Nov. 20, 2018 —
Along with my older brother, Terry, and my older sister, Linda, I need to express a long overdue thank-you to many individuals for their charitable contributions in 1953-1957 to a variety of organizations that enabled our family to survive.
In 1953, I was 15 months old when a drunk driver in a 1954 Chevrolet rammed head-on into our 1938 Ford weighing almost half as much. The speed and impact killed our mother and oldest brother, and the surviving family members were hospitalized; a multitude of devastating issues confronted our father. After losing his wife and eldest son, his hospitalization and injuries caused him to lose his job and his house.
After surgeries and medical recovery, the children were placed in a children’s home sponsored by several charitable organizations. During the next four years, our father visited as often as he could. We were fed and clothed and had a roof over our heads, thanks to the donations of many.
Christmas in the home was amazing. The gifts under the giant Christmas tree were not wrapped, but we were allowed to carry as many toys as would fit in our footlockers. One year I recall getting some toy pistols with real leather holsters. The pirate pistol would not fit in the locker, and I had to put it back.
Our family survived; our father later remarried and brought us all back together as a family. We all survived many situations with the aid of various charitable organizations.
Fifty-six years later, while Steffie and I were donating some things to a charitable organization in Fredericksburg, Virginia, I spied three white plastic bags. I looked inside, and there were some toy pistols. I asked Steffie to check and see how much they were. I purchased them.
As we drove away, Steffie proceeded to show me what was in the bag. The same types of ALL the toy pistols I had as a child, in the home, were in the bags, including the pirate pistol. We have them mounted in shadow box as a memorial.
We pay our thanks forward through supporting the CFC, coat drives and food banks and by anonymously helping individuals when they least expect it.
Ask yourself if you too can continue to help others to help themselves through the various dilemmas life’s journey can suddenly place in their paths.
Please do not drink and drive; your actions will have an impact on you and others for a lifetime.