Both my girls bailed out on me tonight so I decided get to the next chapter in the story. So I left off at the fire. The church we attended at the time the house burned down owned a small house that was used for families who were in situations like ours. It had one bedroom, a living room, kitchen, and one bathroom. We were given clothes, furniture, toothbrushes and everything we needed. I mean it happened fast. Our house was gone but by the end of that first night we had what we needed. This was a true miracle. We lived in this house for a short period of time. My parents slept on a fold out couch in the living room. All four of the kids slept in the one bedroom.
At this point I believe it was somewhere around Thanksgiving. I don't remember much of the details but I do remember that we had the best Christmas ever that year. Members of the church donated gifts to our family. The presents were stacked against the wall. They wouldn't fit under our Christmas tree. It seemed like they were stacked to the ceiling. Maybe they weren't but to me it seemed that way. It is so wonderful how the members of the church pulled together and helped my family during this difficult time. I hope someday I can be a blessing to someone like those people were to us.
Surprisingly things seemed to look up for us for a change. This wouldn't last for long. My family was able to get government housing and we actually had a house where I had my own room. I loved it. We had a backyard and there was creek where we would build dams and catch crawdads(that's a southern term for crayfish). I think we may have even brought home a snake or two. Soon we learned that my mom was pregnant with her seventh and last child.
It's so strange how you can remember some things but not others. I remember mom being pregnant and I remember holding my baby sister. We must have moved soon afterwards. I can only assume that the decision to move again was for financial reasons. The next thing I remember is us living in a trailer in Gibsonville, NC. Things took a major turn for the worse about this time. My dad was unable to find work. Apparently there was no kind of help available to us. No food stamps, emergency assistance or anything of that nature.
I have heard some stories about things that were going on between my parents but I don't actually know what is true. I can only relate my memories. What happened next would change our family forever. My dad must have been feeling desperate. No job, no food, no money. Things were getting worse. I know that what he did next was wrong, but now as an adult I can understand how sometimes people do things out of fear and desperation. I think if he would have known what would happen afterwards, he would have made a different choice. His next decision would land him in prison for nine years........