Dana...second from left...in the Orphanage
Abandoned by our mother when I was three, my two brothers and myself were placed in an orphanage where we were raised for the next 11 years. It was touch growing up…feeling lost, alone and unloved.
Yet eventually, my mother did finally get back in touch with us, and would occasionally write or call, with promises that she would come visit or come and take us out of there to live with her. I remember the rare times when I would receive a letter during mail call, and I would gallop all around the dormitory, waving that letter high in the air. And then there was the time that I actually got to talk with her on the telephone, and she said she’d be coming to get us the next day to go spend the summer with her. I was so excited, I couldn’t’ sleep all night long.
So the next morning I convinced my housemother to let me wait for her on the front steps. Shortly after breakfast I sat down on the cold stone steps, waiting, watching, hoping. As each car entered the long circular driveway, my heart would beat a little faster, and I would shield my eyes from the glare of the sun and try and make out who it was. As each car left with their excited, laughing children…my heart would sink a little lower. Finally the bell rang for lunch, and I pulled myself to my feet, and went off to the cafeteria.
“Perhaps later” I said to myself! After lunch, my Housemother, told me that, “No one will be coming to pick you up,” and that I would remain at the home, once again during the long summer vacation.
It was late that afternoon, that I sat in the deep grass and clover on the playground, beneath a huge sweet smelling Magnolia tree. I watched the few kids that were left, playing a game of Jump Rope. And as I thought about that morning, the familiar pain of abandonment wrapped it’s tight hold around my heart, and a feeling of hopelessness spread through my soul.
The bell sounded for us to gather in our groups and head inside the building, so I quickly wiped my face and walked across the lawn towards the huge stone steps. I walked up the steps with the other children, then paused for a moment before entering the doorway. I turned around to take one last breath of the fresh sweet air before heading inside to the dark, musty smelling dormitories.
It was then that I noticed…there on the horizon in the twilight, just above the tree-line…a single star glittering brightly. Quickly, I closed my eyes, crossed my fingers, and whispered to myself…“Starlight, star-bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might…have the wish I wish tonight.
And I made that wish…just before the hall monitor, smacked me on the backside with a ruler, and ushered me inside. Later, in the quiet of the night, I held close to that star in my mind as the tears fell like rain down my cheeks. Muffling my sobs in my pillow, I paused for a moment as a thought suddenly appeared in my mind. It was three little words that I had heard in a Sunday school church sermon… “Be not afraid!”
Taking a deep breath…I thought about those three words and the light they held within, began to lend me their courage. Quieting down…I dried my tears with the edge of the sheet, and finally fell asleep, dreaming of my wish on that star.
It was a wish that I repeated, year after year. And it was a wish that always gave me a glimmer of hope…even in my darkest hour…for as a child, I believed in the power of wishes and stars and the three little words, “Be not afraid.” And my wish was for love, a place to call home, and a happier tomorrow.
Hello! “You can also visit my services as a Motivational Keynote Speaker listed on Thumbtack and get to know more about what I can do for YOU!”