"Oh my, Oh my! What have
I gotten myself into?" I was thinking quietly to myself and not about to
open my mouth as I looked around the filthy little apartment. It was
furnished, after a fashion, which was okay, since we sold all our
furniture to the man where we last lived who owned the farm house on
Portland Avenue. He was glad to get furnishings at a bargain and we
couldn't have brought the large pieces here anywat. The only thing kept
was my great grandmothers antique round, oak table and it took up a
large place in this living room. Rodney cut it down from a dining table
to a coffee table and it now stood out amidst all the grime around it
like a lady with reserved elegance and an attitude. She might be a bit
out of place but was determined to make her central location attractive.
Rod was off to work and I
was left with trying to make the place habitable. As usual, there was a
plan and I was busy about getting to it. The bathroom floor was so old
and damaged even after a thorough cleaning it still looked dirty. For
that I simply poured out a gallon of floor enamel paint and mopped that
onto it. Kitchen cabinets were so grimy there was no cleaning them
either. For these, I simply used a SOS pad of steel wool along with
elbow grease. Then I sanded and sprayed them with a color, can't
remember now what it was, probably berry or something else pleasing to
me. I'm sure there were some fine lined squiggles from a trusty art
brush along the edges.
Next must do was the
kitchen stove. The layers of grease seemed an impossible task. By this
time Rhonda was needing attention so I dressed her and put her on the
porch outside. After all the windows and doors were opened the whole
stove was thoroughly sprayed with Easy Off Oven cleaner. A rag over my
mouth and nose protected me from that awful acrid smell.
"Iím out of here while
you do your work," I spoke to the inanimate cleaner.
Rhonda and I were now off
and walking about the neighborhood. It was as if the children were so
anxious to know us and how pleasant that was. I was thinking wouldn't it
be wonderful if adults could retain this quality in their lives.
"You want me to push your
kid for you?" One of the bigger boys offered his services.
"Oh sure! I would be so
happy for you to do it."
Really, helping him get
the buggy over rough places in the old sidewalks made us a partner in
conquering something and he was a new friend to me. It didn't matter he
was youthful. He was a willing helper and did I ever need that.
"You know," I was asking
my new friend for a favor, "my daughter has cerebral palsy and can't
walk or talk, but Rhonda needs friends. Do you think you could ask some
of the parents who have children her age if they could come play with
"Is that her name?
Rhonda? Okay!" He was pleased to have been appointed to be a messenger.
"When do you want them to come over?" The boy was an opportunist, and I
"Give me a couple days
until I can get my apartment cleaned and organized?" Somehow I was
trusting this child with a very large and important duty to do for me
but did not, for one minute, doubt that he could do as I asked.
Sure enough, in a couple
of days there were children at my door. They were all small, two, three,
one who was four, maybe. Some were brothers and sisters and others were
from the neighborhood.
This was to begin the
days with Rhonda sitting around the big old table with her friends. They
colored, painted, cut out, shaped home made play dough and any other
activity that I could think of to keep them interested.
Once in a while some
would tire of sitting but as if by plan only a couple would leave to run
about the yard and when they were ready to come back another two would
leave. These children were teaching me a lesson in the beauty of the
Creatorís plan already implanted in their minds which is called instinct
in animals. No wonder Christ loved the downtrodden and the children.
Their humility was so beautiful.
Finally, one of the
mothers came to introduce herself.
"You know I work? She told me. "Since the
kids seem so pleased to be with you would you let me pay you for baby
sitting?" Needless to say, my days of depression and hopelessness were