Please forgive me for my errors. It is difficult to read this story to correct my stupid grammar mistakes. I cry every time I read it so it makes it difficult to correct. My laptop doesn’t show me my errors. It is a chapter in my book but I thought my earthly Angels should know a part of me so you understand why bullying hurts and should not be done.
It was a cool winter’s day in 1971 where you are not sure the road is icy or not. The breeze was cool and the birds were singing. When you breathed in the smell it smelled clean and fresh. It starts out where you feel happy and giggly because you know spring could just happen in a moment with a change of the afternoon sun. A family of four pulled up in front of a house on 1st Avenue in an old rickety early 1950’s coupe. I was nine years old seating in the backseat with my six-year brother who was sound asleep. I hated coming down to this neighborhood. I can’t stand to be so near where Ted had dropped us off. Dad was still doing his paper route and he was stopping by to collect a past due payment from the customer. Mom and dad were in a heated argument of tears and screaming. Three grandfathers all had passed away within weeks of one another. My maternal grandfather had just died and the fight was about not being able to afford to go to South Carolina for his funeral. My Dad in his rush to get away from my emotional mother left his keys in the ignition. We watched my dad enter the frail old lady’s house. It was an old white cottage with many bushes, flowers, and over-growth. As soon as that door closed, my mom scooted over to behind the steering wheel. “Mom what are you doing? You don’t drive”?
“I am going to see my Dad”, she said. I scrambled over the big bench seat and took her place where she had been sitting. I was riding in the front. I was sitting on my knees. I felt like such a little grown up. The car had no seatbelts and there were no rules against children in front seats. My Mom turned left and then another left into the old pothole-riddled dirt alley. There was a small greenhouse facing west. The edge of the house sat right on the edge of the alley. The car was going too fast for the inexperienced driver. The car’s front tires hit some ice and it slammed into the little greenhouse. It knocked it right off its foundation. It happened so fast. I went forward like I was a missile right through the windshield but when the car stopped it slammed me back onto the seat. I felt like someone had punched my whole head against a cement wall. I recall looking over at my mother and she looked as if she had seen the worst horror of her life. That is when I saw the blood dripping on the front of my pants.
“Oh my God baby, I am so sorry. I am so sorry”.
“What, what mom? What do you mean”, I said.
Then out of nowhere the front door whisks open to a panting Jerry Lee Lewis look-alike neighbor with a mustache.
He says through his gasps of air, “OH darling here put this handkerchief over your face and put pressure on this. I have already called an ambulance”.
I knew him as the radio station guy who was married to Mary who had babysat us sometimes. I took the handkerchief and placed it on my right cheek and then brought it down right away because it was so wet. It was full of blood. Then my whole world, destiny, and life changed forever in that handkerchief full of blood. My Dad arrived when the ambulance arrived. Jerry had seat belts in his car. He took me and my brother to Deaconess. Everyone was scrambling when we arrived. I listened carefully to everyone.
I kept hearing all the nurses saying, “Oh my God the poor girl”.
They got to work right away. I was awake during the whole procedure and the heat of the light kept me closing my eyes thinking about what was going to become of my pretty face. The doctor gave specific orders not to allow me to look at myself in a mirror because as soon as they wheeled me to my room I asked for one. They had me on IVS and kept me drugged up because I slept throughout the night. The next morning I would see what seventy-one stitches looked like on a nine-year-old little girl’s pretty face. Oh, the girl in the mirror forever scarred was me. The first tears that burned my cheek that first morning would be the first of many more for the fragile young gal in me.
I had gotten up with help from the beautiful nurse who was about thirty, petite, and looked like a model in her white uniform. She had the white nurse’s hat with blonde hair placed in a bun. She had twinkly warm blue eyes and her voice was calming and warm as was her touch. “Please help me to the mirror”, I pleaded.
“Okay honey but it may make you cry. You are still pretty and you are so young”. Now I was getting worried by her eyes of trying to console me from the truth I had to face.
As soon as I stood up, I could see my reflection across the room in the mirror and I saw a Frankenstein monster staring back at me. That couldn’t be me? Someone just took my face. My pretty face was gone. It was as if the mirror became this magnet that floated me over to it.
I went to touch it, but the nurse said, “No you mustn’t touch it or it could get infected”. The tears started streaming down the face of ugliness in that Frankenstein foreign face in the mirror. “I am a monster ma-am, who will ever love something so ugly”?
The nurse started crying and she grabbed me and said, “Oh honey you are beautiful in here pointing to my heart and in here pointing to my head and I love you. You will heal in time. You must put medicine on it faithfully. When the stitches come out, then you must put vitamin e and natural moisturizers on it and it will fade. You then can wear foundation on it and it will hardly be noticeable. You will have a huge scar but it is on the outside and not on the inside. You are always loved and just you never forget that! You go to the bathroom, take a shower, don’t get water on your stitches, and I will brush your hair when you are done”.
Her kindness got me through that ugliest Frankenstein moment of my life. I had been thrown into the beginning of torment, teasing and bullying not of my choosing. You can read the fright in people’s eyes because folks would stare at the Frankenstein gal and then their eyes would get big and huge like they had seen a monster. I had no idea that the next twelve years could and would become tortuous beyond belief. Bullies are beaters because they torture the spirit of the child. I would come to shed many tears over being bullied because I had this huge scar of a seven placed upon the right side of my face. I would stare at it for hours that first week while I stayed home from school to recuperate. No one had informed me that kids would tease me. I thought they would understand and know it was an accident. I was very wrong. The first day back to school was somewhat strange because all the kids gathered around me. They were dumbfounded. The girls hugged me and told me how sorry they were. Most of the boys did too. Then there were the mean boys who called me “Donna Dogface and Scarface”. They would laugh and tell me on the playground that no one could ever love someone so ugly. It was an everyday occurrence until I got to high school. What does a nine-year-old girl do to heal?
I turned to angels wherever I could find them. I found good angels through my girlfriends, books but most of all I talked to my Lord through prayer. I attended church and I focused my energy on books and books. There was not a day for five years that I didn’t read. I trusted in God because he did not hurt me. My earthly father had hurt me but my Spiritual father did not. I prayed that God would send me peace from all the torture going on in these painful years. I wrote a story about the dream of peace that was sent to me during that time. I call it “Dream Comforter”