About me

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Orphanage

The orphanage in Middlesex no longer functions as an orphanage. It's a children's home, generally for at risk teen girls. Apparently, the laws have evolved in the last several decades, and I suspect that's a very good thing.

Mama went to the orphanage when she was three, probably on a horse-drawn wagon.

About 20 years ago, my brother and I decided to help outfit a new house to be used by about a half dozen teen women. We couldn't afford to do the entire house, just a few rooms.

Mama's name would be placed on a plaque on the house.

So we did it. We brought Mama out with Buck to see it all, and then we returned to what's left of the orphanage for a tour of where Mama grew up.

We're in the dining hall where hundreds of pictures are hanging. Mama's making the tour, and frowning a little that she's seeing so many dark faces in the latter years.

Remember Mama's generation.

The Assistant Director explains the changing population of needy children to Mama.

She touches a picture, pauses, and says, "Well, I guess they get scared and hungry too."

The silence in the room deafened us all, and was only broken when Buck pulled his checkbook to write the check that would finish decorating the house.

-- Posted from a mobile device


The Crow said...

God love you, Jimmy-Boy. Thank you for this reminder that we all are scared and hungry at one time or another in our lives.

Not that she will know or maybe care, please hug Mama for me next time you see her.

Jim Penny said...

That memory ripped my heart out this morning sitting in the lobby of the Austin Airport Hilton as I typed it.

I hope to never imagine being dumped like that at three years old.