Things lost will be found, when the time is right

Published 10:14 pm Friday, January 28, 2011

Daddy didn’t go many places.

He didn’t buy many presents either.

So, when he went off and brought me back a present, it was very special to me.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Why Daddy went to New Orleans, I don’t know. Back then, children weren’t a part of the business of their mamas and daddies.

But Daddy went and brought me back a Saint Christopher medal – the saint that is supposed to look after, as daddy said, fools and children.

My medal was shaped like a bell with its ding-a-ling hanging down. On one side, it had an engraving of St. Christopher carrying a walking stick in his hand and a baby on his shoulder. On the other side there was an engraving of St. Christopher walking in the woods. It was the prettiest thing I had ever seen.

I wore it every day because I needed protecting especially from Mama and all the switchings she gave me.

In a few years, the St. Christopher was taken to make room for an opal necklace from a boy friend and then a class ring around my neck. But I always kept my treasured present in a special place but, in time it, was misplaced and lost.

Several months ago, I found a tiny St. Christopher, about half the size of a dime, in my grandson’s junk drawer. It just appeared out of nowhere. In an attempt to shine it up, I dropped in down the drain in the kitchen sink. It was gone forever. I was troubled because I knew it had been placed there for me.

Then, in the fall, several of us “girls” were on the way to Ohio and stopped at a roadside park in Kentucky. And, there, nearly completely buried in the ground, something caught my eye. I dug out a St. Christopher. It had been put there for me just as surely as that Mickey Mouse teacup appeared to me in April 1980.

When my grandmother died in 1965, we, the grandchildren, were allowed to have one thing of hers. I chose the Mickey Mouse teacup that had been kept on a whatnot shelf high out of the reach of little hands. All of those “what-knots” had been packed safely away years before. But all of the looking then and over the next 15 years didn’t turn up the cup.

Not until the morning my granddaddy died.

On that day, the teacup appeared in a very conspicuous place. It had been put there just for me.

Over the years, other things of great importance to me have just appeared out of nowhere. My son, the Doubting Thomas, admonishes me, “Mama, I don’t believe that God is hording up things and then doling them back out to you at specific times.”

Well. As folks say, that was for me to know and for him to find out.

For whatever reason, the other night, we were discussing the story of Bill Skeeto, the man who, many years ago, was hanged for a crime he didn’t commit. The story is that Skeeto was so tall that his dangling feet touched the ground so his executors had to dig a hole under his feet so he would hang.

From that day forward, the hole cannot be filled as a constant reminder of the terrible wrong done to a good and just man.

Thomas doubted the story. “Where’s any documentation?”

A few days later, I came home to find a faded, yellowed newspaper on the kitchen table. I picked it up. It was dated 1976 and the story of interest was about the hanging of Bill Skeeto.

“Where did this come from,” I asked Thomas.

It seemed that he had gone to the house where I grew up and that is a remodeling work in progress. There on top of a worktable was the newspaper with the Bill Skeeto story face up.

Thomas admitted that he had been in the house several times during the week and to that very place. If the newspaper had been there, he would have seen it.

But not if it had been horded up all those years just waiting for the right time.