Mission Hill

There are many things that I don’t remember about my childhood, but I remember clearly the day Miss Green took me to Mission Hill’s Home for Children.  I was four years old when she took me out of Family Court and drove me in her car to Mission Hill.  Miss Green was a white lady, in her mid to late twenties.   It was cold November day as we approached the doors to the orphanage.  I could scarcely hear Miss Green talking very softly to herself, as if she were going over a list of things in her head.  I turned and looked up at her as she rung the buzzer with her free hand, the other hand was held fast to mine.  She said quietly, “This is just business,  You can do this.” As an adult, I understood that she was preparing herself to do this uncomfortable thing of leaving me here.  I guess she felt like she was leaving  a lost puppy at a shelter,  that she had found at the door of her apartment.  She knew that she couldn’t keep it,   because it would violate her lease.   I had stayed with her since she took me from Mrs. Wilson’s house, about four days.  The last time I remember being at my parent’s home,  I was brought out of my house, under a blanket by a big white policeman. I couldn’t see much, just flashing red lights.  I stayed at our across the street neighbor Mrs. Wilson’s house that night.  I was anxious with fear and cried myself back to sleep.  The next morning Ma or Papa never came to get me,  and it was a long and terrible rainy day.  I cried out for my folks but Ms. Wilson said that they wouldn’t be coming  back anytime soon,  and that they where in God’s hands.   I asked her can she take me to them.  She said no, that was for God to do, but that I would see them again some day.  It was on the second day Miss Green came to Mrs. Wilson’s house.  They sat at the table, and drank coffee while they talked.  I recall Mrs. Wilson saying  “I’se  is too old to raise a baby boy all by me-self,  and they didn’t have no family that I knows of!”  Miss Green wrote in her notebook as Mrs. Wilson spoke.  ” Now I feels sorry for the little baby but there ain’t nothing that I can do!   My husband’s been gone 19 years come July, and I can barely get by on my Widows Pension as it is.  Ain’t no way I’se can afford to feed another mouth!”  Miss Green spoke up ” The State can help you with money from his survivor benefits, and he will get a food allotment.”   Mrs. Wilson seemed to mull it over for a minute, before she finally said ” No Ma’am, I’se just too old to take up minding another child,  I knows God says when its time for Him to call you home, but at my age, it is more likely than not,  that I won’t be here in this world when that baby starts school!  And you will be right back here to get him anyways. ”  Miss Green seemed to reach a troubled decision, she would have to take me to the orphanage.  A very well recommended state run school.  Mission Hill began as Junior college during the mid 1800’s, founded by the Mission Hill Catholic church.  The building was constructed at the conclusion of the Civil War.

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8 thoughts on “Mission Hill

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    • I would imagine that reading an old paper is how they were raised. I know that my own father would sit for an hour and read while enjoying his pipe, and I found out later that he could read only at a very rudimentary level. He would tell stories of my grandfather doing that very same thing. A quest for continuity.

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