Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)
TITLE: A Mother's Promise
By Kathy Cartee
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It was a cold Januarary day in North Carolina as Susan walked toward the large campus of Covenant Children‘s Home her heart was breaking. Her three small daughters walked slowly beside her chatting nosily. They had no idea she was about to leave them here It was the hardest thing she had ever faced in her life. Even now, as she looked at the beautiful campus she was not sure she would be able to leave them. Susan knew she had no other choice, but they had never been away from her. The youngest Katie was only seven years old, Katrina and Sandy were nine and eleven.
The year was 1951 she was divorced and out of work. She had been laid off almost as soon as she moved out of her parents’ home with the girls. They were not willing to let them move back and they suggested leaving the girls at Covenant House until she was on her feet. They had not seen their dad since the divorce four years earlier. She could think of no possible way to keep the girls without a job to support them. She could not return to their abusive father. This was the only choice she could make. She was glad her parents had agreed to keep the youngest daughter Anne who was only five.
When they were arrived at the office Miss Riggs greeted them with a smile. “Good Morning and welcome to Covenant Children’s Home. You must be Mrs. Sims. What beautiful little girls you have. We will be glad to have them here with us.”
Katrina looked up at Miss Riggs and said, “I am not staying here with you we are only visiting.”
Of course, you are sweetie and your Mom will be back soon to pick you up. Come on I will show you our dollhouse You can play while I talk with your Mom. Miss Riggs motioned to Sandy to be seated in the chair in front of her desk.
She said. “Come on girls I will show you to the play area.”
Susan could feel the tears welling up in her eyes. Katie ran to her side crying she was not going anywhere with this woman Susan reached down and pulled Katie up on her lap.
“It will be fine honey run along and play with your sister while I talk with Miss Riggs. Sandy come and take Katie outside with you please.”
Sandy took Katie by her hand trying to pull her toward the door. The abuse from their dad had caused Katie to live in fear. She would not even go out to play at home. Miss Riggs decided Sandy needed some help. She took Katie’s hand leading her to the door kicking and screaming.
She turned to Susan and yelled, “I will be right back. Don’t worry she will not cry for long.”
Susan could feel her heart breaking into a thousand pieces as she watched her daughters walking through the door.
She cried out to God with desperation in her voice that only a Mother could possibly understand. “Why God, Why do I have to leave my babies?”
Six months later Susan came to visit her daughters at Covenant Home. Katie and Katrina were in the same cottage but Sandy was on the other side of the campus. They had not seen her since the day Susan had left them. Katrina was determined to leave Covenant Home she had tried to run away twice already. Susan was trying to reassure them she would bring them home as soon as she could.
Katrina said, “Mama I hate this place everyone picks on Katie because she can’t talk plain. Katie cries all the time. They always punish her for not eating her food. I am not staying here. I will run away if you leave us again.”
Susan said, “Katrina you cannot run away again. It is dangerous for you to climb over the fence and walk on the highway alone.”
“All the children I have met in my cottage have been here for years. Their parents never come to see them. Are you going to leave us here forever?” Sandy asked.
Susan answered, with tears in her eyes, “I will be back I promise. I will not leave you here forever.”
Two years later Susan kept her promise. After a short court battle, she brought her girls home.
Thank God for our Mother!!! Without her where would we be?
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