*MY HAREM!* Look At All These Beautiful Faces! Follow Me! And Try To Keep Up, For Pete's Sake!!


Dear Fannie,

Dear Fannie,

                      I am sure you have probably been dead for 25 years or more. This letter is long over-due and for that, I am sorry. You have entered my thoughts a lot lately. Maybe it's you in spirit, just saying "hello". Maybe it is just my brain, doing a little Spring cleaning.

                      I was only 8 years old, when my mother moved myself, my 11 year old sister, and our 3 year old baby brother, into your rental home. It was a small trailer with a built on cinder block bedroom. There was a sidewalk out front. An honest-to-goodness sidewalk! I'm not sure why, but having a sidewalk outside my door made me feel a little bit classier. I never felt ashamed about living in that place. 

                      You must have been in your late 70's. You lived in an old house, just down the hill from the trailer, with no distinction between our yards. I was always a little creeped out by the black spots in the corners of your ceiling. You loved telling us kids how you had beaten bats to death with your broom, when they had found their way down from your attic. Your house always smelled like food. Like delicious, just from the oven, bread with maybe a hint of fried apples.

                     Countless times, you would ask us kids to come to your house, where you taught us to play Rook and told us stories of the good ol' days. We'd eat sandwiches and drink coffee or iced tea with you. I detested tomato sandwiches ( I thought). When you made those one day, I could have cried. But I was so hungry that I ate the sandwich anyway. I swear, that was the best sandwich I had ever eaten in my life! Ever since, I have loved tomato sandwiches.Before we knew it, hours had slipped by. Mom never minded. She was rarely ever home. Most of her days and plenty of her nights were spent off with some man or the other. I felt so bad for you. We were pretty much the only company you ever had.

                     The one thing about you that really annoyed me was how you would invite yourself in while our mother was gone and proceed to look in our cabinets, refrigerator, and stove. I remember mom being so pissed off when she would hear about it later. I didn't understand why you did it. After all, we were very clean kids and our house was always tidy. We worked hard to keep a clean house. Why were you always trying to catch us with dirty cabinets and appliances? But even with your being so nosey, I loved you. I wished you were my grandma.

                      I have often thought back to your oldest grand-daughter. She was skinny, and hateful, and had the shortest hair that I had ever seen on a woman. She was married to a man "with money" and lived across town. Whenever she came around, she always looked at us kids like she had just smelled something bad. Once, she walked right into our house without knocking, looked down her nose at us kids ( our eyes must have been a big as saucers lol), "Where is your mother?!", she demanded. We all shrugged. Heck, we didn't know. Did we ever? She pulled a can of tomato soup from her coat pocket and slammed it down on the kitchen table and stormed out. My sister and I looked at each other. We were so humiliated.

                     This woman thought we needed her soup. She was probably back across town at that very minute, telling her rich, snobby, friends, how she had left us a can of soup. How we were starving. How our mother slept around, didn't love her kids, and left them home with nothing to eat. What if someone from school found out? Please God, don't let her know anyone that goes to our school. Please. Please. Please!  Neither love nor money could have gotten us to eat that soup. It was poison. To eat it would be like admitting that we were the trash that she thought we were. We never even told our mother about what happened. The soup got tucked away, out of sight. It moved with us many times, without ever being eaten. Whenever I saw that can, I was stabbed in the heart with a knife of shame. I'm not sure why we kept it. Maybe we needed it as a reminder to never, ever, let anyone make us feel like that again.

                     It was some years later, Fannie, before I realized the truth. It brings tears to my eyes as I write this. You were never being nosey or worried that we weren't keeping things clean. You were checking to see if we had food to eat! All those card games were your way of making sure we had a meal on those days. Your way of keeping us from being home all alone. In your wisdom, you remembered that even the smallest child needs to be left with their sense of pride. You did everything for us in such a way that we never felt like we were receiving a handout or charity. We were made to feel like we were doing you a favor. Like we were just keeping a lonely old woman company.

                    You taught me a great lesson... To give to those who are in need, to do it thanklessly, and to keep it low key. To remember that no matter how badly someone needs my help, I should help them receive it, while leaving their pride intact.  I give from my freezer, because I need the space. I sent extra snack money to school with the kids, in case another child forgot theirs at home. I give away clothes because I desperately need the closet space. Allow others to accept help, while still keeping their head up high. Thank you, Fannie. I feel sure that you have one of the best seats at the Lord's table.


  1. What a beautiful post!! I'm so thankful you shared this with us!!! HUGS!

  2. i remember the soup and the sidewalk made me feel important.

  3. Wow. That's really neat. It's nice to know there were people like that in the world and hopefully are a few still around.


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