*The House with only One Toilet*
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It has been awhile since we have shared a story from HeartTouchers.com featured author Roger Dean Kiser. As always, he gives us a small glimpse inside the mind of an orphaned child in only the way Roger can. Be sure to visit his website after you read today's story!
From my family to yours,
A HOUSE WITH ONLY ONE TOILET
By Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.
I was locked up in the juvenile hall for months after I had been released from the Florida School for Boys at Marianna (reform school). I refused to ever return to the Children's Home Society (orphanage). I was not going to return to that orphanage even if I had to spend the rest of my life locked up in a small cage. I had been at the juvenile hall for several months and I had flatly refused to even walk out of the front door in order help them clean up the streets for fear that they would take me back to that awful orphanage. I was not taking any chances, whatsoever. Generally I would not even come out of that wire cage, even to eat with the other kids who were locked up in there with me. I mean real criminals too. This one boy had stolen money from a church collection plate and bought funny books with the money.
It was a Wednesday morning and this guy named Bert, who worked for the court, came into my caged cell and asked me if I wanted to go somewhere special for Thanksgiving dinner. I told him that I did not want to go outside of the shelter at all, and that he knew very well why. I liked Bert because he was a nice guy, besides his brother had made a song which they played on the radio called "The lion sleeps tonight" and I was really impressed that he knew the man who made that song. But he just kept on and on about that Thanksgiving dinner and how a kid should not be locked up on a day of thanks giving. So I finally said that I would go and he took me down stairs to talk with the judge.
Later on that day this older woman came and talked with me for a while. She told me that she wanted to take me to her house for Thanksgiving Day dinner and I made her promised me that she would bring me back the very next day.
She and I walked out of the juvenile hall together, got into her nice car and drove to her house. It was a nice house too, and right in the middle of where all the rich folks lived, right next to the big river with the great big silver iron bridge. I had never been over that bridge before because it was just too big and scarey to cross. Even when we ran away from the orphanage we only crossed the little bridges. Never the big ones 'cause they might fall and we could drown.
We walked into her house and I was really surprised at what I saw. It was real small inside not like the big house that I had lived in. You could sleep thirty or forty people in our house at the orphanage. But then I went to their bathroom and I saw right away that they were not rich at all. They only had one toilet and one sink in their bathroom! They were really poor and they did not even know it.
Of course, I had never been in a regular house before and I did not know that regular people only had one toilet and one sink in their bathrooms. That is one of the hazards of being raised in a orphanage.
You never get see what it is like in the real world. Then one day when you do get shoved out into the real world everyone treats you like you are an idiot because you do not know anything about regular stuff and all.
The Thanksgiving Day dinner thing was very hard on me and I wanted so badly just to get out of there and be back in my cage at the juvenile hall. Man! There must have been fifty people going in and out of their house. All getting ready for that big Thanksgiving day dinner the next day. I was really scared too. I didn't like people very much, especially grown people. They can do some really bad things to you when you are a kid. I never hardly move a inch because I was so scared. I never moved out of that chair, nor did I move in any direction until almost all those people were gone, late that afternoon. The lady, Mrs.Usher, who brought me to her house, came in to the living room and asked me if I wanted to have a coke in the small bottle. I told her "thank you" but that I did not care for anything.
I really wanted that coke real bad too, but I was to scared to take it. I thought about that coke all day long and how good it would have tasted. Later that night, when everyone was asleep, I went into the kitchen, real slow and quiet like, and I took a cold coca cola out of the refrigerator. I drank the coke real fast, in about five seconds, and then I hid the bottle cap behind the refrigerator. Then I warmed the cold bottle against my stomach so that it would be warm like the other bottles. Then I put it in the bottle carton so that no one would ever know that I had drunk it. No one ever found out that I had drank that coke.
The next day was almost as unbearable for me, as was the first day, because of all the strange people coming for the big dinner. I would have rather died than to have ever gone through such a horrible experience as was that dinner. All those big strange people laughing and joking and making all kinds of noise. I have never been so embarrassed and so scared in all my life and that is the God's truth. Not scared like you are scared in the dark -- scared in a different kind of way. I just can not explain it, not even to myself. I know I hardly ate anything that day and I had never seen so much food in all my life. But I sure was so glad when it was finally over.
Later that night, after everyone else had gone to bed, Mrs. Usher took me out onto her front porch and we talked for hours and hours. She was a real nice lady too, and she let me smoke a cigarette because I liked to smoke. It made me feel like I could take care of myself. I think I was about thirteen years old at that time and I had never once just sat and talked with anyone before, in my whole life. It was my first 'nice and slow time' and I really liked doing that.
It is a day that I will never forget and I will never forget her kindness and her warm smile. But I just could not understand was why was she doing all of this for me. So I always kept one eye open on her all the time. Then she got up and went into the kitchen and brought each of us a small coke in the bottle, and she handed one to me. I will never forget that either. That was the best coke that I ever drank in my whole entire life.
The next morning she and I ate some breakfast together and then she told me to go into the bedroom and get my things together so she could take me back to the juvenile hall, like she promised. I remember going into the small bedroom and closing the door behind me. I heard her in the hallway talking on the telephone to the authorities. I heard her ask them why I was being sent back to the reform school and what it was that I had done that was so bad that I had to be sent back there. They told her that I had done nothing wrong but that they had no where else to put me.
I heard her get very mad at them and she told them that she was not going to bring me back to the juvenile hall to be locked up again like an animal. I LOVE THAT WOMAN FOR SAYING THAT! That is the most wonderful thing that anyone ever did for me as a child. That, of all the things in my life, is the one thing that made me want to be somebody and I thank you so very much you loving, kind and wonderful woman.
That one little sentence that came out of her mouth was the one small light that guided my life for the next forty-five years.
I stayed there for several weeks and then I left to go out on my own at the age of fourteen. I continued to see the Usher family on and off for the next twenty or thirty years until their deaths. I know that they would have adopted me, had I asked. But when it was discussed I told Mrs. Usher that it was too late for me, and she cried. I told her that I had to make it on my own now, 'cause I was a man. I just wish that I could have shown them how much I really loved them, before they died. But I did not know how to show them that because I didn't even know what that meant.
I hope that now that they are in heaven that they know how much I love and respect them, with all my heart. I hope they know how much they added to the life of one lonely little boy that nobody else wanted.
Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.
Write Roger and let him know your thoughts on his story!
Published author and internet writer Roger Dean Kiser's stories take you into the heart of a child abandoned by his family and abused by the system responsible for his care. Through his stories he relives the sadness and cruelty of growing up an orphan in the early 1950s. Today Kiser lives in Brunswick, Georgia with his wife Judy, where he continues to write. Publishing most of his work on his internet web site "www.rogerdeankiser.com".
It is through his writing that Kiser has begun healing the pain, suffering and sadness of the orphan within him. Unknowingly at first and by the power of the internet Kiser's stories have touched millions. In the vain of Mark Twain Roger Dean Kiser's collection of almost 400 stories have captured the drama and emotion of not only his childhood but of his current day tales. Kiser's short stories carry with them strong images and feelings that search out and find that common thread which connects each of us to our own emotions.
Roger Dean Kiser is the author of the book "Orphan, A True Story of Abandonment, Abuse and Redemption." Visit his website at: http://www.rogerdeankiser.com
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Thought For The Day:
"The right train of thought can take you to a better station in life."
Verse for the Day:
"For as he thinks within himself, so he is."-- Proverbs 23:7
Kid's Thought For The Day:
"Never tell your mom her diet's not working."
Parent's Thought For The Day
"If there is anything we wish to change in our child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves."
Coach's Thought For The Day
"Swallow your pride occasionally, it's non-fattening." --Frank Tyger
Writer's Thought For The Day:
"Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light." --Joseph Pulitzer
Deep Thought For The Day:
"I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it."
Mr. Powers, everyone on the list,
I too have an urgent prayer request. My Mum is a diabetic. She's been one for more than 20 years. She suffered a heart attack on 01st Feb. 2000 and has been on insulin jabs since.
About a month ago, after returning from her morning walk, she found her right big toe bleeding. It turned out it was because of an in-grown nail. The doctor removed the nail and gave her a round of anti-biotics. Her wound seemed to have healed and even the "new" nail was beginning to appear. But last night, she revealed that that toe was hurting quite badly (must have been going on for some time). Her doctor said it was due to infection. He cleaned it, re-dressed it and has put her on another round of anti-biotics.
If you don't already know, diabetics have a risk of hurting their extremities (fingers/toes - especially toes) which would ultimately have to be amputated.
Please, please pray that this would be the case for my Mum (Carmel Lukose). Please pray for her COMPLETE healing.
Thank you, everyone.
MICHAEL T. POWERS
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business
I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever! Love, Trisha Silverhill, AL
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