Driving down the road, I looked out the window to my right. Tall homes, a few stories high. Beautiful landscaping. Yellow daffodils, fuchsia colored azalea bushes and Pink Lady’s Slippers gracing the edging of a potted flower.￼ A gentle breeze pushed a hidden wind chime to break the deafening silence of that car ride. ￼Looking forward again I saw the social worker put her blinker on and she turned left. We turned into the driveway of a beautiful home.
Looking at the car door handle, I put three fingers through the handle as I pushed the car door open. Walking up to the front door, a middle-age woman in her 30s, opened the door. She was petite with blond hair and blue eyes.
I smiled at her, she smiled at me and invited me in. We walked through a small sitting room that led into a dining room with a long mahogany table that had a white lace cloth over the top￼.
All three of us spoke briefly in the dining room and then the social worker said goodbye.
Jayne brought me upstairs and showed me where my bedroom would be. In the bedroom was a vintage antique white bedroom set and a beautiful writing desk.￼￼The writing desk was my favorite piece.￼￼ I put my suitcase on top of the bed and began to unpack￼.
As I was unpacking, I had hoped that I made the right decision, that day in school a few weeks earlier at the age of 14, when I told the school nurse that I could not live with my mother or my father due to abusive situations in both homes.￼ I felt in that moment as I was holding a pair of jeans and a shirt that I was going to be wearing to my new school, ￼that a floodgate of tears was going to open and that I may not stop crying. But that did not happen. I put on the solidified demeanor that I had to to get through the next moment.
As a child I learned how to not cry, I learned how to maintain my emotions, move on quickly from any situation and to deal with not dealing. You learn how to cry without crying.
￼Walking over to the white curtains, I ran my finger down the hem, feeling the material and appreciating the softness of the lace. The sun was shining through the intricately ￼woven curtain, exposing just how vulnerable that the lace truly was. Looking out the window, I saw this beautiful massive tree that was in front of my window and that made me happy. Opening the window, I listened to hear that familiar sound of the wind awakening the sleepy leaves.
￼My bed was next to the window and the end of the bed was facing the window. I smiled at this because it reminded me of my childhood bed and when I would look out the window and sing to the stars at night. I would always crawl to the end of the bed, lay on my back, and look out the window up at the sky and as an adult, I still do that to this day￼ to gaze at the stars (I haven’t sung to them in a long time) sitting up, I would look straight at the trees and be amazed at the sounds of the earth.
Perhaps God knew that I would need to see those stars.
“Melissa, I’m going down to the store to buy dinner, would you like to come with me?” Jayne asked.￼￼ “Sure”, I said.
Getting into her car we drove through a town that my mind had not yet registered. It was beautiful with beautiful landscaping. Cape Cod offered that, that was one thing about the Cape, is that wherever you went you would find beautiful landscaping.
The sky looked like it was going to open. As Jayne pulled into the parking lot of Stop and Shop￼￼ the sky did open and it began down-pouring. We ran into the store and we caught each other smiling through this crazy rain storm. In that moment, I didn’t realize how much I needed that smile, but as I sit here tonight, almost 30 years later, it was that smile that made me know Jayne was ordained by God in my life. We decided on having hamburgers on the grill, corn on the cob and potato salad.
Pulling out of the parking lot, the rain still coming down so hard￼, Jayne asked me if I would like to swing into her Church. I said okay.
We pulled into a humble parking lot with a humble Church that was all white￼. Jayne opened her door, I opened mine and we made a wild dash for the Church doors, trying to escape the heavy rain. As Jayne opened the Church door, she stepped in and I followed her. The Church was dark besides a small glowing light that was coming from by the Altar. The sound of the rain falling on the top of the Church was absolutely beautiful and still today, going into a Church when it is down pouring is a beautiful experience.￼ I walked down the aisle to the front of the Altar with Jayne.￼
Jayne kneeled and then stood back up. She faced me as I faced her and she took my hands into her hands. She looked up at the Crucifix and I looked at the Crucifix and then I looked back to her. We recited the Our Father and I knew the prayer by sitting through so many AA meetings as a young child￼. The Hail Mary – Jayne taught me the Hail Mary. I remember looking at the statue of Our Blessed Mother Mary and smiling at Her when I had said that first Hail Mary.
In that Church, on that rainy day, at the age of 14, an unbreakable foundation was made in my spirit for the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
I was happy in my foster home, but my school situation was turning out to be like that of the other six schools that I had been in. ￼Coming from an unstable childhood, with two unstable parents, we moved around a lot.￼￼ I would make friends one school year and then six months later we were moving. I would come to make many acquaintances but I never had a long lasting friend and I was okay with that. Keeping people at an arms distance had become like breathing to me, it was normalcy. I had learned at a young age that investing in a friendship would become painful when I knew that the goodbyes were inevitable. And so throughout my life, library’s would become my best friends. I would find a book and head to a quite corner, because no matter which school I was in, there was always a library.
Over the next few weeks, Jayne would talk to me about God, Jesus, the Blessed Mother Mary, the Saints the Angels and the Holy Roman Catholic Church.￼ I would learn how to pray the Rosary. The Rosary, the Blessed Mother Mary, was my comforting guide. My earthly mother was ill and not mentally or emotionally healthy,￼ but here I was told that I have a Mother and She loves me. To find out that Our Blessed Mother loved me and I never gave Her a reason to love me, something changed in me that day, I didn’t have to prove myself to Her, I didn’t have to do something to make Her love me, She just loved me because She did and I had never had that before￼. And then She brought me to Her Son, and it was then – when I thought that there could be no love like Her Love – She walked me to Her Son and put my hand in His Hand and I have never known a Love like that to this day.￼
Part #3 to come.