[ Godsends ]

Family Ties

My first 16 years of life were full of sexual and physical abuse of whatever the imagination can hold. I had spent those years in the Department of Human Services file cabinet along with my brother. My mother had been one of those mothers that make you wonder why God allows them to have children. She was a severe alcoholic and had tried every drug under the sun. From a tender age, I was her caretaker. I witnessed so many events in her life that should have prevented me from ever surviving.

On August 10th 1986, she died in my arms as I was giving her CPR. She had overdosed on alcohol and her manic-depression medication. August 4, 1986 had been her 37th birthday. My brother was 11 years old and I was 16.

The hard thing was, I was relieved when it was over and felt like someone had lifted a ton of burdens from me. I missed her, but I didn't.

My brother belonged to my stepfather, so we were separated once again when his father took him to Florida. I was stuck in Arkansas, now taking care of my ill grandmother. Meanwhile, the social worker that was assigned to our case had just lost a baby and was really having a hard time understanding God's plan. She remained on my case and helped me get emancipated. My case file was closed and I went to live with her and her family until I graduated.

To add to the hand of the Lord in this whole mix, the social worker’s birthday was also August 4th. I later had a daughter in my first marriage and her birthday is August 10th. I tell my story to many that refuse to see God's hand in every day and even if it only touches one, I will keep sharing.

Shelly W.

Clarksville, AR