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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Adulthood (07/30/09)

TITLE: The Age of Maturity
By Mildred Sheldon


Every morning at 6 A.M. dad stuck his head into my bedroom and hollered, ďItís time to get up Gable. You have to help your mom get your brothers and sisters ready for school because youíre the oldest.Ē Then heíd get dressed for work come down for breakfast eat and leave. I started getting up each morning at six to help mom after she started having my brothers and sisters.

I remembered the beating I received when I asked dad why my brothers and sisters didnít have chores. I told him they were big enough to help me get things done. I had bumps and bruises all over my back and legs and it hurt so badly but I knew if I even whimpered dad would hit me again. I was informed that the oldest did everything and when I left home then the next one picked up all chores and so on until all five had reached adulthood.

Dad was the boss and whatever he said to do, we did it. Our parents told us they loved us and we were lucky to have parents that provided everything children needed until we were grown and on our own. Their parents had raised them as we were raised so we were to do as told, shut our mouths and listen.

My best friend Benís parents were not like mom and dad. Ben helped around his house but his parents always said thank you and job well done. Mom and dad never said that to me and in four days, I would be 18. I couldnít wait until I could get away from that house. I felt more like a slave then a son.

I had a scholarship so I went to community college because dad said I had to earn my own way now I was an adult. Mr. & Mrs. Thatcher, Benís parents told me I could have Benís room while he was away at college. I moved into Benís room the day after I turned 18 and was so glad to be free.

After college I found a good paying job and pretty soon I earned enough money to buy just about anything I wanted. I rarely saw my parents but stayed close to my brothers and sisters. I remembered my upbringing and I felt sorry that my siblings had to go through what I did all because mom and dad were so greedy and selfish.

After my youngest sister turned 18 and moved, away mom and dad found themselves alone. They didnít have free slave labor anymore and they became even more hateful. How could two people who had so much be so cold? The only thing my parents cared about was each other but Mr. & Mrs. Thatcher were the exact opposite. They were gentle, kind, considerate, understanding and loving. I guess thatís the difference between a child of God and a child of the ruler of this world.

I may be an adult but it was Mr. & Mrs. Thatcher who taught me about God while I stayed at their house and went to college. They were the ones that turned my life around and I will always be eternally grateful. Looking back it was a perverse situation and I thank God for not only my best friend Ben but his parents as well.

Ben and I are business partners and our business is flourishing. I still visit mom and dad and they are still as hateful as ever. I pray for them daily because they do not realize where they will spend eternity. Itís funny how people buy into the ruler of this worlds lies. Satan is a liar, a deceiver and can lead people down the path of destruction as long as he can keep them blind.

I thank you Jesus for opening my eyes. In I Corinthians 2:12 it says,
ďWe have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.Ē Ben and I have now attained adulthood and we are so happy, free and blessed.

*Scripture NIV version

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Keck08/06/09
Despite the harsh cruelty I liked this piece. The MC was fortunate to find the Thatcher's, adults who knew how to be people. Good writing.
Helen Dowd08/10/09
What a very sad story. I am glad that through it you found the Lord, and happiness. I do trust that your parents will soon see Christ shining through you and turn to Him...Thanks for sharing...Helen
Karen Gross08/24/09
I read your story of your childhood spent with selfish, cruel parents who became more bitter with age. I can relate. In my family it was my father who behaved very much like your father. My mother didn't do much to prevent the abuse or to intervene.

Like you, I escaped when I was 18. I went to Bible College and found loving Christian people who accepted me. (I had to get student loans, my parents had no savings. When I did have a job, I had to give my parents half of what I earned). This is getting to be a long, story, so I'll fast forward to 2 years ago, when my mother was dying of lung cancer. She accepted Christ about 2 months before she died, and it changed her completely. She had finally had peace, and she started to give me hugs. In the hospital, four days before she died, she said "I love you". I expected my father to escape more deeply into the drugs that he used, and to drink himself to death. He didn't. He started reading the Bible and going to church. The last time I visited, he gave me a hug, our first hug ever.
Keep praying for your parents.