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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hold Everything Lightly #4 {Lester}

I am six years old and sitting in the biggest black car I have ever seen.
 The back seat is strange and would hold my Sunday School Class. I ask mama why we are in this car and she starts sobbing. I ask to go to the bathroom. The long black car is parked in front of my Aunt Vera's house and I have not been allowed in there for days.

The long black car was a limousine used during Aunt Vera's funeral procession and that scene above is all I remember about it. I do not remember seeing Uncle Lester at all in the days after I found her unresponsive on the sofa. She died of a stroke later that day. Mama took me to her and daddy's house four houses up the street and that was that. Uncle Lester was the only father figure I had at this time and suddenly he was gone. I simply adored Uncle Lester and Aunt Vera. They were my world. About six months later he called mama, who was his half sister, and invited her to meet his new friend Edith. 

Mama and I went to Edith's house in South, Augusta.
I can still picture that house, small on the left side of the street with colorful flowers blooming and facing a drive in movie theater. Edith was all sugar and syrup. Far too sweet if you know what I mean. She had outlived one husband and divorced another and had two grown daughters. Lester and Edith met at Clark's Hill Lake. That lake looms large over me somehow.  Uncle Lester and Aunt Vera owned a lot and small trailer at The Lake (capitalized in my head) and I caught my first fish there when I was two. The Lake is why I ended up living with my aunt and uncle in a round about way. Meanwhile mama and Lester were talking in the kitchen and Edith took me in the back yard and held be by the shoulders and shook me and said she was going to be Uncle Lester's wife from now on and he was to have nothing to do with me. Did I understand? I was six year old child. I said nothing. She was not my Aunt Vera and she was taking Uncle Lester away from me. How could this be?
The Lake gives and it takes away.

When we got home I told mama.
 She called Edith on the phone and much unpleasantness ensued as my mama was someone not to cross. I saw Uncle Lester three more times in my adult life. He came to my wedding twelve years later and is seen in the wedding photos although I do not remember him being there. He was admitted to my hospital where I was a RN, for throat cancer, and I visited with him. After that I drove to their place on The Lake and sat with them one day while he was sick. He died on July 4th when CC was two.  He never saw her. I did not attend the funeral. Sometimes I regret that. Edith did mail me photos of Lester, Vera, and me.

 I have never quite gotten over Uncle Lester's rejection of me and his allowing Edith to manipulate him.
Her children were listed as his daughters on his obituary and that hurt me terribly.  As an adult I can forgive my uncle, as a child I was completely mystified and it colored my world for a long time.
This was my second lesson in holding that which I love lightly.

"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts, when God pries your fingers open."
---Corrie Ten Boom 1892-1983 

To read parts one, two, and three of this series click on the page HOLD EVERYTHING LIGHTLY SERIES at the top of the blog to the right of CONTACT ME and it will take you to each post.
To read about Vera and The Lake go directly here.


Thank you for reading.


  1. You're true-life story reads like a movie script. I'm amazed at the healthy perspective you have today, but I'm sure it was hard won. Blessings xo

  2. This is so heartbreaking Olive, but I am sure you are a more compassionate adult because of your own experiences. Lester, more than likely, was not to blame, men can be easily influenced by manipulative women. Take care.

  3. {{{{{{{{{{{{ OLIVE }}}}}}}}}}}}
    *hugging tightly
    How can these things happen to little girls? I can't come close to imagining how someone would hurt a tiny little girl of 6. I am sorry you have to have this kind of memory. No one should.
    Bless your heart, what a strong person you are....and "they" say these kind of things MAKE us strong. PooPa...I say.
    xo bj

  4. Oh my some people are just so messed up and then they hurt the people and children in their lives so badly.

  5. I love this series Olive. It truly is heartfelt and heart wrenching. I have witnessed a man lose his wife and take up with someone quickly who controls them and slowly banishes their family. I think they get trapped and like all controlling relationships, it is hard to admit and getaway. Especially for a grown man. I bet Uncle Lester thought about you every remaining day of his life.

  6. Olive, thank you for sharing your heart with us...through your life experiences I am able to identify some past hurts that need another layer of my letting them go.. :-)

    You are a great lady with a powerful story and I look forward to reading more of it...

  7. You are giving a good lesson in forgiveness to us all. Next to cruelty, irresponsible behaviour to children is one of the hardest things to forgive. ~ Maureen

  8. Heatbreaking. I just came across your blog, love it! you def have a new follower!

  9. Hello, Olive. Thanks for telling the story; it surely helps more than you know.

  10. Manipulative women are a mystery to me - I do not understand how they can live with themselves.

    I can't imagine something more confusing or heartrending to a small child who has already had so much upheaval in her little life.

    In some ways, this is the saddest chapter so far, in previous chapters there were glimpses of God's hand at work in your life and I from what I know of you through your blog, I can recognize those glimpses.

    This chapter seems so sad. Your uncle lost more than he gained imo.

  11. Beautifully told Olive. Isn't it amazing how certain women can manipulate men like that. I don't like it, I must admit and they are not the sort of women that I would want to be friendly with. I guess she was really jealous of you, but he should have stood up to her and continued to see you. I wonder if your uncle ever had any regrets. Sadly, we will never know. Hugs to you.

  12. Are you writing a book of these true tales.

  13. No Linda not a book. This blog writing is enough for now.

  14. Olive,
    I always head straight for your blog when I see a new post. No exception here.
    I am thankful that you have God to hold tightly to.

  15. Oh Olive,
    Even though it is a sad chapter in your life, I found your writing so spell-binding. I'm afraid, as we learn in adult life, a new man or woman in someone's life can often take over and cloud the eyes, and often the young can be hurt terribly.
    The good thing is that you met your lovely Joe.
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment today. I seem to have missed a few of your posts. I'm so sorry .... I seem to have been a little busy lately and 'real life' has taken first place to blogging !!
    Have a lovely week Olive. XXXX

  16. I used to coach little girls in Upward Basketball; one of the things I tried to emphasize with them was "at your age, you can't control what goes on in your life. One thing you can ALWAYS control is how you respond..." I think far too many adults aren't able to let go of the terrible hurts of their childhood and miss enjoying life. I HATE the horrible things that you went through as a child, but am so blessed by the evidence of God's grace which has allowed you to become the beautiful person that you are.

  17. Thanks for being so real. The truth hurts.

  18. Thank you for sharing your story with us Olive. It's sad to read about the hurts you had as a little girl. But you have grown into a beautiful strong woman!

  19. Oh Olive, what a sad and profound story! I can see how this would affect you so! Thank goodness, God can heal all and be a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow!

  20. I just started reading today, and have gone back and read all of the previous chapters, too. Your story is a powerful one, Olive, with so much that affected you and your siblings lives. You draw us into your story with your honest writing style...I thank you for sharing it. XO

  21. You are a writer Olive.
    It is as simple and pure as that.
    You are also STRONG. What a blessing for your family.
    And shame on her.

    Have a blessed Easter,
    White Spray Paint

  22. It is unbelievable that someone would hurt a child so deeply and not know it would have an everlasting effect on that child. It was pure selfishness and fear on Edith's part. I imagine Lester was lonely after Vera's passing and ripe for Edith's control. So very sad...especially for you as a precious six year old little girl.
    I am so sorry you had to go through such a painful experience and I am confident that is why you are such a kind and compassionate adult.

  23. Humanly speaking, this is way too much for a young child to have to endure. Thankfully, this world is not our home and someday all will be made well.
    Mary Alice

  24. Olive, When I read this I am there with you. I feel that I would love to help that little girl.I feel like crying. It makes me pray that you are happy beyond compare now. xo, Susie(She Junks)

  25. Thanks for sharing another episode, Olive. I hope that by doing this series, there is closure, and comfort in knowing that we are here to support you.

  26. Oh Olive,I am sitting here with tears in my eyes because I've been there. Will email you with a similar situation that I went through.

  27. Catching up on your posts,
    this was the first one that I
    came to read. We definitely
    do have a different perspective
    as adults than children, yet
    perhaps children have a way
    of seeing to the true heart of
    matters. Funny, I am writing
    a post called Living Lightly
    right now. It's rather frivolous
    compared to your series, but
    those were the words that
    popped into my mind, based
    on a different quote than the
    one you use here. Beautiful
    and lyrical words, my friend....

    xx Suzanne

  28. I've often wondered why it is that men can be so manipulated by their wives...mostly second wives...and why some people can be just downright "mean". the lack of knowing Jesus I guess. Our young spirits and little hearts can be so devastated by unloving grownups.
    Have a blessed Easter Weekend, dear one!

  29. I have known women like Edith -- my grandma's stepmother, Goldie was an Edith. She mistreated my grandma and her brother and only allowed great-grandpa to do for her children. My grandma long ago forgave Goldie -- I am afraid my Momma never did. She resented Goldie's granddaighter Judy having the relationship with her grandpa that she never had. Families are so complicated.

    Enjoying your writing.



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