Certain Reservations

I’ve not been here in a while, this place in my mind is reserved. Too many thoughts rambling about, searching for words. Deception, lies, deceit, words unjust and unclean to my mind and my thoughts; a world full of people who are drowning in hurt; they have let pride and stench from the ugly and dirty places fill their lives so high to the point that they don’t think; they seemingly forget about the the deep down hurting words and the beatings in the night; faceless man on the bus {There was a boy/man got on the bus with no face, no eyeballs at all, just hollow places where they were meant to be. He had a service dog and people gawked and stared and I wanted to go talk with him but I didn’t because of the service dog and the protection measures he needed}.  

Two others had a great impact on my ride for those days…It’s quite a thing when we recognize in our own minds that there is something deeper than what we seen or felt.  A young woman huddled in the dark, writing her ‘saving words’, as she referred to them, a young man who aches and cries at night for his mother’s sudden death and the birth of his daughter because he was sitting in another State finalizing his life with his mother. 

How can they not see that there is release, that they don’t have to hide under deceit and lies and there’s a place and a Force we all know and they’re only three small, yet encompassing words, Yahweh, Help Me! Of course, they’re more than just words, there’s daily walking and talking and living outside of what society deems to be normal, to find a voice and calling beyond what’s in a phone.

How do I turn those things into positive, meaningful and life-enhancing words, when I felt like I was stripped of even the smallest amount of dignity at all. It is not a thing of Pride. Once I have forgiven, I don’t like to revisit the occurrence but this time, for the sake of witness, I will. I know where my strength is, I’ve always known that it comes from Him, the Almighty, the Omnipotent God who Loves me, who Loves us all.

I know not why I search unless it’s the giving up of self/ego, trying to think I can do things best on my own. It’s IN Him from which everything I am is drawn from. It’s IN Him that I wake and I breathe through each day that He gives me. His strength is IN the faceless man on the bus, the young woman huddled in the dark,, the young man who aches and cries at night for his mother’s sudden loss. He asked to hug me because I am a mother, missing my mother too.

This was a vivid image in my mind. I was thinking of the people on the bus, on the side of the road, at the airports – no money, no food, no clothes, no Hope. Is hope all it takes to transform a life, desire misconstrued, an opportunity waylaid by a life of unveiling. I think Hope is a great place to start but I believe also that we must have, Faith and Belief in the One God that offers us complete provision when we go to Him.

Sometimes I wonder how people muddle through this world without some glimmer of hope in their eyes. I see it, you know…that look that slips across their face when I meet their eyes with a smile.

That look of want. of plead. of empty. They desire but do not seek.

And then we pass and they are gone. But they stay with me even after I’ve passed through and am home under covers. Because that look of hopelessness coats my soul with the grief that only loss can bring.

I want to go back and touch their shoulder and draw them back to the place I call Home and the One I call Father.

But as for me, I will always have hope, for You have been my hope.

I cling to Him tightly in those moments when the world rocks and I have nothing but the pounding cries of uncertainty. What do they do, when the waves slam them against the rocks until their grasp loosens and their dreams flow from their eyes like water?

In my nights of darkened grief when all I can do is weep until my pillow soaked with my tears and my hair is moist with salted sorrow, I know that my fingers can reach upward and grasp those of the One who holds me close.

I’m running to His arms and the riches of His love will always be enough.

My Knight In Shining Armour ~ My Dad

A young baby boy was brought into this earth. He was born in Greenville, South Carolina on September 27, 1932 to the parents of Homer and Bessie King. I would guess he lived a pretty normal life that everyone else in the time of the Depression did, with the exception that his father died while working on a truck. It fell onto his chest when the boy was only 4 years old. He never grew to know his father, at least not his earthly father. He was the middle child of three sons. When he was 16 he fell in love for the first and only time in his life with a pretty young girl who attended the same church that he did. They didn’t run off and get married or anything crazy, instead it was 5 years later when they did. When he was 17 years old he joined the military, the Marines to be more exact. The boy I’m writing about is my father, Marion Wilson King. After boot camp he and my mother, Viola Poole, married and had three daughters. I, Nancy, am the middle child just as my father was.

My father was the greatest man alive as far as I’m concerned. He spent many years traveling the Marine Corps and fought in the Korean Conflict from the years 1952-1958. I can’t really say how much fighting he did but he was there for 5 years. I know that he worked as a medic on the helicopters that brought in the wounded and others. He was shot in the back, literally, and had to wear a full back brace, so that probably kept him off the front lines, for which I am eternally grateful! He retired from the Marines after 22 active years of service in 1972 and then remained on inactive duty (meaning he could be called back to serve at any given moment) for another 8 years. All those 30 years my father served his country and dedicated his life to being of service to these United States. My dad also served as a volunteer fireman as part of the military duty that he was required to fulfill. Our family was required to move, as all families are, whenever duty calls for it. My dad moved us between North and South Carolina many times, probably more than I can ever remember. I know I went to at least 12 different schools while growing up. My education was always important to my parents but back in the 70’s it wasn’t all about politics and CATS testing. I went to military schools on some occasions and it was definitely more strict than ordinary public school was.

Before retiring from the Marines my dad worked at a factory making tools for cars as well as his job on the base. He would work from 6am until 2pm and then from 3pm until 11pm. We lived on the coast of SC at that time and we would always wait for daddy to come home from work because he wanted for us all to go swimming as a family at midnight. I know where I get my spontaneity from for sure.

Soon after his retirement my dad felt that he was being called to Minister a church, so we moved to the Upstate Area of SC so he could go to college and do Bible Studies. He went to school in Hendersonville, NC at Fruitland Baptist Bible College and worked as a Pastor at a few small churches during his time at college. I remember hearing my mom and dad in the kitchen as early as 4am for him to get his breakfast and lunch for the day and then he would catch a ride with other Pastors-to-be a few miles from where we lived. Those four men traveled for 4-6 hours a day through rough mountain terrain to get back and forth to school for three years so they could better teach their congregations. My dad graduated from college in 1979 and I graduated from High School the same year! My dad was always my inspiration for going to college. I always wanted to learn more and more and study and read like he did. Later that year my dad was called to be Associate Pastor at a church in Covington, KY (Southside Baptist) and he stayed there for about a year until he left to be a full-time Pastor at another church just a few miles down the road, or a few towns away. He was there until his passing in 1982 and loved doing God’s work.

I wasn’t always close to my dad because he was gone a lot serving his country with the military, the fire departments, and the ministry. I think I was starting to understand who he was and what he stood for when I was 19. I loved my dad very much; he was the biggest, the best and the second most important person to me in my life, my mom was first. I can remember being 9 months pregnant at the age of 22 and sitting on my daddy’s lap. He always told everyone that he held his grandchild for the first time on that day! Four months after my daughter Jennifer was born my dad passed on to be with God. He loved her so much and on the day he died my mom told me that he was passing her newborn picture around and showing it to everyone. He was a very proud grandpa and would still be today with both of his granddaughters and great grandchildren.

Below are some pictures of my dad when he was in Korea, they’re the only ones that I have of him at all.  In a few of them he was receiving awards including several purple heart awards and he had tons of Rifleman Expert awards that we played with when I was little.  He didn’t mind at aassortedpicsofdaddy1956ll.  Notice the one where he is wearing a full back cast and shaving a patient.  It’s my favorite because it shows his compassion for others!  In the first picture from left to right he is standing alone, then in the middle receiving an award and the same picture is next with a turn of his head, then the back cast one and one with a fellow soldier and the last picture he is the second from the end (wearing the darkest uniform).  Speaking of uniforms, I always loved to iron my dad’s military uniforms; something about the smell of starch and the crispness of the clothing.  I still love ironing to this day!  My dad would be much older today but he died at a young age of 49. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone for so many years.  I do miss him,  just like it was yesterday that I last saw him.

The Fabric Of My Life ~ My Mom

The distant sound of whirring and the foot pedal up and down on the floor. The sliding sound of scissors on the table as pieces of fabric were cut to embellish our bodies. These were the fabrics that wove our life together. My mom would sit at her sewing machine sewing all the clothing of my younger years. Rarely using a store bought pattern, she’d piece together her homemade newspaper patterns. With three girls, two boys and two foster children there was always a need for new clothing.  My mom worked tirelessly for hours and hours piecing and sewing one outfit, usually dresses, after another.  She stitched by hand the hems of all the dresses, the pant legs of my brothers clothing and many military patches on my dads Marine Corp fatigues. When my sisters and I were majorettes mom and her friend got together and made all the girls uniforms complete with fancy sequins and satin shirts to wear with them.

Many years later when I had my first daughter mom made Jennifer her first dress and bonnet to wear home from the hospital, it was yellow floral and stitched entirely by hand. Mom made my youngest daughter’s first dress too and even made the layette, bedroom curtains, a sheet set and bumper pads for Kelsey’s crib.  

My mom sewed through two generations of doll clothes for my sisters and I when we would lose our dolls clothes or they would just get torn from playing with them so much.  My mom sewed my daughters doll clothes as well.  Mom sewed all four of my bridesmaid dresses when I got married in a little under three weeks time.  It seemed as though she could just whip out anything that was ever needed as long as she had a needle and thread.  I remember always having trouble learning Math in school but mom helped me with that too.  I learned about measurements and fractions from my mom and her sewing techniques. I learned how to fit pieces that seemed impossible and make my own skirts and dresses. I sew myself now and even my youngest likes to sew with me on occasion. The days of sewing and watching mom are gone now but the memories will be forever embedded in my mind.

I’d have to say that what I remember most about mom’s sewing were the sounds that filled the rooms when she sewed. She usually had 6 to 8 straight pens stuck just on the edge of her lips as she pulled them out of the fabric one by one. Sweet sounds of her humming was often heard, though sometimes buried under the whirring sound of the machine.  They were usually old gospel hymns, “Sweet Hour of Prayer”, “The Old Rugged Cross”, “In the Garden” or her all-time favorite, “Where Could I Go.” I loved being with my mom. The way she moved around our home working swiftly and steadily from one task to another. It wasn’t the modern day work or the “Proverbs 31  thing to do, it was just my mom taking care of her family. The greatest title ever bestowed upon her.

©Nancy King, December 2008.

Where I’m From

I am from far and distant shores of giant oceans, balmy winds, and hot summer nights, from Little Women, Charlotte’s Web, Hans Christen Andersen, and The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe story books and The Blue Angels Aerobatic Team practicing overhead and the sonic booms caused by the Military planes flying past.

I am from the mountains higher up than my head can see from below, winding roads and car sickness filled weekend travels never knowing when or where we would end up.

From strict military housing, spic and span walls and floors, quarter bounce test on the beds after being made and sliding down the hallways on freshly waxed floors knowing full well my mom was loving that we were having a good time.

I am from the tomato fields as far as one can see, watermelon picked fresh and eaten for after dinner dessert and grapes overhead growing complete with snakes sneering from above, the sassafras plants that my mom made us tea from and sugar cane we sucked straight from the stalks.  Rotten tomato fights in the fields across the road.

I am from moma’s banana pudding, fruit cakes being made and stored from October until Christmas, my daddy’s (whom everyone knew as “Blackie”) fish fry with the Statler Bros., The Oak Ridge Boys, and The Imperials all throughout the summers passed. I’m from Revivals that lasted not just three days, or a week, but for two full weeks; and when someone got saved there was a big celebration!

I’m from hand-sewn clothing well into my teens, barbie doll clothes my mother made, marching majorettes from one parade to another, ironing stiff Marine Corps uniforms and the wonderful smell of starch as it touches the hot iron.

I’m from Homer Lee King, Marion Wilson King and William Alan Poole, Phoebe Poole, and Viola A Poole.

I am from a line of women who can do anything when they set their minds to it and men who fought in Wars and fought fires to serve their country and protect their families and family time that was truly QUALITY time!

From the Cherokee nation and gypsies traveling the country and bootleggers making moonshine to help make ends meet.

I am from the Southern Baptist community and remember most Riverside Baptist Church where I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour when I was 14 years old. Where the baptistry was below the preacher’s pulpit and The Lord’s Supper was like a major Christmas sale at Walmart. Where it seemed like every Sunday there was a good enough reason to have ”Dinner on the grounds” and the food was phenomenal!

I am from Beaufort, SC; Greenville, SC; and somewhere in Tennessee where the mountains meet the sky and the Cherokee Indians chant their prayers. I’m from homemade peach ice cream and fried chicken with gravy and biscuits.

From my grandmother’s beaded necklaces and my mother’s button jar; I’m sown from the stitches in time and the flicker of the many flames in my mother and father’s hearts.  I’ve been touched with God’s mighty hand like a piece of clay beneath the potter’s wheel to become,

Where I’m From.

©Nancy King – 2008