The Inevitable

Copyright-Scott L. Vannatter

“Go away, Jarvis!” sobbed Sara.

Sara quickly snapped a photo of her little friend. It was time to leave before her case worker arrived. Because of Jarvis, this was the first foster home she felt loved. Unfortunately, a divorce was pending within this family and Sara knew, by heart, the inevitable.

“Jarvis, I can’t take it anymore,” cried Sara, “not another strange home!”

“Shoo, don’t run after me! I can’t take a stupid cat! The streets are only good for bad people like me,” screamed Sara.

She ran out the backdoor with just her ragged backpack and an old Kodak camera.

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If you thirsting for more one hundred word “flash fiction or a poem inspired by a photo prompt,” then head on over to Friday Fictioneers, hosted by:

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple.

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The Roller Coaster and a Love Letter

A couple of days ago, I wrote about my youngest, wayward daughter, age seventeen, who is learning what it takes to become the person God has intended her to be. Just as it was a bit of a struggle learning to walk or ride a bike, the last few years before we take the final step into adulthood is like a roller coaster ride a young person may experience that either takes them titillating through the ride with great success or skid out of control right into adulthood bound for a life of struggle and hardships.

I am praying and hoping this daughter chooses Roller-Coaster-Bound-For-Heaven before the ride ends at the Adulthood station.

The Scenic Railway at Luna Park, Melbourne, is...

Image via Wikipedia Roller-Coaster-Bound-For-Heaven

I thought it would be best to write a letter to her since her roller coaster ride will soon end this summer in hopes she will come to understand why I had to pull the brakes on her ride several times this month. Er, some technical adjustments about the choice of friends and living up to the responsibilities she has been given.

Dearest Daughter,

When you came to live with me, I knew very little of the struggles your young heart had already been through. In and out of foster care for so many years left you hardened and scared. And here you were only thirteen. The large duffel bag, filled with clothes, shoes and assorted knickknacks, arrived  much like you did. The heap of clothes packed as a mess, was the reflections of your life, disorganized from all the upheavals of moving, fabrics soiled and blood-stained from the physical abuse you endured and the sparse wardrobe you had were like the love you didn’t receive all through your growing years.

I didn’t know you and you didn’t know yourself. How could you through all this mess?

Well, life went on slow and steady and it took three years before you let some of your guard down and allowed yourself to flourish in a trustworthy relationship. How hard that first step must have been since you had trusted others before and before and before, only to find love was untrue and most unkind.

You have blessed me my dearest daughter when you decided to adopt me for your mother. Everyday I watch you grow stronger. Remember when you stumbled to read in the eighth grade with only a fourth grade reading skill? How amazed you were when you discovered how often our family gleefully went to the community library and you almost fainted when you saw the enormous piles of books each of your siblings borrowed at one visit! Oh, twenty books just for one person is way too little!

Look at you today . . . you read like crazy and rarely lift your head away from your Kindle! See how you’ve grown . . . you read almost at your grade level now and you have taken yourself out of the special education services. That’s sweet success my dear!

So now we come to another fork in the road, one you must soon go out on your own. I just have two things to tell you before your sharp curves and high and low dips of your ride begin, and may it help you to maneuver in life more successfully.

1) Friends: A friend can make you or break you. Simple rule. If a friend only wants to party and keep you distracted from your responsibilities, soon your roller coaster ride will be riding in the unemployment line, the high school drop out line and maybe even the single and pregnant line. If you surround yourself with friends whose parents value the wisdom that comes with hard work, opportunities and success will abound.

English: Riding my horse with friends waiting ...

Surround yourself with good friends

Here is a quote, a bit simple and childlike, but I hope you take it to heart and think upon it when your life gets a bit unbalanced:

Work while you work, play while you play.

That is the way to be cheerful all day.

All that you do, do with your might.

Things done by halves are never done right.

One thing each time and that done well

is a very good rule as many can tell.

Moments are useless trifled away; so

work while you work and play while you play.

~ M.A. Stodart~

2) Responsibilities: At every stage of life, one has responsibilities. Yes, a baby’s limited responsibilities are crying when hungry or needing something, ridding themselves of unnecessary items, hopefully in a diaper, and generally working hard to get their basic needs met. Perhaps this is more instinctual behavior than responsibilities.

Anyway, your job as a high school senior is the last step before adulthood. Study and make the best grades you can, prepare for college entry exams or decide on a technical career.  Whether you know it or not, your after school, fast-food restaurant job is your internship in some ways, because it’s teaching you valuable time management skills, public speaking skills and dependability. And, this is a paid class! You get paid to learn instead of you paying to learn! Wow!!

I see your ride is waiting for you and the safety straps in place.  Off you go now, my daughter, and know you are truly loved. If you hold on to friends who make you better in this life and carry your responsibilities well, the energy created will lead you on to a higher place.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child.

But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

~1 Corinthians 13:11~

Playground of Solitude

My heart will always go with you,

Love, Mom.

300 Golden Opportunities…

“To improve the golden moment of opportunity and catch the good that is within our reach is the great art of life.”   Samuel Johnson

I wish for 300 golden moment of opportunity. 

The first 150 golden moment of opportunity would go to create masterpieces with all who suffers silently from illiteracy.  I wish for world-wide literacy.

illiterate

The second 150  golden moment of opportunity would go to create masterpieces with every orphan,

Orphans by Thomas Kennington

sexually exploited children and the hard to place in permanent families “older children” in foster care and orphanages. I wish for every child a permanent and safe family to call their own.

The art of life is found in golden opportunities and seeking goodness for those who suffer.

Happy Writing,

Sunshine

Credits/Inspiration

Daily Post #300

Photos from Flickr and Wikipedia

Fetch your Own Slippers!

The key to your happiness is to own your own slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don’t.  If you keep saying your slippers aren’t yours, then you’ll die searching, you die bitter, always feeling you were promised more. Not only our actions, but also our omissions become our destiny.

Owning a family could prove difficult if not impossible for some children living in the foster care system here in the United States. A brief look at Wikipedia’s information on foster care finds…..

  • Nearly half of foster kids in the U.S. become homeless when they turn 18
  • 1 of every 10 foster children stays in foster care longer than seven years, and each year about 15,000 reach the age of majority and leave foster care without a permanent family—many to join the ranks of the homeless or to commit crimes and be imprisoned.
  • 3 out of 10 of the United States homeless are former foster children
  • Very frequently, people who are homeless had multiple placements as children: some were in foster care, but others experienced “unofficial” placements in the homes of family or friends.
  • Individuals with a history foster care tend to become homeless at an earlier age than those who were not in foster care
  • The length of time a person remains homeless is prolonged in individuals who were in foster care.

In 2009, there were about 123,000 children ready for adoptive families in the nations foster care systems*

It’s now 2011. I wonder how many children have found a permanent family to call their own before they become an adult? I know at least two have found a permanent family here with me. Some have told me I was a saint. No, I believe the saint(s) are these children who came into this world some never owning anything except their little soul. For my two angels, both were almost too “old” (13 years old) and seen as the not so ideal adoption. I wonder out of the 123,000 children waiting for adoptive families, how many are hard to adopt cases because of being too old?In and out of the system since the age of 10, my twins have changed from bitter angry children to self-confident, happier and delightful people. Just knowing a family is there for you 24/7 no matter what and has your back every time makes finding your own slipper way easier.

Rocky Ridge Refuge Its a great feeling when you can relax, knowing a friend has 'got your back'... 🙂

Now go on and fetch your slippers….we have a world waiting for change so why not start with finding a permanent home for all those young’ns!

Credits:

— quote came from the book Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

*All foster care information from Wikipedia under Foster Care

–Photo of dogs from http://www.facebook.com/rockyridgerefuge