At the tender age of seven years old, I had formed my own opinions of adults, “Do not trust them.” I was at the point in my life where I was heartbroken, my mother was locked away like a criminal and my siblings and I remained separated from each other. My mother had to hear in court about all the horrific trials that Raffeal and I had endured while in the custody of Rose. This devastating news set my mother’s recovery back, causing her to fall into depression fueled by guilt as if it was her fault we were mistreated. The caseworker managed to place my brother and me into another foster home, hoping we would regain a healthy balance of emotional stability. Yep, that did the trick!
Our new home was with an older woman who went by the name “Big Momma”. Big Momma lived in a bluish color one-level house on 58th and LaSalle. You could tell the place was somewhat old but it was decent I supposed. Our new foster mother was not big in size at all; she was somewhat tall, but not big. She had beautiful skin for her older age and beautiful, wavy, long black hair that she always wore in a ponytail. One of her eyelids was lower than the other which I learned later was due to a stroke she had once upon a time. She appeared to be a nice, caring and thoughtful person.
Finally, somebody was happy to see us and welcomed us into their home. Big Momma’s children and grandchildren were also there to greet us. They were kindly introducing themselves to my brother and me but deep down inside, I was not buying it. Two of her adult daughters, named Ethel and Esther, lived in this house. Ethel did not have any kids, but Esther had four. Their names were Melanie, Marcus, Sherita and Pauline. Now Ethel should have been called Big Momma because she was fat. Esther was not fat but if she ate a couple more pork chops, she’d have been well on her way. They gave us a tour of the place, which I must say was not something I would declare nice but it was bearable. I thought it was somewhat strange that Big Momma’s bedroom set was in the dining room.
Everybody was all smiles but me because I had too many things racing through my mind about this new foster parent, another new school and something that probably had never crossed my mind, new foster siblings. I already knew in my mind that this living arrangement was about to be very challenging.
Melanie was the oldest and seemed a bit strange to me. She did not talk much and was always off to herself. She did not cross my path and I tried not to cross hers. Marcus was the only boy among the siblings. He was short in height, brown complexioned, and hmmm… Moving forward, Sherita was what you would call a bona fide “tilt drill” meaning she had a cute shape with a big booty but an ugly face that only a mother could love. She was a light-skinned eight-year-old girl who looked like she was twelve. Sherita was not just ugly in the face but also in her ways. She was a sneaky, conniving bully. Lastly, the baby girl Pauline was a little cutie. Her head was big, but she was still cute and the same age as my baby brother, Raffeal. I shared a room with Melanie and Sherita, and Raffeal was in the room with Marcus.
Ms. Irving made sure that Big Momma had a clear understanding that the wound on my leg needed daily dressing changes. I must admit, my new foster mother was on point when it came to taking care of my wound. She did the daily dressing changes as ordered and made sure I kept my doctor’s follow-up appointments as scheduled. I hated those dressing changes because it was still painful to touch, especially when she had to pack the wet gauze into the wound. It took a strong stomach to tolerate the massive hole the dog had left in me, but she did it like a champ. For me it could be too much to handle. There were times when I thought my wound would never heal, but with the help of Big Momma that once golf-ball-sized hole eventually healed, although it left a permanent scar.
Though reluctant to feel comfortable, things seemed to be getting better for me and my brother. I was finishing the second grade at Jesse Sherwood Elementary at 245 West 57th Street, the foster mom was not torturing me and my mother was allowed more visitation rights. But not everything was what it seemed.
Passed Around By Man But Not Passed Over By God Chontate Brown Copyright ©2013 All rights reserved.