November 14, 2008 at 11:39 pm #66001
Having been born in the South prior to any Civil Rights movements existed, there are things that I witnessed that will forever be imprinted in my mind and soul. Blacks rode in the back of the bus. Water fountains in stores had one sperated from the others and marked “colored”.
After my father died and my mother – well, she was some place else – most of my care was given by Charlie Mae Fisher. She was a black woman who I loved more then anything in the world.
One day when we got on a bus to do errands, Charlie Mae had to find a “white woman” for me to sit with up front because, she explained, “We colored folks ride in the back.” I threw one hell of a tantrum, I wanted to go back and sit with her. Only after she whispered to me that they would kick her off the bus, did I pick myself up and sat next to the “white woman”, who I stubbornly refused to speak to.
That’s coming up on almost 60 years. Charlie Mae died long ago, and a part of me still misses her with the same love and intensity as when I was a child. I don’t need to go into my feelings on the night of Obama’s acception speech, but every second Charlie Mae was on my mind. When I turned the TV off, I looked up and gave her a high-five. I also asked for a sign that she knew I had never forgotten her. Never would.
The next morning as soon as I got up and went to the kitchen to make coffee, I noticed something on the floor with beautiful colors. As I knelt down closer, I realized it was a butterfly.
I’ve lived in this house for over 30 years and this was the very first time I’ve ever had a butterfly inside. This time of year, nothing is blooming, and I don’t ever recall seeing a November butterfly outside either.
I hope it is a sign and that all of this is real. I still ride that fence of believing/not believing.November 15, 2008 at 2:02 am #109206
Bless your heart Julie. You made me think of things that I have not even considered in years and years. I, too, was raised in the south and for the life of me I could not imagine why these sweet souls had to walk in the street instead of the side walk and sit in the back of the bus.
I loved to sit in the back of the bus so I could see outside. Mother never said a thing to me but others would look at me ‘funny’. My mom was such a neat person when it came to being equal long before it was ever a discussion matter. She told us that people are people and that we needed to be respectful of each other. Nothing more.
When our schools were closed due to segregation I got interviewed by the Edward R. Morrow show and asked what I thought about it. My answer was reduced to “I don’t see a problem with schools being integrated.” Which I didn’t.
It was a year or so later that as a member of the Future Nurses Club in high school and working in the local hospital that I realized that there was a complete floor for the blacks. What amazed me and hurt me was that it was one big ward. The men were separated from the women and children by curtains only. Once I was asked to help assist an intern. I was glad to help until I found out what I was to do.
This sweet soul was to sit on the edge of his bed while the intern had a rather large needle and syringe and I was to hold his shoulders still while they took a blood clot out of him. Terrible, terrible thing. I cried all the way home. Well, I’ve gone on way too long but I think I made my point.
Julie, I know in my heart that your butterfly was your sign. Why else would a butterfly be in your house in November?November 16, 2008 at 12:39 am #109190
Yes Julie, Bless Your Heart. I believe it was a sign of some sort.
Yes, I turn 50 today, and that means that I also remember that blacks rode in the back of the city bus; the Woolworth’s cafeteria counter right here in Bloomington, north of the Mason-Dixon line, had a different area for blakcs. I will never forget my grandmother explaining the two different water fountains, and the two different bathrooms in the bus station, and I cherish the way she explained how wrong, how very, very wrong it was.
I’m also glad that I’ve seen this in my own lifetime. I’m sure my grandmother is very happy on the other side too, as well as my mom who taught me that prejudice is wrong.
If it wasn’t a sign, then you tell me, just where did that beautiful, color-full butterfly come from? :)November 17, 2008 at 3:05 am #109132
JeannieParticipant:hearts:((((((Julie & Charlie Mae)))))):hearts:
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.