As I stood in that long wide hall looking at the poster with a picture of the car, my heart began to do funny things. I murmured, “You’re going to give me that car, aren’t you, Lord.”
But I’m getting ahead in this story that happened in 1955 probably in September, when my first born, Carl, was two years old. We lived in a two bedroom trailer house. Both bedrooms were together in the back. My husband and I were asleep when I was awakened by Carl crying because he had fallen out of bed. I got up and put him back in bed. I suppose I soothed him a bit, then went back to bed. Carl began crying again. I became irritated and got up and spanked him for crying. (Oh, God, that is so hard to admit.) Carl quit crying.
My brother, Clyde, was spending the night with us. He must have been sleeping on the couch in the front. Since he was there, my husband and I both went to work. It was early so we left Clyde and Carl both sleeping. I went to my job at Tinker Air Force Base where I was a typist in a typing pool where I typed material for five airplane inspectors.
About noon I received a phone call from Clyde. He said he had taken Carl to the doctor. The doctor said Carl had a cracked collar bone. I was crushed with guilt and despair! I loved that child with everything in me, and I had spanked him for crying—never did I have a thought that he might be hurt. I should have known something was wrong! Carl was a good child; he would never have continued crying when I told him to stop! (Oh, God, how I thank you for forgiveness. Even now I have a hard time remembering to forgive myself.)
Loaded with guilt but with no choice, I had to continue my job. Up early, dress Carl, take him to the sitter, go to work—you all know the routine. It seemed I had no time to immerse myself in my son. No time or way to make up to him for what I had done.. .
Now to the poster part! In those days, our city had the United Fund drive every fall. I was a dedicated United Fund supporter. Even before marrying, my husband and I helped canvas the neighborhood to raise funds. All workers were asked to donate a half day’s pay. I had done that routinely as I did every fall. Look at the poster! It says there will be a drawing for a free car, a new Oldsmobile 88, for someone who supported United Fund. My name was already in the hat!
When I saw that, I knew God was going to give me a way out of my pain. I purposed to sell the car and stay home with Carl for as long as the funds would last.
Shortly after the appointed time, 10:00 AM, on the day of the drawing, with my fingers flying over the keys, my mind transcribing some inspector’s handwriting, and my heart doing flip-flops, the door opens and in runs an excited inspector, I called, “I won the car, didn’t I?” YES, YES, YES! ……
We took a trade in of an older car plus cash enough that I got to be a “stay at home” mom for six months! My gift from Jesus. My healing from Jesus. My “mommy time” from Jesus.