Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
- TITLE: Impulsive, Impetuous Snap
By Robyn Burke
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“Snap, why oh why?” was my families most used expression. As in… Why or why did you cover the puppy with suntan lotion? (Innocent face, age 5) Why oh why were you climbing on top of the fence (emergency room, age 9) why oh why didn’t you check the fuel gage? (ran out of gas, age 16)
And there were the whys they already knew the answers to. When I invited the homeless woman to come home with me for dinner (after the preacher spoke on the sheep and the goats) When I gave my new winter coat to the girl who sat next to me (shivering every day on the bus, wearing only a thin sweater) When I rescued the box of kittens from the grocery store parking lot (Mom, the boy said his dad was going to drown them if he didn’t find homes for them!)
As I got older, I tried to temper my impulses but my poor roommates still had to adjust to finding strangers joining us for dinner, or bodies asleep on the living room floor.
When my husband and I eloped, (why, oh why… never mind… exclaimed my family) he thought he knew enough about me to prepare himself for the unstructured existence joining our lives together was going to bring. And I was learning to pray before jumping in. (Lord, I’m going in, cover me!)
Still, the shock of discovering baby skunks in the bathroom, (the mother was hit by a car) a piano in the hallway (don’t ask) and a wall knocked out between the girls rooms (they like being together, what mother doesn’t want to hear that?) did nothing to prepare him for the day I brought home Mickie.
“What do you mean you want us to adopt her? Snap, she’s a grown woman!”
“Yes, but she has no family, has never had a family and her last name isn’t really even hers.”
Mickie had shown up at the shelter where I volunteer several months ago. She had been beaten, robbed of what little she had and a vacant look in her eyes that broke my heart more than any baby skunk or kitten ever had. We did everything we could to help her and she thrived. She seemed comfortable with me and a friendship flourished. She was 23 but emotionally much, much younger. She had been raised in various foster homes where she was repeatedly abused by both the families and the system. I quickly realized her deepest desire was to someday have a family that she could lavish with the love she had surprisingly stored up inside her.
And I found out that the last name she had been tagged with was a name given by social services to satisfy the paperwork.
My idea was for us to adopt Mickie legally so she could have a name that would mean something to her. My husband was not convinced. A baby was something he could understand and even warm up to. A grown woman with a questionable past was not.
It took some long discussions, (persuasive, tenacious, and well thought-out) but eventually he caved. I did the research on adopting an adult and when I had all my ducks in a row, shared my idea with Mickie. She sat very still for a long time and then slowly began to cry. And nodded her head with the affirmative when I asked her if this was ok.
When Adoption Day finally arrived, Mickie shyly pressed a small package into my hand. Inside I found a silver chain with a tiny circular object hanging from it. She pulled a similar necklace from inside her blouse. I recognized the objects as each half of a fastener. The symbolism wasn’t lost on me. Seems my nickname had gained another meaning.
Without a word, we brought the two circular objects together and grinned as we heard the pleasant sounding snap.
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