Dee was gifted with a
memory to reach back to places where no one else could go. All the
memories were a part of her. There were events she could not have
appreciated or understand until the waves from the ocean of life lapped at
her feet now that she was an older woman.
On occasion throughout her
life the vision of an older woman, Mrs. Cox, were recalled. There was
something beautiful about the woman as she remembered her. Never could
she identify what it was. Not the way she wore her hair. Certainly not
that. It was totally white and although there was a mass like cloud of it
she simply twisted it into a severe knot at her neck.
Her dress was always neat
but also very modest of one or another soft fabric. One garment looked
exactly like the other. She wore a pair of shoes called “comfortable.”
To be sure they must have been easy to wear. Black leather with lace up
ties on the top and always the same they were.
Mrs. Cox always had her
granddaughter at her side. The girl, Starla, was as glowingly angel like
in her youth as was her grandmother in her age. The child was the same age
as Dee and with the parent's permission the girls became close
associates. One could not use the word friendship. Starla's life was too
much of some future age to become close to anyone.
She had a dream like
personality and although she was brilliant with no boundaries, her
intelligence was to point her toward some place ahead of them.
Starla was a wispy, tall,
slender, child who never bared her soul as to her life or from where they
came. All was for the moment with her. There seemed not to be any past or
any future. For her the basement apartment where they lived was her home.
Meals were served on the hand-made booth like space. It was beneath a
high window which brought light to that space. It was a feeling of
security to sit there with them. The fruit Mrs. Cox served from jars she
had moved with her were from Washington state was delicious to the
ultimate. Huge black cherries, Dee had never tasted before or ever
Mrs. Cox arrived three
times a week to take Dee to Bible study with them. Her black older model
car looked to be conservative like the woman herself.
The meetings were small
with few people there. Her long comments sometimes going on for maybe six
minutes covering a topic completely while reading every scripture involved
was something they all listened through. It was her sincere way to hold
them. She was thoroughly covering a subject obviously loved.
Dee was only twelve as was
Starla. It never occurred to them to object to the straight intense
teaching. So much of it was over their heads, it was true. Their minds
were uncluttered with television, boy talk, fads in clothing styles, or
anything frivolous. This was a world of innocence maybe around the year of
1949. Probably, the most exciting thing to happen was the walk from their
school to the girl's apartment in the afternoon. It was easy for them to
center their attention on the deep subjects touched into on these
occasions at the Bible studies.
As quietly as the woman and
her granddaughter came they were gone. No one ever spoke of where they
went or why. And, although Dee thought about them once in a while she
made no effort to inquire as to their where abouts.
Many years later at a
convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma Dee saw Starla. Dee was married and was
sitting on the second level of the auditorium but she could see the wispy
tall beautiful girl easily. Starla was translating for the deaf people
who were sitting in a section in front of her. Quickly her long slender
fingers spelled out the words to the people who could not hear the
speaker. Her face still had the delicate angelic quality and as she
translated she spoke in order for those who could lip read might
“hear.” The crowds were heavy and she and her husband were not able to
get through them to speak to Starla.
When age itself came to
rest on Dee there were questions she wanted to ask. Why had the
grandmother come to their town? Was she a dedicated servant who went
where “the need was great?” Was she staying on the move ahead of some
other situation involving her granddaughter? What courage she had to slip
from state to state all over the United States with the barest of
financial support. How strong she was to continue her teaching at her age
during a time when war had raked across the nation leaving it humbled and
This was the beauty about
the woman Dee saw but never had been able to identify as a young person.
For the record as to time and unforeseen circumstances no amount of
gratitude can be expressed for the simple but a dynamic example the woman