or The Car, The Barn, and The Bible
One sizzling evening I noticed my daddy starting into a rage.
The words were unintelligible thunder in my ears and heart.
The noise was deafening! My heart beat a rhythm of live fear.
Only 10 years old and scared almost to death.
We looked out the window toward the dairy barn. He ran and got the car, driving frantic circles between the house and the barn. Right about then he gunned the motor and headed straight for the barn at breakneck speed.
Just then we heard the loud screech of the car speeding up, and then at the very last minute braked again. We saw a blur of speed just before he veered off as the car was about to hit the barn!
In my helpless fear I ran and grabbed my new zipper Bible with my name on it which I recently won at a Vacation Bible School. I grasped it tight in hopes of surviving the terror. I knew it offered comfort for bad times, but I couldn’t even focus on words then.
We looked out the door as he careened toward the barn while my white knuckles betrayed my shock and fear.
Later I learned the rage and the car screeching over and over was a near suicide. (It was much later that I understood because my family didn’t talk of such things, but college and my thirst for reading led me to the information.)
Somehow we lived, and so did Daddy. My family went on through and the challenges did too.
We made it past the night of my worst childhood fright.
My daddy, a tenant farmer who, though bright and strong, would not have scored well on emotional IQ measures. He never knew about mental illness or anger management, although he was guilty on both counts.
Life on the dairy farm wasn’t always easy. Yet one of the take-aways for me was a clear understanding of the need for children to have a safe and caring environment. That has been a driving force in my life since then.
Copyright by Hildra Tague. Contact the author for print or online republication.