Memories: Loving Foster Parents

by Jane Walker

My mind has wondered all over today. I spent a lot of it thinking about how lucky I was to have had such loving foster parents.

My sister and I had come from an abusive home to the orphanage. My sister was very, very close to Daddy. The first time they came to the orphanage, my sister bounced into his lap and hugged his neck. I was mesmerized by the beauty and kindness in Momma’s face. I reflected back on growing up with a Daddy every little girl should have had. We got valentines and a pure sense of how a man should treat the women he loved. He never stopped courting Momma.

I remember once in junior high school. I was getting ready to go to my first dance. I had a beautiful new peach top with a white chiffon skirt. There was white fur around the neck and cuffs of the blouse. I had new shoes. As I sat waiting for my date’s parents to arrive I looked down and noticed my father had holes in the bottom of his shoes.

Money was tight, but I had a new dress to wear to my first dance. I also had to laugh when I thought about Daddy showing up in the middle of the dance with a movie camera and enough lights to light up Broadway. He really loved his little girls.

His hair had turn all white by the time I reach my senior year in high school. Mother got her hair color out of a bottle so I have no idea what it was. Momma was a blond until she starting growing it white.

Daddy was deaf. He wore a hearing aid. It was little box (looked like our smart phones today) that clipped onto his t-shirt with a wire that ran to his ear. He always talked very loud. Everyone could hear his phone calls.

I thought (when I was very young) that he was faking the deafness. I tried to prove it to my sister. I whispered, “Let’s sneak out tonight.” Daddy instantly jumped from his chair, shook his finger at us and hurried to the kitchen. He went to the kitchen junk drawer and pull out two nails. He proceeded to our bedroom and nailed the windows shut. “That will take care of that kind of talk, ladies.” He said.

“See, I said to my sister; I told you—he can hear.” It never dawned on me that he could read lips.

I stayed in trouble with my Daddy most of my life (I just came that way), but I really loved him. He was a very gentle soul no matter how much he yelled. He has been gone 40 years and I still miss him.

Thanks for listening.

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