I Felt My Heart Breaking

I Felt My Heart Breaking

A Story by texasjane

Growing up.

"Shuu Shuu, Baby, I want to hear what they are saying."

"One is all I will allow.  It is just too dangerous for both.  While one is out the other will be locked in the closet."  My new grandmother had her hands on her hips.  She did that when she was laying down THE LAW.  Honey, gave her a hug and a nod of her head.

"What are you going to do about...?"

"Jane, I got that covered.  I am going to make a cake from scratch and she will be so distracted to realize what is happening.  I know this will work.  She is just too fast for me to keep up with both of them at the same time.  One out and one in, or... they go back and we just forget the whole thing."

"Okay, Momma, I have to go put my face on.  Good luck.  Call me if you need me.  Alex will be home in time to help take them back if you think it is best.  I know it is Sunday but he can make a run if we need him to."

I could not believe it.  Baby and I had been with them for a while.  Now, they want to send us back.  I felt my heartbreaking.  I hugged my baby and cried as quietly as I could.  I had to think.  She wanted to put one of us in a closet while the other one was out.  She did not understand.  "I am your mommy, I have to protect you."  I have to move slower, she made that clear.  But if they catch me, HE, will take me back.  Oh My.  The closet.  My tummy wants to put stuff up my throat.  We cannot do another closet.  I had to find the closet with the door in it that goes under the house.  I know how to disappear under the house.  I thought having to do this was all over now.

I remember.  The day our big brother, big sister, and little brother met us in the hall at the orphanage.  We hugged each other.  They had said we had to make the hugs last forever.  I have no idea what that is but we all hugged very tight.  Then I watched as the two boys went to one door, my big sister to another.  We all opened the doors in front of us at the same time.   I guess forever is a long time cause we have not seen them since.  How will we survive under the house again without a big brother and a big sister?  They always checked the house to make sure Da was not home.  When he hurt us it hurt for a long time.  Big brother could steal food and get back down the hole quick.  Big sister is the one who usually got caught.  She would get thrown in the closet with her eyes shut.  It took all of us to bring her body down under the house.  We took care of her till she came alive again.  No, we cannot do under the house again without our big brother.  I know we need to hide and hide well.

Wait a minute.  She said something about a cake made of scraps.  I have been helping her cut up all those pieces of cloth into squares so she could sew them back together again.  Now, she is going to make a cake from scraps.  I guess me running in the house and climbing that big tree is what did it.  "Oh, Baby, they are going to send us back to the orphanage.  Maybe they will only keep one of us.  They will keep you for sure.  I have to hide.  If they can't find me they can't send me back.  I can stay under the house for that long.

"Baby, I am putting you here on Grandmother's bed.  You stay still and wait.  I am sure she will find you.  I found the closet I need.  You keep our secret."  

"Secret, Shoo."
"That's right, Baby, Shoo."

Here I go.  There are bugs down here.  I know all about bugs under the house.  I ate my share while we were under the old place.  I hear someone talking.  I also hear them walking.  I know they have found Baby cause that is the room I just heard the walking noise come and go.  I gotta crawl to where ever the opening is for outside.  Oh, there it is.  It has a little window.  What are they doing?  Everyone is running all over the backyard.  They have baskets full of ribbon and flowers.  They are putting all those eggs I helped Grandmother decorate the last three days.  I guess they have not missed me yet.  Oh, I have to stop crying.  I have mud on my face now.  I can't help it.  It hurts when no one wants you.  I remember the lady at the orphanage.  She called me a trash baby.  My mommy had put me in a trash can when I was born and my big brother found me.  I guess my mommy did not want me either.  What is wrong with me?  I am so sleepy.

Boom, Boom... I know whose footsteps they are.  That is Sweetheart.  Honey and Sweetheart kiss a lot.  I guess everyone is getting ready for church now.  Easter Sunday was special they said.  Yeah, some special, they are going to catch me and either throw me in a closet or send me back to the orphanage.  I know one thing for sure, I am not taking a bite of any cake made of scraps.

I hear yelling.  "Where could she be?  Momma when was the last time you saw her?"

"Jane, it was just before we discussed the skates.  I have them in the closet all wrapped up for her birthday.  But, I am still only going to give her one at a time.  Where could she be?"

"I checked all over the backyard.  Honey, we have everything but the birthday girl.  Even the Easter eggs are hidden.  Her special birthday cake is done, ice cream made.  We don't have a birthday girl.  Momma, are you sure about the skates?  I can take them back and get something else."

"No, Dear, but I am still..."

"I know, one at a time."

"Secret, Shoo."  

"What, Baby?  She turned to Grandmother, "Look, Momma, she is tugging on my dress.  She said secret and then did the shoo with her finger to her lips.  Do you think she knows where our little birthday girl is?"

"Where is she, Baby?"   Come on all you guys maybe she will show us.

I heard the door in the floor of the closet open.  I knew I had to be very quiet. "Has the Easter Bunny been down here?  Where is my special Sweetheart?"

I could not keep my tears back.  I opened the little door to the backyard and crawled out.  I had dirt all over me.  I will just go very slow so maybe they will change their minds.  Maybe they will keep me.  I hope so.  I love them all so much.

"OH, Dear God, Look at you."  Honey was scooping me up and hugging me tightly.  She did not seem to care that she was getting dirt on herself.  "You are my little angel.  We have a surprise for you."

"I know."  I could not help the tears.  I could not stop crying.  Grandmother and Sweetheart came running out the back door.  Grandmother grabbed me.  I did not understand.  She was holding me so tight I could feel her heart beating.   I started to wiggle and tried to get away.  "No closet, I will be good.  Please, I will be good.  Don't send me back."

"What, are you talking about?"  Grandmother had let me go.  She seemed to be hurt because I was afraid of her.  Sweetheart and Honey listened as I repeated, word for word the conversation I had heard.  The expression on their faces told me it was going to be okay.

"Grandmother, please, I don't want a cake made from scraps."  I tried to let her know I did not eat cloth.  I could only hope she understood.  "Why did you hide all the decorated eggs in the backyard?"  I looked up to all of them with dirt on my clothes.  Streaks of dirt from the tears that had rolled down my face.  All of a sudden, up I went into their arms.  Sweetheart was holding me and Honey had her arms around both of us.

"We love you.  We are going to keep you forever.  Today is your birthday and it happens to be Easter Sunday.  So, we are going to have an Easter Egg hunt for your birthday.  We are going to get all cleaned up and go to church.  Then your Sunday school class will come back here for the party."  I got a big hug from all three of them.  I looked down and there was Baby, with her finger on her lips.

"What is a birt-day?  I never had one a-afore."  I had no idea what a birt-day was but it must be important for the Easter Bunny to come.  I was so confused.

"We are celebrating the day you were born."  Honey tried to stop me.  I started wiggling and trying to escape.  I did not want to be put in the trash can.

"No trash can, please.  I don't want to be a trash baby."  I was frantic and frightened.  They had no idea how that day haunted me ever since that lady at the orphanage had labeled me a "trash baby".  I started crying so hard I had to bury my face in Sweetheart's shoulder.

"No, No, you are my special angel.  You are ours forever.  We love you.  I want to be your mommy."  Honey, caught her breath the minute she said that.

"No, I am Mommy.  Baby is my baby.  She knows I am Mommy."  I saw the tears roll down Honey's face.  She knew that my birthday was not the only challenge they were facing.

"That is right.  You are my Special Sweetheart.  I remember."  She took me from Sweetheart and gave me a big hug.  We both wiped our tears and she gave me a kiss.

"Secret, Shoo."

"Right, Baby, you don't keep secrets too good."  I felt a giggle come out.  It must have been contagious because everyone laughed at the same time.

After I got all cleaned up.  I got to put on a new dress for church.  We got all ready to leave and then I heard Honey say, "Let's see if your ruffles are straight."  Baby and I turned our backs to her and bent over so Grandmother could straighten the ruffles on our panties.  I was so happy.  Just think I am going to have a birthday.  I never had one of those before.  Yeah!!  I guess I will try the cake too.  Grandmother reminded me while we were getting the dirt off, she cooks with love.  You can't go wrong when you cook with love.  That is what she said.

She had broken my heart and put it all back together again.  I felt a little like Humpty Dumpty.  Best of all, I felt Loved.  Oh, and before I forget.  I got skates for my birthday.  But Grandmother will only let me have one.  It is very hard to skate with only one.  Baby was sneaky.  She reached in the box and got out both her skates.  She put them on and skated straight into a tree where she tied herself up.  She could not fall but she had both skates on at the same time.

My first birthday, my first Easter.  April 21st, 1957.  What a day!!

I am coming up on my 70th birthday.  It made me look back on the first time I celebrated my day of birth.  My memories for years were haunted because of the troubled waters in which I was born.  To put it in simple words I have been fighting since the day of my birth.

I was chosen out of many, many children and adopted by a loving family.  My real sister was adopted with me.  We got to grow up together and are still close today.  I had to learn how to redefine myself but more importantly, I had to learn to redefine love and what being loved was all about.  I had to learn how to love.  My spirit was, as my grandmother use to say, was the spirit of a rebel.  I always fought for the underdog, those being bullied, those feeling unloved.

Now I fight for all those who are now living in this storm we call retirement.  We are in different boats but in the same storm.  None of us could control our beginnings.  We can control how our stories end.  We can control what we leave behind.  Our legacy is the key.

Celebrate the laughter in your life.  Celebrate the love in your life.  All of it.  Not just what you have now, but what you have gathered along the way.  You cannot lose love if you carry it in your heart.  When you share it, it multiplies.

Tell your stories.  Let someone else learn from what you have experienced.  Give yourself time to heal from your losses by helping others pay it all forward.  I challenge each and everyone to find something to laugh about each and every day.  You would be surprised how much better things look from that point of view.  Your point of view is much like the picture frame on a painting.  A sad frame, a regretful frame, a hateful frame will only give you what you look for in the painting of your life.  Look for the laughter and the good.  You will find it.  It does not matter how much time you have, it will be much more pleasant if you do that time with a little laughter and a little love along the way.  It is a wondrous journey.  God bless you all...

© 2021 texasjane

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Added on May 30, 2021
Last Updated on May 30, 2021
Tags: Children, Adoption, Birthdays



Hawkins, TX

I a retired Texas widow. I live alone with two dogs. I love to look for the humor in almost everything. I like to pass along a giggle when I can. Wisdom is also fun to pass along. I like to pro.. more..

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A Story by texasjane