When the world shifted off it's axis and tipped my balance to then knock me out from under any true sense of reality; and there didn't seem to be a soft place to land or anyone on God's green earth who cared,
She...took me in.
When neat and tidy lives did not care to be disrupted for the likes of a lost and scraggly, misplaced and undone girl of fifteen, she opened her life to disruption and chance ... and took me in.
No one could really ever know what life looks like from the inside looking out at age fifteen, with no parents and nothing that encompasses your life to reassure you that you matter ... to someone ... anyone ... or even to just ONE person out there.
I was not incorrigible, or wayward, or delinquent, I was unwanted.
And I was too young to be without a mom who had died and a dad who didn't care, but only enough to just "be out of his way" so that he could get on to live his life of choice. He wished to move on ... without me.
Lost - does not begin to describe what life was about to a young teenager who was in such need, yet ignored and passed over so completely. And no one could ever fathom the depths of gratitude from the chance I was given at my lowest point in life just because,
she...took me in.
There was so little of life worth clinging to then. And no direction or guides to steer the paths ahead of me. But only a place to lay my head and a determination to try to live the best that I could in alien surroundings that were filled with people I barely knew at all.
I was eight years old before I discovered that this woman had the title of "sister" to me. I remember thinking how very strange that was; to have a sister that I didn't know was my sister, that I really didn't know very well at all.
I'd seen her often enough, played with her son, who was almost my age, as a playmate now and again, and seen her tend to her other children, but my sister? What a startling revelation for an eight year old to have!
Whatever the paths that crossed, the battles fought, victories and defeats that came, this woman so familiar, that I'd hardly known, became unwilling at some point to let me get completely lost along the way. And though life's journeying was difficult and long, and there had been many detours and road blocks taking varied routes along the way through the years, I was able to make it and still come out whole and complete today only because, she ... took me in.
My crime in life had been losing my mother to death, and my father to selfish unconcern ... and being a matter of nothing more than an inconvenience left behind for others to deal with.
I had never once been asked if I was all right after my mothers death, or if I just needed to come stay with anyone for a little while just to make sure things were ok and see to it that I could grieve as the still child that I was then, no teacher that offered counseling or concern, or one person that even offered a hug of comfort to me for the rampant grief and feeling of displacement run amok inside of me to the point that I thought that I might burst at the seams.
Security that I desperately needed was gone. And so too seemed any hope, as I tried to cope on my own. An adolescent with no one to turn to, which almost could have easily become a lifelong struggle, a constant searching to fill the gaping holes left in the heart from lack and unconcern.
And when no one else wanted me around or knew just how to take care of the problem of "what to do with linda", the girl no one wanted, after it became all too evident that her father didn't want her either; she ... took me in.
For allowing me in...
And for caring for such an unwanted stick of a girl in life, who came with no guarantees, I am forever grateful.
I will always BE grateful to the "sister I didn't know", for not allowing me to flounder. Or to be tossed aside or shoved out into the restless sea of uncertainties to be completely lost or drowned without being given another thought.
Loving gratitude for giving me a place, despite the hardships it may have caused her life and the lives of her own family (to whom I am also very grateful).
I'm glad that I didn't become the common after-thought that so many in life do in other such unfortunate circumstances. You know, the one that you hear that asks, "I wonder whatever became of ____ "? and...nobody really ever knows?"
All because I WAS given a second thought.
And a chance to finish growing, and some of the attention needed as an undeveloped and not yet done young person in great need ... I became who I am now in life ... a whole person.
A wife and mom of two of my own children, a writer, an astute observationist of life. Confident and strong and not too shabby a person to know once you really try to get to know me.
I just needed a chance to finish growing up well.
One person seemed to care enough about me so that I could. That one person was named Carolyn, and she's my sister.
And I will forever love and respect her for opening her life and her heart when I needed it most, forever ... and just because, she ... took me in.
Lord, as my sister now lays in her hospital bed fighting for a chance at life yet a little while, please be mindful. She needs an extra measure of your strength and your help, so I'm asking you to open your heart and your arms to her, in her hour of need.
She needs your care to win this battle and stay with us a little while longer, so just take hold of her hand and please don't let go, and let her triumph in her struggle because You love her and because ... You took her in.
*Footnote: Carolyn did survive this heart attack from when this initially happened and lives on to enjoy her grandchildren and her life.
Today, Carolyn Jean Thacker went to meet Jesus and her beloved sister, Sandy in heaven. The above story was written several years ago and then updated after she had suffered a heart attack. Now here, many years later, she rests with her Lord and Savior. January 16th, 2016. She is now, for the first time in so many years, finally at peace.