first floor.
“Hands gripped my shoulders, shook me violently and awakened me. But, I saw nothing. Still I unmistakably felt something,” he told me of his remembrance from that lone night. He recalled other times when he saw figures walking the halls at night, making their way to and from the attic on the third floor. Maybe, just maybe, there were ghosts in that house after all.
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Have a great summer!