Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Dwayne... Where Ever You Are

I used to take care of a little boy named Dwayne. He was my nephew on my husband's side of the family. He was a pitiful little boy with a mother whom he should have been taken away from but the state kept trying to "save" the family. Dwayne was molested by just about every boyfriend that his mommy ever had. The first time that I met him he sat in my lap and immediately started rubbing himself against me. I was 19 at the time and I thought "Oh no, that wasn't what I thought it was." Unfortunately it was.

Once Bobby and I were married we started to keep Dwayne. At first it would just be for the night but it quickly turned into most of the month (until he started school). We kept him so much that Jeannie was giving us half her foodstamps. We took them because if we didn't she would just sell them for beer and they wouldn't have any food for the last week of the month. The child would actually starve for a week if we hadn't made sure that there were groceries in the house for him! We also bought his clothes, toys and other necessities and made sure that he went to the doctor and such.

I remember being at the flea market with him one time. He had fallen in love with a teddy bear which I was just pretending that I wasn't going to let him have. After looking through a few booths I gave him a quarter so that he could buy it with his own money. He scampered back to the teddy bear and bought it and he bragged for years that he bought it himself. He loved that bear. His mom didn't buy him alot even for his birthday or Christmas - he was lucky to get a coloring book and crayons from her. She was never without beer or cigarettes though!

Dwayne was on medication for being hyperactive. His mom would even give him extra doses when he was irritating her (which was any time he wasn't sitting on the couch). When he was with us he didn't need it. We took him to the park and played with him all the time. One time we were taking him on a trail after giving him an icecream. (I had to tire him out because I was taking him home that day). Usually he enjoyed going on those trails and he would race ahead of us. On this particular day we were about 100 yards up the trail and the ice cream hadn't "kicked in" yet. He stopped and looked at me and asked "How many more miles are we going to walk anyway!". So we rested for awhile until he started running and whooping and hollering all over the mountain.

I couldn't contact Bobby's family after the divorce and I lost touch with Dwayne. The last I heard he was on his way to prison for robbing the store next to his house. There was no surprise in that news unfortunately. He spent his teen years in and out of juvenile detention facilities. I tried to make a difference in his life but in the end the negative influences in his life were just too much. It's sad.

Anyway Dwayne's birthday is groundhog's day. So Happy Birthday Dwayne.

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