Fifty-two years ago today I made my appearance for the first time and boy, oh, boy was it a day that rocked their whole world. My entrance was a surprise, or so I’ve been told many times. It was just an ordinary day on a small family farm in Louisiana, chores had to be done, farm animals had to be tended to, and everyone was busy going about their responsibilities. Just another day, nothing spectacular or exciting until…
Mid afternoon the oldest daughter (who had just turned 19) started feeling sick. She laid down but it didn’t get better, in fact I got worse and worse and worse. Finally, after several hours her parents decided they needed to take her to the emergency room, she probably had a bad stomach virus or perhaps appendicitis. At the hospital they took her back to the exam room, then immediately whisk her off from there. Her parents waited for what seemed like an eternity, then the doctors came out and said something that had never ever crossed their mind for a second…”it’s a girl!” the doctor exclaimed. I can only imagine they stood there mouths wide open, brain scrabbling to try and make sense of what he just said, THE WORLD ROCKED, at least their small part. Father’s Day and a Girl’s Broken Heart
I’m sure my grandfather was angry, being a proper southern man, and as for my grandmother, a deeply religious person, she was shaken to her core, that’s what she told me anyway. Now what? A baby we didn’t plan on, can’t afford, and didn’t want. Then there’s the daughter who brought this shame on herself and the family. What do they do now? My grandfather had the answer immediately, adoption. Within a day the arrangements were made and I was to go live with a well-to-do family in the next town over, who couldn’t have children. He was the head of the family and that was that…but not so fast!! Happy Holidays, but wait a minute, is it all happy all the time, for everyone?
My birth mother refused to sign the papers, she told him to park her car outside of the hospital and she would take me and leave, but she would not give me to strangers! The next day a neighbor ask my grandfather to ride with him to Mississippi to check on some cattle he had over there. My grandmother told me when my grandfather got back his mind was changed and they could bring me home. See this neighbor had a daughter who got pregnant a year or so earlier and they sent her away to an unwed mother’s home and put the baby up for adoption. He had huge regret for the toll it took on his daughter and the realization he would never know his grandchild. It was apparently enough to change my grandfather’s mind.
A few days later I went home and I couldn’t be more thankful, however I do sometimes wonder who I would have become if that adoption had gone through, but it was not to be, I was meant to be who I am. That’s how my story begins, it was a rocky beginning to say the least and it’s been a rocky life too!! Not meant to be easy, but I was meant to be Elizabeth Ann McKnight Clamon and I’m still ROCKING THE WORLD!!!!
To be continued……….