The Pilgrimage: Finding The Way Back Home
(Dedicated To John Bettencourt - Entered Into The Lord's Rest December, 2007)
(Copyright © 2006 By Brother Richard MS Ed)
Part One The Separation
…“Honey, you’re doing the right thing. You’ve made the right decision. It’s for your own good and for the baby. Now rest a while.” … “Your right, it is for the best, as long as my baby is safe, that’s all that matters as long as the baby is safe.” Wrapped in a fresh new blue blanket a nurse carried the newborn, out of the delivery room. With the room becoming a bit warm the air conditioning thermostat once again came on causing a breeze to move over the new mother as she lay in the hospital bed. Simultaneously, a chilling feeling of dread emerged from within her, a sensation as though a sword pierced her very soul.
As whaling Capt’n, Robert Jeremiah Bowman had seen enough killing and blood to last him for a lifetime, having made peace with his God and leaving his ocean mistress behind, Bowman settled down in order to marry. Over time and through countless episodes with the Mohawk people that he came into contact with, Bowman began to acquire a reputation of diplomacy, respect and valor especially among Little Hummingbird’s people. Little Hummingbird was a member of the Mohawk nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. She was of the Wolf clan, an affiliation inherited from her mother. Having his eye favoring the young Mohawk maiden, Bowman received the tribe’s newlywed blessing and the two were married properly according to the custom of her people. Bowman found a home among the Mohawks. Having lived among her people for a time he became restless and sought the tribe’s permission to leave with his wife. Prior to departing with Little Hummingbird, her parents requested of them one wish, “Little Hummingbird and, Robert Jeremiah Bowman, remember us by giving your first born child a Mohawk name along with a Christian name. In this way you will always remember, my children, your people and your family.”
Having promised Little Hummingbird he would not return to a life at sea, Bowman found a piece of land by a coastal cliff overlooking a bay upon which he built them a home. Venturing out, in the cool of the evening, one memorable moon lit night; Bowman began watching the breakers as they came crashing on the rock form jetty below. Seeking solitude for prayer Bowman was looked upon by the starlit heavens above. As he dedicated his wife’s unborn baby to his Creator’s care, unable to find the adequate words with which he wanted to pray, looking out across the water Bowman witnessed a school of Orcas migrating south in search of a safe breeding haven. Remembering Little Hummingbird’s family request, Bowman decided there and then that the Mohawk name, Orca would be given to their first-born child. Orca Clive Bowman was born healthy and blessed with a manly disposition soon afterwards.
When the time came for Orca to embark out on his own, in order to find his way in the world, he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, by having a career at sea. Unlike his father, however Orca was a man of science and found work helping the very whale species his father made a career at killing. In time, Orca having proved himself as a sea worthy man, earned his own reputation to qualify in becoming Science Officer of the Sea Wind, captained by Sir Henry Burrows. With the blessing of his father, Orca went off to sea, on the Sea Wind embarking on his first scientific expedition in order to search out what lay beyond the local reefs.
Orca Sound is a deep inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in eastern North America extending south from the Strait of Queen Elizabeth I through Commodore Inlet. While the area was first being explored officially by Capt’n Burrows and his crew, a gale storm happened to befall them. Judging the circumstances, Science Officer, Lt. Bowman, sacrificed his own life in order to save his Capt’n. Moved by his Science Officer’s character, courage and tenacity, Capt’n Burrows named the Sound after him. Thus, the Mohawk legend of Science Officer, Lt. Orca Clive Bowman, of the Sea Wind and how Orca Sound came to receive its name was born.
While Sakura Island figures into the early history of the continent, with relic and archeological finds including works of art from the local indigenous Native American people going back thousands of years, and in European exploration and settlement, the story of Orca City begins with the settlers of the late 1700s, and early 1800s who came to farm, fish and harvest timber when Maine was still a section of Massachusetts. Nearly a hundred years from the time Capt’n Burrows and his crew first sailed the region spying out the coastal terrain, Maine became its own state in 1820. As artists and naturalists made their way from Boston, Philadelphia and New York, the results of their pilgrimage brought small town and country people eager to lodge with local farmers and escape the stifling hot summer heat of their localities. Some bringing their family fortunes came to invest and build summer houses. As the surrounding area around Shark Harbor grew in population it was time, the locals felt, to legally do what it took to become an official city. When choosing a name for the city, Orca won the popular vote overwhelming. Thus Orca City was founded in 1838. Soon Orca City’s reputation grew in becoming a popular resort area that even the populace of Newport Rhode Island became impressed by.
Around the turn of the century, investing a small family inheritance, Leland Bryson’s grandfather, Commander, George Andrew Bryson, II, of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, Retired, set up shop in Shark Harbor founding the Sharks Tooth Fishing Fleet. Through hard work and professionalism over the years the fishing charter business built-up a well-earned reputation becoming very popular among the locals and especially the tourists. The business was flourishing just as Grandpa George had wished. In time the Bryson family business ship’s helm was passed on to Leland Bryson’s father, Richard Bryson,
Between 1880 and 1930, approximately one million seven hundred thousand Irish immigrants came through Ellis Island and the Port of New York. Wearing his long johns and his heavy Irish tweed suit, Anne Lowrey’s father, Patrick Lowrey was in the company of this migration. Anne’s mother, Bridget Lowrey soon followed. It was not uncommon for Irish immigrant males to find work that was low paying, dangerous and physically demanding. Irish women, like Irish men, also had to work at low paying unskilled jobs. Usually the only jobs available for an Irish woman immigrating to America were the more dependable domestic servant position or factory work which may be available only seasonally.
As with the majority of newly arriving Irish immigrant families, Patrick and Bridget Lowrey were looking for work. As Irish fortune would have it, Patrick bumped into a fellow Irishman that knew him back in his fishing village in Ireland. Recalling Patrick’s knack in and around the shipping docks along with his skillful handiness around the fishing businesses back home, his old friend suggested Ole Paddy, check around the local shipping docks and look up the Shark’s Tooth Fishing Fleet and ask for work. Following his friend’s advice Patrick landed a job as a deck hand with the charter company. After a few years, with both working hard and saving all of the earnings he and his wife were able to spare, Patrick and Bridget took their life savings and bought a small customary Irish Pub. In time, the Lowrey’s Irish Pub became a favorite with the locals and tourist crowd. Continuing to expand, the Lowrey family’s increased business profits allowed them to soon add to their Irish Pub a restaurant serving authentic Irish food & drink, live music, and as the locals liked to say, good times.
With David A. Armbruster, being the first University of Iowa Hawkeye swimming coach in 1935, to originate the butterfly stroke, word soon traveled through the grape vine, to other swimming coaching circles. Leland Bryson, a previously proven local Orca City High School athlete, in the breaststroke, adapted easily to the new butterfly stroke achieving great success for his local high school swim team. Attending the same high school as Leland, Anne Lowrey, was a popular cheerleader. As providence would have it, these two star cross lovers met and falling in love, became the much-loved sweethearts of their modest fishing district. Now, approximately one hundred years from the founding of Orca City, Leland Bryson and Anne Lowrey following high school graduation were wedded in June of 1940. After returning from their honeymoon it was decided that the two would follow in their respected families business; Leland would work for the Sharks Tooth while his wife, Anne would work at the Lowrey Irish Pub. The Bryson’s household was a typical working class family always managing to make ends meet.
At 7:40 a.m. on December 7, 1941, attacking with 183 planes, the Japanese launched its war against the sleeping giant the United States of America with a terrifying assault on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. President Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941, to be a date that would live in infamy. The Japanese sank 3 battleships, destroyed 120 planes and killed 2,403 servicemen. On December 8, at 12:30 p.m., President Roosevelt spoke to a joint session of Congress and the Nation via radio. The Senate responded with a unanimous vote in support of war; only Montana pacifist Jeanette Rankin dissented in the House. At 4:00 p.m. that same afternoon, the President of the United States signed a declaration of war. A few weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Leland felt called to serve his country. With the blessing of his wife and extended family, Leland enlisted with the U.S. Army. Leland’s tour of duty took him to the South Pacific to engage the enemy in the Pacific Theater. Leland returned home having developed an impulsive temperament that had a propensity towards violence. This maladjusted character change was not public knowledge between the Bryson and Lowrey extended family circles.
Having their first child delivered stillborn, Ann was once again pregnant. While visiting the Lowrey’s family Pub, Leland viewed what he perceived to be a customer eyeing his attractive wife. Approaching the customer in the parking lot, with Anne present, Leland beat the man senseless. Anne witnessed one too many of Leland’s brawls. Upon witnessing this last assault, Anne immediately began showing signs of internal bleeding. Following an emergency medical inspection, the examining physician determined Anne had lost the fetus and the resulting miscarriage left her unable to bear any more children.
Loving their new son, as if they had begotten him themselves, Leland and Anne Bryson adopted little eight month year old David Bryson in February of 1955. Consulting with their assigned family social worker, it was the consensuses of all parties involved, that David should be informed of his adoption as soon as possible. David was named after Davy Crocket, Indian Scout, and legendary “King of the Wild Frontier.” As legend tells the tale, Crocket, “Kilt him a be'ar when he was only three,” this David, was told that he was an adoptee when he was only three.
David, being an only child, never went without and was not spoiled, as rumor would have it. Introducing David at an early age to the performing and fine arts, it was the intent of the Bryson’s to raise their boy into becoming a fine cultured young gentleman. Details of David’s adoption were often the subject of gossip around both the Bryson and Lowrey extended families water coolers. What was not readily known was that his mother would never allow him to forget his position in the family structure.
At times when David would stand up for himself, telling his mother that it bothered him being reminded that he was adopted, his mother would say, “David you were chosen.” Hearing this repetitious mantra, feeling wounded, David, would say, “I didn’t ask to be chosen, I just want to be accepted, like everyone else.” This would hurt his mother, while his dad understood.
David wanted to fit in with his new family. It was his mother Anne however that had another underlying itch to scratch for continuing to point out to David that he was adopted even though by telling him so she knew it would hurt him. In later years, David would come to understand “the why,” that was behind his mother’s proclivity to remind him intermittingly that he was adopted. David was simply the family prop for Anne’s madcap madness. She used his presence for striking a chord within her in order that she not forget nor forgive her husband, for what he caused her to endure; for delivering her child stillborn and for her miscarriage.
For David Bryson, growing up in his neighborhood was a precarious time of testing and a disconcerting ordeal. As far back, as his memory would allow him to journey, David lacked the consciousness of belonging and fitting in with others. In time, David soon developed defense mechanisms that served to protect him against these unwanted feelings. His parents, his extended families the Brysons and the Lowreys, and others that he made an acquaintance, all profiled David as being overly sensitive.
Like an intruder, moving out from a thin gray mist, becoming unwontedly visible, dread made its presence known within David. As an adoptee, David put into practice the world-view that in order to have a foundation upon which to move forward in life one needed to know whom one’s birth parents were; where ones lineage was from. According to the Bryson family’s way of thinking, the responsibility of feeling wanted and belonging rested solely on David. They had done their duty. Being beleaguered with a persisted nagging anxiousness, David’s parents figured, it was his schtick. He would have to either live with this status quo or do something to change it himself.
Like an unquieting, intrusive neighbor, who appears at the entrance of your front door at the most inopportune time, David’s inescapable nemesis, dread, began to increase its visits with more frequency. This passed within him, a feeling of being different, and the experience of becoming a human being who was acquainted with life as a spectator and not as a participant.
When David’s mother took her son for the first time to see the Bryson family medical doctor it became immediately clear to David that he was different from the other neighborhood children who were not adopted. Since the Bryson family was not privy to any of David’s birth family information, his mother considered questions that addressed this subject mute. Taking the patient information form up to the front window counter, in the presence of her son, David’s mother began explaining to the medical staff worker why she was unable to answer family history question on the intake questionnaire. As David was listening to his mother’s explanation, simultaneously, dread, made its all too familiar presence known within him. The sentiment for feeling out of place and different was once again reinforced. Dread resurfaced again during times at kindergarten and as he attended elementary school. Class assignments often required students to provide family history. Whenever the subject of family would be brought up, his attachment would drift back to imagine a birthmother he never knew and remind him he was adopted.
Following his father’s example, David, being only six years old, took to swimming like a duck to water. Discerning David’s potential, speaking with his parents, the swim club’s managing coach recruited David to become a member of the swim team. With Leland, being a known and popular, local high school swimming champion himself; the coach’s request was readily accepted. In just two summers, David winning several swim meets ribbons proved to be the sparkle of his father’s eye making his father especially proud.
Don Searfoss, an old war buddy of Leland's, living out of state, stopped in for a long overdue visit. It had been decades; there was a lot to catch up with. Introducing Mr. Searfoss to his family, David’s father explained how they first met at Army boot camp. Later they were part of the same Army unit deployed together to serve in the Pacific Theater. After a hearty home cooked meal, the two men retired to the den for some after dinner drinks. With Searfoss present, Leland’s mind soared back to his high school glory days. In an attempt to live in the spotlight of those days gone by, now through his son, Leland wanted to impress Searfoss, by showing off his youngster's swim meet winning ribbons. David was called to the den. "Son, go and get your ribbon collection and show them to Mr. Searfoss." David scurried off to his room. David did not return. Becoming impatient, excusing himself, he went to find David. As his father entered David's room, sensing his father's anger and being unable to come across the ribbons, David also sensed the ole nemesis had once again resurfaced. "Where are those ribbons, those ribbons that you won?" A flurry of slaps across the face and side of the head were lashed out. "They're here Dad. I know they are. They are in one of these books. Just give me a minute and I'll find them. I will dad." Again Leland struck his son with his fists. Tiring, Leland turned to his leather belt. A small gust of air filled the bedroom as the leather belt came across the back of his son’s little seven-year-old calves. The breeze cooled David’s skin from the heat of the lash. "Where are those ribbons?" Through clinched teeth, a grimacing look of terror, curdling screams of anguish, the child once again spoke, "I'll find them, dad, they are here somewhere. I know it. I'll find them for you, dad, I'll find them."
David's father had built up his son as an accomplished young swimming star to his war friend. Without being able to produce David's ribbon for Searfoss, it was as though his bluff was once again called as Searfoss had done previously so many times before when they played poker overseas during the war. David having been earlier, dad's dear ole boy, was now seen within his father's mind's eye, as zero. Thus this gentle seven-year-old, swimming prodigy, took the brunt of this thirty-eight year old man's self induced prideful embarrassment. During this horrific beating, David's blue eyes looked up at his mother's green eyes. She just stood silently at her boy's bedroom entrance. His tortured screams, the sound of his father’s fists and leather belt hitting her son had drowned out anything she may have or not have wanted to say.
On several past occasions Anne witnessed her husband beat strangers to an inch of their life. Leland assured Anne through a promise that he vowed years ago that he would never strike out violently towards another human being again. Now she was witnessing her only living son tortured by the man she once loved as her high school sweetheart. Having a chance to redeem herself, she chose once again to be a silent witness. Just down the hall, in an adjacent room, within an earshot of David’s bedroom without also saying a word sat the portly figure of a so-called World War II veteran.
Growing impatient, without ever witnessing the ribbons for himself Searfoss departed. A few minutes after Searfoss left Leland returned to the bedroom. God only knows what would have occurred next however something miraculous happened. It was just as David testified during this modern day inquisition, located inside a scrapbook, stacked inside the bookshelf; David found the no longer alleged swimming ribbons. With this find, David was restored to a place of prominence with his father. Within an hour from the moment he first retrieved the blessed ribbons a cowboy hat was sitting tall upon David's head that was still aching from his father's blows. Taking young David to the local amusement park to buy him a cowboy hat was Leland’s way of showing remorse to the family and to David in order to atone for his sins, the sin of almost beating the young lad to death.
Graduating sixth grade, David began attending Joshua L. Chamberlain Junior High School. Having his English teacher away, arrangements were made to have Mrs. Quincy cover the class. Mrs. Quincy began her first class with a hearty welcoming. While introducing the lesson plan a ruckus occurred from the back of the classroom. Startled, David turned to see what the caused the commotion. “Young man,” David turned back in his desk to look in the direction of Mrs. Quincy, “Yes, you there,” with her voice raised and accompanied with a stern tone, Mrs. Quincy caught David’s attention. “You will stay after class on Saturday for detention.” For the rest of the class period David sat at his desk with an expression as though the wind had been taken out of his sails. This was the first time for David to have ever gotten himself into trouble at school. Feeling wronged, David attempted to appeal his point of view, after class. “I was not moving around in my seat, Mrs. Quincy, in order to talk. I only turned to…” Before David was able to finish his sentence, Mrs. Quincy interrupted, “Please, young man enough, I don’t want to hear anything more on the subject. You need to get to your next class.” Ah, that old familiar, inescapable feeling of dread re-emerged within him yet again.
The day of reckoning had finally arrived. Reaching his destination, David entered the hall set aside for students to serve their one-hour detention. Finding a seat, David passed the time waiting for the arrival of the teacher. Having been introduced at an early age to the performing and fine arts, it seemed that if any enduring influence had gotten into David's soul, like a black bear inside of a Rocky Mountain cave during the coldest part of the winter months, it was hibernating. David’s passion was about to be stimulated from it's slumbered state. Her head tilted revealing only her profile. David continued to study her. She had a face of bronze complexion, shadowed by hair of dark rich coal. Her Mediterranean skin set off her startling blue eyes. David's heart was smitten with this beauty. Somehow, David also caught her eye. Her mouth began to open into a full rich smile showing a full set of strong white teeth. "Hi!" "My name is Selah Wynter." As she spoke, David thought for a moment, her blue eyes were speaking to him. Before David was able to act in response, other students began to enter the classroom. Paying no attention to the commotion, Selah's presence still completely occupied David's youthful mind. He had never seen her before that day. She enamored him. To David, Selah was more than beautiful she was ... as a seventh grader; David was unable to find the words. As the Phantom of the opera was enchanted by the presence of his Christine, Selah mysteriously was the catalyst for granting admission to reveal the true nature of what was waiting to be revealed to David from within his very soul. David was being re-invented. Over the next few years, that for which was within him, being placed there through contact with the performing and fine arts, was going to blossom through the sunlight of Selah's presence, attempting to rinse much of the painful sorrow he had accumulated and endured through his childhood.
"Everyone here has been misbehaving in class!" With a lioness roar, the detention hall schoolteacher, Mrs. Reynolds, landed David’s attention from his flight of his imagination to a safe landing back to reality. All students receiving detentions were to sit silently for one hour in the Saturday detention hall. Leaving the room for an emergency, Selah and David began doing what Selah loved best, chatting. Becoming fast friends, they discovered they shared the same pre-algebra math teacher, Mr. Simms. Anticipating passing the seventh grade successfully, the two teenagers both decided to share Mr. Simms Algebra class the following September.
David was looking forward to spending the summer with his new girlfriend. The Wynter family had other plans. Following a long-standing family tradition the Wynter family visited relatives in Youngstown Ohio between mid June through mid August. Believing that this news would upset David, Selah avoided telling him about her family custom until the last weekend before her departure. Having misjudged David’s reaction, he admitted that at first he was disappointed yet he shared with her how happy he was for her. From David’s viewpoint, she had a real family and real relatives with whom she would be able to share the summer. At the same time however, hearing Selah’s words pricked David to his heart. It was not because his IchiBan, (Japanese for number one, the nickname David liked to call Selah), and he were going to be apart for the summer, nor was it jealously that he was not invited to go with the Wynter family on their summer excursion; it was because her trip triggered within him the memory that he was adopted. Before parting, David and Selah made a pledge, “No matter what happens in our future,” they whispered to one another, “we will always be there, for one another, forever.” Using a sharp bladed Cub Scout knife that he owned, David made a small incision on both of their index fingers. They then pressed their fingers together, blending their blood as one, bonding their faithful promise in their minds forever. Selah, set off for her traditional family two-month summer vacation. Now, safe at her relative's home in Ohio, Selah telephoned David to tell him she was thinking of him.
It was just following David's fourteenth June birthday, when he began feeling warning signs ranging from physical attraction to a much deeper, intense tender attachment for this mysterious meadow beauty. Venturing into waters yet to be chartered topographically by him, this eighth grader was unable to diagnosis what these symptoms were indicating. With his mother in the kitchen, David approached her. "How do you know if you're in love?" David asked. With a noncommittal sigh, she answered, "It is something that you just know." David understood right then and there what his body and mind were attempting to communicate. David was in love with Selah.
Having two priests and a nun already branched out from their extended family tree, when it came to their son Martyn, it was the Simms intention that he receive the finest religious education affordable. To set into motion their child’s educational formation, staffed by Franciscan Brothers of the Order of Friars Minor, St. Anthony of Padua met the educational conditions Martyn’s family was looking for. With Martyn in attendance, Brother Bonaventure, O.F.M. presented his first grade religion class with an introduction to popular Roman Catholic Saints. Martyn discovered two saints that particularly ignited his curiosity, inspiring his Roman Catholic faith, Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of all Franciscan orders and St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. With the Franciscan Friars at the rudder of Martyn’s schooling, the Simms family was able to rest for the next few years.
Maintaining a local parish presence, the Jesuits were always open to the possibility of taking on academically troubled schools. Due to poor student enrollment and low academic scores it became the recommendation of the Archdiocesan Board of Education that the Archbishop ask the Jesuit Father Provincial to take on the responsibility of St. Viviana High School. With an affirming response from the Jesuit Father Provincial, the Jesuits accepted the Archbishop’s offer. By adopting a few novel modifications, brought in by additional Jesuit faculty members, within a few short months an academic revival began on the premises of St. Viviana High School.
With Martyn’s graduation appearing in the near horizon the question on the Simms household’s mind was where to send their son next to high school. Seeking counsel from Fr. Lorenzo, the family priest, he clued the family in about the recent development changes at the formal Diocesan High School. Now the Simms were confidant that Martyn would be under the same trustworthy care at St. Viviana High School as he was at St. Anthony of Padua. After a couple of years the St. Viviana High School faculty and student morale had greatly picked up, student enrollment was up and student academic scores were significantly improving. Under the educational tutelage of the Jesuit Priests and Brothers, St. Viviana High School was in its hayday and Martyn being part of the experience was having the time of his life.
Before heading into his high school senior year, Martyn was looking forward to a quiet relaxed time for prayer and contemplation to unburden him of life’s uncertainties as well as spending time with his family and friends. Martyn was still unsure where he was going after high school graduation. This uncertainty concerned his family immensely. With a few weeks left before junior finals, Fr. Charles Durban, S.J., Martyn’s Latin language teacher approached him with news of a special two-week program that was going to be available during the coming summer at the local Jesuit retreat house. Fr. Durban S.J. explained that it would be a time for vocational discernment and would be involving a little work and ministry. Martyn asked if he would be able to think about his decision and get back with him in a few days. Having spoken with his family and with his parish priest, Fr. Lorenzo, Martyn called Fr. Durban in order to make an appointment to talk. The two met the following week. With his apprehensions quelled and after having his additional questions answered, Martyn agreed to attend the two-week venture. During his stay at the Jesuit retreat house Martyn was introduced to several Jesuits and especially one special retired priest, Fr. Henri Saint Laurent, S.J.
Fr. Henri Saint Laurent, S.J. had one of the finest mathematical and scientific minds in the twentieth century that the Jesuits had produced. Making this aware to Martyn, Fr. Durban became the catalyst that would change Martyn’s life direction significantly. Fr. Saint Laurent S.J. and Martyn would become life long friends. Returning fresh and invigorated from the two-week adventure Martyn was well on his way to becoming the formed man his parents had been praying for.
Attending the Jesuit University, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, and through the mentoring of Fr. Saint Laurent, S.J, Martyn excelled in mathematics and the sciences. Spending time visiting the retreat house on a number of occasions, Martyn began the discernment process on becoming a member of the Society of Jesus.
Having received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, with his application approved, and receiving his dad’s blessing, Martyn entered the Society of Jesus as a Novice. In time having successfully completed the necessary steps towards ordination, Fr. Martyn Simms S.J. received the sacrament of Holy Orders while Vatican II was still a ways off from being implemented.
Adding another priest to a branch extending out from the family tree, the Simms household was especially proud. During a family gathering following his first Tridentine Mass, Fr. Martyn’s shared with his parents that during the Mass it was if his imagination propelled him back to those radical days when St. Ignatius of Loyola and his men first ventured out in faith to become a religious order. He continued, with the patience of his parents still listening, how on September 27, 1540 Papal Bull, Regimini militantis ecclesiae (“On the Supremacy of the Church Militant”) was promulgated in the palace of San Marco resulting in the Society of Jesus, a mendicant order of clerks was established as a religious order. He disclosed also with the family, what the full title of the Pope was: Bishop of Rome; Vicar of Jesus Christ; Successor of Saint Peter, the Prince of the Apostles; Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church; Patriarch of the West; Primate of Italy; Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Province of Rome; Sovereign of the State of Vatican City. He shared now being a part of the Jesuits; he was a member of the Pope’s right-hand men. Martyn becoming the fourth member of the Simms extended family to be received into a religious order realized how proud they all were of him and especially how proud his parents were of his priesthood.
In addition to being a man of prayer, Martyn was the true Renaissance man. He was a romanticist, a student of languages, math and the sciences, and had an authentic enjoyment towards the performing and fine arts. Fr. Martyn excelled as a Jesuit priest teaching at a Jesuit high school Fr. Martyn’s vocation continued to develop over the years and then came Vatican II. Changes began happening with the Jesuits. A new examination regarding the role of social justice, the subject about priests marrying and other controversial topics were being circulated and openly discussed. The Mass was now being celebrated in English. As Jesuits began leaving Mother Church, Fr. Martyn also found a crisis within himself, regarding his own faith. At first, taking a leave of absence, Fr. Martyn saw what was inevitable and soon received a requested dispensation from vows resulting that from then on Fr. Martyn Simms, S.J. would be publicly known as Mr. Martyn Simms. Leaving the priesthood, Martyn recognized how his actions may also affect his family. They may feel disappointed yet he also understood that he was a member of the Simms household. By being so he would always posses his parent’s love and attention. This was instilled in him from his childhood. Returning to Orca City, Martyn desired to continue the simple formed way of life he was accustomed.
Martin had a childhood lifelong friend Jarrod Pomeroy. Sharing Christmas cards and birthdays cards a couple of times a year, the pair stayed in touch after Martyn left Orca City for a life with the Jesuits. A lot of time had passed since the two avid chess players had seen one another. Back in the day, Jarrod had won first place in the local city annual chess championship. It was actually Jarrod’s chess skill and enthusiasm that had inspired Martyn initially to be taught about chess in his youth. Catching up with the current news about one another now that Martyn had come back to his home turf, Jarrod shared that he had become a widower and had recently retired as an aerospace engineer.
Martyn had come to feel that being dressed in a religious habit people might be kept back from consciously knowing who the real person was behind the religious apparel. Joining the teaching staff at Joshua Chamberlain Junior High School, with the removal of his religious attire and vow of obedience, Martyn felt less encumbered upon. Now he would be able to create a difference with students that, as a priest, he felt he was unable. Still having worked in a Catholic High School exclusively, Mr. Simms recognized that students motivational interest, with the mathematics and sciences was in a steady decline in the secular milieu as well. Having an appreciation for math himself, Mr. Simms intellectual quagmire was how could he really connect with his junior high students and stir their imagination towards the direction that math possibly may be fun. Mr. Simms plan was to finely tune the traditional teaching method without throwing out the curriculum.
As August arrived with the warm weather retreating in intensity and Maine's fifty-seven species of broad-leaved trees beginning to prepare for autumn, David and Selah were once again united. Looking forward, within a few short weeks, to starting eighth grade together, David and Selah were about to enter into a new algebra class renaissance. Mr. Simms hope was with the start of this year by adding a new creative approach to his eighth grade algebra class lesson plan the student’s learning motivation would experience new empowerment. Having laid the groundwork by introducing the algebraic definitions and formulas to his algebra class, Mr. Simms felt the time was right to bring in his teaching plan additive famous chess problem challenges. Within a short time, Mr. Simms found, by simply adding famous chess problem challenges, to the class curriculum, class participation and class work increased significantly among the students. The new students began to let others see the joy for learning, they were having. Over time as quizzes and test came due, Mr. Simms would know if this new innovative addition to his class would prove successful.
With all that David had been through, so far in his young life, his personality had begun to develop ways to cope and solve the personal problems as they continued to emerge. Now with an opportunity to solve the weekly extra credit chess challenges that his teacher would leave on the classroom blackboard, David was able to show what kind of stuff he was made of. Through classroom participation, in attempting to solve the math problems and his tenacity to solve the extra credit chess challenges, David earned the respect of his teacher along with his attention.
With several students approaching Mr. Simms asking for his support in starting a new Chess Club on campus, Mr. Simms joyfully agreed. Still there were obstacles to labor through. Working together, under the guidance of Mr. Simms, the students drafted up an official club charter. Having Mr. Simms acting as faculty sponsor, the names of the student leadership being provided and accepted, and being given an official club charter, the administration board passed their positive recommendation on to the school principle for her stamp of approval. Passing muster, the school principal gave the sanctioned blessing. The date and location of the Joshua L. Chamberlain Junior High Chess Club’s first meeting would be announced over the loud speakers during the next morning’s campus announcements. David was anxious to attend the first meeting.
In addition to being a likable schoolteacher, Mr. Simms was an easy to talk with school club advisor. On occasion, during the chess club meetings, David and Mr. Simms became chess game opponents. These friendly challenging interactions, between the two were very healthy for David and actually caused him to begin seeing Mr. Simms in the role as a father figure. In time, David told Mr. Simms that he had been adopted. When the occasion seemed right, David also began sharing with his schoolteacher about the life difficulties that he, as an adoptee, was having. Feeling ill equipped to help, Mr. Simms informed his student that he knew the best person that would be able to address these personal issues with him, his lifelong friend, Jarrod Pomeroy. Now, Mr. Simms needed to develop a plan to get the two together.
Getting in touch with his friend, Mr. Pomeroy soon after showed up for a visit to the chess club. The timing could not have been better for Mr. Simms who readily introduced his two friends to one another. With Mr. Pomeroy’s permission, David’s school club advisor shared that the two indeed had something special in common. Yes, they shared an interest in chess and no that was not it. Mr. Pomeroy had been adopted as an infant as David. After the two new acquaintances shared casual conversation over a game of chess, the two became, to the joy of Mr. Simms, friends. Enjoying his girlfriend Selah, attending the Joshua L. Chamberlain Junior High Chess Club, and developing a true relationship with his teacher Mr. Simms and his new acquaintance, Mr. Pomeroy, with respect to life in general, David began experiencing pleasurable feelings.
Accepting a chess game challenge from Mr. Simms during a weekly club meeting a few weeks later, while reflecting over new game strategy he was attempting to implement, David began a heart-to-heart chat. “I have really enjoyed the conversations I have been having with Mr. Pomeroy. I have not shared this with him or with anyone else and I would prefer to share this with you. It just dawned on me, you know about me being adopted … with my mom always telling me this, it seems likely that this may be the reason I sometimes feel incomplete and different around my friends and classmates. It may simply be, Mr. S, that my family adopted me while I never really adopted them.” Mr. Simms responded sincerely, “I hear what you’re saying!” They continued playing chess through the rest of the hour.
Having graduated from Joshua L. Chamberlain Junior High School, David was looking forward to passing over the threshold in order to enter Robert Gould Shaw High School as a freshman. Having Selah visiting her relatives in Youngstown Ohio during the summer, David occupied himself and in so doing, discovered a new television show, 1-Adam 12. Based on true accounts of the Los Angeles Police Department, 1-Adam 12 provided the television audience an insider’s look at what takes place in the lives of two partnered beat cops, during the times they were on or off duty. After watching the TV series a number of weeks, disclosing his true feelings, to his childhood best friend, Garrett Smalley, David let Garrett in on the secret first that he could not see himself doing any other career than being a cop. Garret shared that he wanted to be a schoolteacher. The two became life long friends.
Having entered Robert Gould Shaw High School when it came to popular school subjects, besides Math and Chess, History class was a sanctuary of rest. While attending History class, David found himself at peace within the secret marina of his imagination. David cherished the affectionate relationship he and Selah were having however, from David’s point of view, with him not being on familiar terms with his birth families background he still continued to feel incomplete as a person and to feel adrift emotionally from time to time. Each week Mr. Laureano Sánchez, David’s freshman history teacher would present various wide ranges of ethnic/cultural groups for study. In order to ward off his resurfacing nemesis, David would choose occasionally from one of the groups to create an imagined legacy for himself. While David was studying early European history, he imagined himself as a Norman capturing the heart of a Saxon princess, fighting other Saxon warriors as Thomas Becket may have done before becoming Chancellor of England.
During David’s high school sophomore year, career survey cards were passed out among the students. Declaring his interest in law enforcement soon after turning in his card, David was notified by mail that the local police department was starting a Police Explorer Scout Post. David became one of the first to eagerly join.
David’s sophomore English teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Charnock, as with his freshman History teacher, Mr. Laureano Sánchez, would present various wide ranges of ethnic/cultural sources for study. In Mrs. Charnock’s case the subject would be Literature. With the high school drama club putting on a production of William Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet, at the same time, Mrs. Charnock’s English class began to study English literature. At some point while listening to Mrs. Charnock talk about William Shakespeare, David created in his mind’s eye that he was a true-life Shakespearian character. David pictured himself being a member of the Montague household, and an Italian kinsman to Romeo with Selah, being of the household of Capulet. As Juliet loved Romeo, he imagined Selah loved him. A year earlier, in 1968, the movie, Romeo and Juliet, starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey, was released in local movie theaters, now, once again, memories of that movie production came rushing back causing David to experience freshly the tender feeling he had towards Selah when they were first becoming acquainted as seventh graders. David continued to recall how, over time, the innocent tenderness the two held in their early youth for one another had grown into true romantic feelings.
David’s play-acting; at making up characters and quoting line texts from Romeo and Juliet to Selah in order to stir the thinning passionate flame of their romance, grew cold after awhile. Selah’s heartstrings were turned towards another; a young Lance Corporal Trevor Tremaine, United States Marine Corps, a friend of her father. Selah’s infatuation lasted only for a brief moment in time. Soon after making Selah’s acquaintance, the Marine Corp called on the Lance Corporal, to perform his duty. With the absence of Trevor, David being a passionate fighter for love, felt that he and Selah might still have a chance at repairing their relationship.
Now in their junior year at high school David and Selah seemed more inseparable than ever. Their lives were about to change dramatically however. Having been married over thirty years, David’s parents, Leland Bryson and his wife Anne filed for legal separation. Within a few short weeks following David’s father moving out of the home, recognizing the inevitable, divorce papers were mutually filed. Once word got out that divorce papers had in fact been filed at the county family law court clerk’s office, like a community that shuns one of their own when they don’t live up to what is expected, the Bryson family withdrew their family warmth from David and his mother. This was a real blow for David’s mother. On the other hand for David, since he and the Bryson family were not really that close anyway, this denunciation did not have much of an impact on him. Still the ole nemesis was present right on cue.
With the Christmas holidays approaching the Bryson’s decided that David should visit his dad during his school vacation. David figured that he and Selah had spent summer vacations apart before; two-weeks were not going to be a big deal. David was going to find out how wrong he could be. Selah’s dad had other arrangements planned for his daughter, which were not to include any fisherman or Irish pub owner’s son.
Keeping in touch with his favorite schoolteacher, David telephoned Mr. Simms in order to tell him of his parent’s decision. Obtaining his mother’s permission, David invited Mr. Simms to stop over to David’s house after school. Bringing Mr. Pomeroy with him, Mr. Simms stopped by in order to provide a listening ear as he so warmly did on many past occasions. During their conversation Mr. Pomeroy offered to play David a game of chess. David accepted. Mr. Simms was offered to play the winner.
David returned the last week of December, Selah had a surprise in store for him. It was not however going to be to his liking. In the words of William Claude Fields, "Ah, yes, my little chickadee, …Selah and David’s relationship was fini and yes it was over another man … Meeting up with Selah upon his arrival home she admitted that she was seeing Garry Mitchell, Seaman First Class United States Navy. To Selah, Garry was very dashing in his United States Navy Dress Blues. All spit and polished. David wondered if Selah saw in Garry and him in “his uniform,” what he first saw in looking at her profile in detention hall so many years earlier. “From now on,” Selah informed David, “I just want to be friends.” What relationship they once had before was now over. That was just the way it was. If David were to see Selah in the future it would be just as friends. Remembering the blood oath they made as youngsters, keeping to his word, David would be there, for her, if and when she needed him. She only would have to ask. David kept to his promise for another thirty years. At that time, they mutually released one another from their covenant agreement. Telephoning Mr. Simms, David shared the experience he was going through regarding losing Selah. “My first love, my IchiBan is gone, Mr. Simms.
With high school graduation approaching and with marriage with Selah out of the question, David concerned himself with the real possibility of being drafted into the Army and going to Vietnam. The Military Selective Service Act of 1967 required all men between the ages of 18 and 26 to register for military service. Upon graduating, in January 1972, David, still being seventeen, immediately entered the local city college majoring in Police Science. With one semester completed towards his Associate of Arts degree, David turned eighteen, in June of 1972. Registering with his local draft board David received a college deferment for military service. With the abolishment in 1973 of the military draft in favor of an all-volunteer army, David’s fear of going to Vietnam became mute.
In May of 1974, just shy of David’s twentieth birthday, an Associate of Arts degree in Police Science was conferred upon him. Several cities were now developing a Police Cadet Program for young men and women, aging between eighteen and twenty-one, who, like David, were interested in considering a career in law enforcement. Seeking information as to how one goes about applying for a position as a police cadet, David’s first stop was to the local city hall. Locating the Personnel Office, David asked for and received a prepared information flyer on the newly developed job position. David was hopeful that becoming a police cadet might lead him into a career as a police officer with the city police department. Perusing the flyer’s text, David discovered that as a police cadet one would work directly at the police department with sworn police personnel. The position was deemed an hourly paid city position accompanied with employee benefits after one passed the initial ninety-day probation period. The job duties varied on a level plan based on seniority and experience.
Continuing to scan the city flyer, seeing David’s interest, a young city personnel clerk approached him offering her assistance. David had at least one question for her about the city position that the flyer did not make clear. “The flyer mentions subject to passing P.O.S.T requirements. Can you tell me what these requirements are please?” “P.O.S.T. stands for Peace Officers Standard and Training.” The young clerk began. “P.O.S.T is a state agency that supervisors all state peace officers standards and training as the title indicates. There is currently an accepted standard across the state that is recognized by this P.O.S.T agency for all peace officers positions. The police cadet program has been placed under the jurisdiction of the state P.O.S.T agency. Seeing you wear glasses you should know what the standard requirements are as they pertain to uncorrected vision. Let me check this out. I will be right back.” Retrieving a small booklet the personnel clerk returned as she said. David’s heart was beginning to pound hard. According to this information booklet, Peace Officers Standard and Training requires no less than 20/40 uncorrected visions to be acceptable for any peace officer applicant. David’s vision was 20/70 in one eye and 20/400 in his weaker eye. Having been given this information, supplied through this little ten-page booklet, David felt numb and speechless. As far back as the summer before entering high school, David saw himself becoming a police officer. With having invested years as a police explorer and having an Associate Arts degree in Police Science, David’s hope and dreams was flattened. Now David was aware he would never wear the badge.
Soon following receiving this news David called Mr. Simms. Working on a new project with Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. Simms agreed to see David the following Sunday morning for breakfast, meeting him at their favorite diner and to hear what was stirring. Being awakened early on the following Saturday morning David wondering who it could be recalled to himself that he was supposed to meet with Mr. Simms however that was planned for the following morning. Who could this be? First locating his glasses he sleepily staggered towards the door. It was Mr. Pomeroy with news that during the previous night, their friend, Mr. Simms, had passed away peacefully.
David and Mr. Pomeroy had more in common than they were aware. With the passing of Mr. Simms both experienced a great sorrowful loss. Sharing their grief, over time, they grew closer. With Mr. Simms passing, David began to become conscious of the many life lessons Mr. Simms mentoring had upon his formidable years. Following Mr. Simms funeral, David and Mr. Pomeroy agreed to meet at the diner in order to console one another. After ordering food, an awkward silence creped in to shadow the normally cheerful restaurant ambiance. Attempting to play a game of chess soon the two stopped not having the heart to play considering the circumstances. David broke the silence telling Mr. Pomeroy how much Mr. Simms had meant to him. Having eaten their food and feeling better the two returned to the chess game they had begun earlier.
David decided to take a chance at opening up with Mr. Pomeroy as he had with Mr. Simms. “As long as I can remember I have wanted to become a cop. I was really making progress towards becoming one too, Mr. Pomeroy. I was physically fit … I had been a member of the Police Explorer Scout Post ... I had an A.A. degree in Police Science. I made friends within the police department … during every step along the way, planning and accomplishing my goal; I never thought my vision would prevent me from becoming what I wanted to be. Now what am I going to do?” As David was sharing his account with Mr. Pomeroy, his early childhood feelings of despair of not fitting in began resurfacing again.
“Your story, my dear friend, reminds me of an old professor and philosophy class I took when I was about your age. Have you moved yet? Where was I? O, Yes, David, as I was saying, your sharing reminded me of Ole Professor Woodruff who used to quote Caesar Borgias’s motto, Aut Caesae aut nihil … Caesar or nothing.” My boy, it seems to me having spoken with you before that your experience with angst is because you don’t feel you have a blood lineage, a family, and a foundation of your own. You continue to despair over that. Have you considered, my young friend, the possibility that, what you’re really unable to stand is being, simply speaking, yourself, David, merely because you don’t know who your birth parents are? As I understand it, your parents have continued to refer to you as being adopted. Is that right?”… “Yes, ever since I can remember my mother has told me I was adopted.”
“I would like to pass something on to you something I had to learn a long time ago son, from one adoptee to another” … “Sure.” “It seems to me, you may have a feeling that, if you were able to find out who your birth parents were, a host of information regarding your lineage and background would liberate you. Thus, everything that would matter to you would be yours. Let me suggest another possibility, David, by uncovering your past, you may be just as much in despair. What you would be unable to bear was that you, are still you, David. I don’t know if anyone has ever told you, lad, you’re a fine young man. You’re bright and gifted. Your parents have raised you well. You may be trying to escape yourself, and frankly speaking David, that is something none of us, on this side of eternity, will ever be able to do. The bottom line is whether you have your birthparents background information or whether you don’t, you still are you. Reflect on that. Now it’s my move eh?” The game continued peacefully.
Following Mr. Pomeroy’s suggestion David pondered on his wise words. David was also aware that he now needed to explore other options toward finding a new career choice. In order to assist him with this mission David sought help from his former community college guidance counselor. Having made an appointment David arrived at the arranged meeting location on time. By means of asking open ended questions the guidance counselor attempted to ferret out from David what areas of interest he wanted to explore now that the option in becoming a police officer was no longer something to consider. David allowed the guidance counselor in on how Mr. Simms life contributed to him, as a teacher and later as a mentor. Now, as an established sophisticate David likewise appreciated the impact that Mr. Simms life played on other young pupils that Mr. Simms taught during his teaching vocation. Together, a career decision was formed. David would follow in the footsteps of an educator he met as an adolescent, while still possessing his innocence. David was going to become a schoolteacher. The following September, David seized the day entering the local state university as a junior.
David was no stranger to grief. He was given up for adoption at birth. His parents were divorced right around the time that Selah his first love starting seeing another man. Mr. Simms, his former junior high school teacher and mentor had recently passed away. Now at twenty, David got the call that his father had died of a heart attack. Representing his mother and himself, David attended the memorial service in order to pay their respects. Returning home, a few days after the memorial service, David informed his mother how that the Bryson family had treated him … poorly. It wasn’t actually a waste of time, David sensed, however he did not get much out of the service and also did not go away from the service with any significant change to his life. It was the right thing to do and David was proud to have gone for his mother and himself.
The next five years took off quickly for David. Within two years, David graduated receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies. Another year was used by David to obtain a state teachers credential. Using his critical thinking skills developed by playing chess, David took an additional two years to obtain a Masters Degree in Education. Mr. Simms, David's mentor would be proud of his protégé. Finishing his five-year plan, David took a few months off in order to restore his form before looking for work. Returning to his old hunting grounds following his twenty-sixth birthday, David looked up his friend Mr. Pomeroy. The two met at the usual diner were they shared much time playing chess and eating burgers fries and drinking diet sodas. Having remarried a widow, whom he had met at a grief support group earlier that year, Mr. Pomeroy had now doubled the count of his grandchildren.
Getting back in the saddle it was time to look for work. Checking on the school district job line David discovered that Joshua L. Chambers Junior High School was in need of new teachers. Having followed up by making an appointment with the school principle the subsequent school year, David had become a first year schoolteacher at the very school Mr. Simms had taught. Walking by the very hall where years ago he met that Mediterranean beauty, Selah, David stopped to reflect on his good fortune and the words spoken to him by Mr. Pomeroy so many years earlier. In time, David thought he would be able to re-establish the Joshua L. Chambers Junior High School Chess Club. Relishing within his mind the benefits his life had received, David was very grateful.
Feeling grateful for all the benefits that were now coming to him in his life, David’s memory thought back upon his sophomore English teacher, a lover of Shakespearian literature, Mrs. Charnock. Mrs. Charnock had many Shakespearian passages from which she would quote, discriminating from the rest of them, David centered his reflection on one and perhaps her favorite … As You Like It Act II, sc. vii Jaques: All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts… Now presently on this world's stage, these two players, David and his mother were about to embark on the last Act of their journey. The last scene played out between these two actors, spoke well of David and revealed his mother’s true heart’s nature.
Once a week, at 1:00 pm, each Saturday, David would accompany his mother to the local Italian deli for lunch. On one particular Saturday a newly hired waitress, Berlin Manthey, took the two regulars menu order by surprise. There was no just happening to catch the eye of David; he was infatuated with this new manager’s hire. With the arrival of Berlin, David became a more frequent restaurante guest. Now whenever David would visit the deli, he would leave with his stomach full having dined on a warm cooked home-style meal along with a lighter heart full of bliss.
As David began stopping in more frequently at the deli for a bite to eat, the more he began let slip his real intention for coming there, to fix his eyes upon Berlin. Taking a chance again at love, David asked Berlin for a date. Discerning David’s inhibited awkwardness, by the way he presented his words accompanied through his body language, Berlin answered his request via humor, “as a deli, I’m sorry we don’t carry dates on the menu, you may have to visit a specialty fruit grocer. We do however have terrific tasting cannoli.” Losing her composure, she began giggling. Before Davis was able to respond, Berlin told him that she knew what he was asking. Relaxing David a bit, Berlin agreed to allow David to call on her however choosing her words carefully not to hurt him, she specifically agreed that the outing would be considered a get-together and not a date. Berlin explained that she was recently divorced and having a daughter, Brenda Ann, since being divorced, her life centered strictly over the importance of raising her child who now had evolved in becoming the center of her world. Any relationship developments at this time would need to be strictly platonic. Berlin’s honesty was refreshing to David, because he as she was a survivor of an intimate relationship. From David’s perspective¸ emotionally speaking, the intimate experience Selah and he shared together, even though they were never married seemed to David as though they were.
Calling to mind how he first felt separated from Selah, David formed the notion that if this was how Berlin was now feeling, he was sensitive, respecting her decision. After a few “get togethers,” it became mutually, painfully apparent, by the way they awkwardly interacted together, that the two were short of chemistry. Still, recognizing Berlin’s parental devotion towards her little one, Brenda Ann, David respected her. The mutual decision to return to waitress and customer seemed fair all around.
David learned not to let his mother in on his dating adventures. This was kept for his male friends and especially Garrett. So as David was aware, she was uninformed of what had been transpiring between Berlin and he.
So the stage was now set for the final Act between the two the adoptee and the one having adopted.
On a weekly occasion having lunch together, David’s mother spied out the way David had been taken pleasure in Berlin’s presence as she waited on the two for lunch. Seeing the attention her son was showing the restaurant waitress she stated, “Don’t waist your time on her, she is nothing but a loose woman,” defending Berlin, David said, “What are you talking about? She is nothing of the sort.” Getting angry, David continued, “She is a hard working class woman trying to support her daughter along with herself.” David’s mother being mad at the whole world, retorted, “I don’t know if I even want to meet you for lunch anymore. Maybe I will stay home on Saturdays, from now on, making my own plans.” … Raising his voice an octave, “Don’t threaten me, with not visiting you,” David matter-of-factly replied, “Mom, you have alienated all of your friends that I know of because of your attitude. I am the last person on earth that you would want to threaten with not visiting you. I am the only one left woman. I’ll tell you what, when you want to begin treating me like an adult child, then we will have lunch again.” The two finished up their warm lunch in cold silence. Two weeks went by. During the third week David was the first to break the silence calling his mother. He quickly found she had not thawed. Another week went by with David hoping his mother would call acknowledging him to be her adopted adult child.
Early in the fifth week a cell phone call was placed to him informing him his mother had just experienced a stroke. Placed in intensive care, his mother had taken precautions for such a time as this. Incorporated within her will was a “Do-Not-Resuscitate Advance Directive.” His mother, believing these instructions may be ignored, and/or overlooked, took care that her wishes would be carried out. Uncle Joe, a practicing family attorney, and being her younger brother was designated by her to act on her behalf. Accepting her request, Uncle Joe stepped into this responsible position and was now her health care agent having a medical power of attorney. Having lapsed into a coma, Uncle Joe, arranged to have the hospital Chaplin, Fr. Joseph Groeschel, OFM perform the sacramental rite of Anointing of the Sick. She passed on before dawn, before experiencing another sunrise before acknowledging to David she loved him as an adult son.
A few weeks after his mother’s funeral, Uncle Joe approached David. Asking for David’s co-operation, he went on to state, “Speaking for your mother’s family, David, please co-operate with this formal notice for you to cease and desist from further contact with any of your mother’s relatives. Simply speaking, the way we all feel is you’re not blood.” David was mute. David’s memory flashed back to a time when he was young, remembering how his mother would not allow him to rest, always reminding him that he was adopted. Over and over again and again telling him your chosen whenever he would stand up for himself and say that he had heard enough of what she was saying. All that David really wanted was just to be wanted and to be accepted by his family. Now hearing this from Uncle Joe and grasping how the Lowrey extended family pictured him, as “not being of their blood.” Wow! David began to see the light. He now knew the truth and where he stood with both sets of his adopted parent’s extended relatives. He now saw himself as an edelweiss flower, wounded and yet free.
The first person that David shared his hope of becoming a police officer with was his best friend, Garrett Smalley. At the same time Garrett shared with David; he wanted to be a schoolteacher. Now, years later, David saw the quirk of fate; Garrett was now a successful police officer with the rank of patrol sergeant while David the tenured schoolteacher. After all these years having gone by, the two kept in touch being the best of friends. Still, the two were able to live out their childhood dreams partially vicariously through one another’s occupations. Garrett, now as a patrol sergeant would take David out for police ride-a-longs in his black and white cruiser during his patrol shift and David would have Garrett stop in from time to time to share with his students during class and visit the junior high school chess club which David did re-establish after becoming tenured.
After years of teaching summer school, David was burned out. He really loved teaching and don’t think otherwise, it was just like anyone else doing the same thing repeatedly he needed an escape something to sink his teeth into, something other than work. The following month a school district bulletin made the rounds around the campus. A writing workshop was being offered that next summer in Hawaii. To be present at this writing practicum was exactly what David required in order to return to teaching social science invigorated. David signed up and experienced a true vacation in paradise as well as a stint to loosing up his mind. Over the next few months, utilizing the curriculum components made available through the summer workshop, David began journal writing. He actually found the writing experience to hold a sensual surreal taste that was beyond stress releasing. The following summer David sought out another writing workshop and attended an advanced class called, Investigative Report Writing From A Journalism Slant. Teaching Social Studies and mentoring chess during the school year and doing freelance investigative report writing during the summer months, David felt he had found his schtick. Choosing from an array of different subcategories, David’s investigative report-writing genre became probing carefully selected missing person cold cases. David learned in time, the term missing did not always have the same connotation as being abducted. Sometimes people went missing because they simply did not want to be found. Over the next few summers David really became a pro at creatively finding clues in how to locate people like these.
Having turned fifty, David qualified for the local Police Senior Volunteer Program. Being only fifty, he did not like the title senior volunteer however that was not going to stand in his way. Putting in a good word in for him, Sgt. Garrett helped position David with the Domestic Violence / Missing Persons Bureau.
Opening up with Garrett as he had so many years past with the late Mr. Simms, and Mr. Pomeroy over a burger and a diet coke, David began sharing with Garrett how his life experience really mattered to him. He was grateful for the adversities that had befallen him and made him the man he was today. At fifty-one, he now sensed he was an over comer. David seeing with his mind's eye sensed that he was experiencing life no longer solely as an observer. Sitting with Garrett, at that moment, he recognized that in fact he had been experiencing life firsthand for some time. Garrett, accepting his friend’s masculine sensitivity used a bit of humor as he routinely did in offering his care, “I hear ya man, I love ya man, like a brother, however you can’t drive the black and white.” The two burst out laughing. “David, what you ought to do is to do a search for your birthmother. You have all the necessary tools available to you here at the police department. With your creative juices and the department’s resources I bet you can do it. That is, if you’re open to it and I’ll help.
“Well, if I’m going to start this adventure, I guess I’ll have to start at the beginning.” Remembering his mother telling him he was born at St. Thomas Moore, David began his search by telephoning the hospital. Answering the phone the hospital switchboard operator transferred David to Fr. Serrano, the hospital Chaplain.
“This is Fr. Serrano. How may I be of assistance?” …“Hello Fr. Serrano. My name is David Lowry. I understand I was born and baptized at St. Thomas Moore’s back on June 21, 1954. The purpose for this call, Fr. Serrano was to request any documentation you may have regarding my baptismal record be sent to me please.” … “I understand, son, you’re in need of a certified baptismal certificate and you’d like it mailed to you. Is this correct?” … “Yes Fr Serrano, it is.” … “Let me take a look and see what I can find out for you.”
Within five minutes, David received his first solid clue. A few days later David received a certified baptismal certificate sent to him with Fr. Serrano’s compliments. Seeing his birthmothers name for the first time it read, Dorothy Clairvaux. Thinking to himself, David Clairvaux, it had a nice ring to it. Next David contacted the agency through which he was adopted. A social worker supervisor offered to do a general search for information on his behalf. All that the supervisor was able to promise David with was found in two words, “if” and “when.” Within a few short weeks from receiving Fr. Serrano’s mail, David received another parcel. With the return address listing the adoption agency David was very keyed up. Opening the thick manila envelope David remembered the words of the supervisor if and when. If had now become located and when was now. Examining the contents with his life long friend, David discovered his family heritage listing French, Dutch and Irish. “Check this out, Garret, All those years wondering, making up identities, now no more guessing. I’m French, Irish and Dutch.” As a social science teacher, this meant a lot to David. Now when he taught about ethnic/cultural groups of western European countries, he would be able to tell his students where his lineage came from. David also found that his mother was unmarried and there were two lines listing information regarding his birth father. David’s father was an architect and he was considered good-looking and tall. “Like father, like son, huh Garrett.” The two friends began laughing. For David, the laughter was like marrow for his bones. With documents in hand, David took the weekend off to recuperate from the emotional excitement he had earlier in the week experienced. Beginning Monday, the search would again continue.
During the weekend, David’s uninvited guest once again appeared making its presence known. Over the years, David learned that whenever he was feeling discouraged about accomplishing his goals, he could channel his anxiety into energy. Using this new source of emotional energy, David could push forward, getting a grip on the reality that the answers to his quest was out there somewhere, ready to be revealed to him. He just had to persevere. He understood that he was playing a game of chicken. The game was against his faith and doubt. If he was going to persevere, his faith was going to have to be stronger than doubt. Whichever would blink first the other would come out the winner.
There was not much success during the summer. Returning to school life David became involved once again with teaching classes, and attending teaching staff meetings. “So what’s going on with your searching adventure? Anything new to report?” A boisterous voice out of nowhere thundered down upon David from his old friend Gregory Smyth. … “I kind of have given up hope. I really do not know what more I can accomplish. So how is retirement going?” Gregory was an old math professor recently retired. Stopping by to catch up on the latest gossip, Gregory was always the man to stir up the soup. Ignoring the question, Gregory persisted in attempting to get to David’s story.” As I understand it, David, you have your mother’s name. That is a treasure. You know I may have just the person to help you get your engine re-tuned. Have you met Susan Richmond? She was also a math teacher at an adjacent high school.”… “I don’t think I have had the pleasure.”… “Let me give her a call and I can see what I can do for you, buddy.”
Within a few days, Gregory once again contacted David. “I have good news my friend. I have been in touch with Susan as I said I would be. She will be available next week if you want to I can arrange an introduction and together at lunch you can share with her what information you have. She sincerely may be the one that can help you with your search. Before you say anything let me say up front she is not a fortuneteller or anything like that and no, it will not cost you any money for her services. I will let her explain the rest. So, how about it shall we meet next week for lunch?”… “Sure. Like you said, what have I got to lose?”… “That’s the spirit my boy, that’s the spirit. I like that. Do not worry about a thing. I will make all the arrangements and will e-mail you where and when we shall meet.”
Introducing Susan Richmond, to David Bryson, Gregory Smyth really was animated. Talking about the good ole days, Gregory shard how the two had earlier met and had worked together in a former school setting. Gregory, having been transferred to Joshua L. Chamberlain Junior High School actually missed his dear friend Susan and having retired they were once again united on a steady basis. Sitting across from one another at the restaurant table Susan got right to the point of her interest. “I heard a few days ago from Gregory that you have been involved in a search of some kind. I believe it had to do something about a relative.” … “Yes it was about my birthmother. I recently was able to get some documentation from two significant sources. This was an important find.” With Susan opening statement David found himself talking as though a dam had sprung a leak. David continuing,” what I did was follow a couple of leads that I remembered my parents talking about when they were alive. One was the name of the hospital that I was born in and the second was the adoption agency’s name that my adoption went through. I now know my birthmother’s name from a baptismal document sent from the hospital chaplain’s office and I received some additional miscellaneous information about my family background sent to me from a social worker supervisor from the adoption agency. “That’s very interesting David. Hey, I am happy for you. I belong to a volunteer organization that may be able to help you if you are still looking to add some information to your search. If you are interested let me know. Okay.” … “Oh, I am.” …”Cool. I belong to G.I.V.E., which stands for Genealogical Information Voluntary Exchange. Susan spent the next several minutes explaining to David about the organization; how she got interested in joining and what the organization was able to do for him in particular.” …”This sounds exciting.” … Susan continued talking, “We meet once a month and exchange update success stories that we have been involved with as a group. We also have a magazine that comes out ten times a year from our national headquarters. Summers we do not have one because we are a volunteer organization. Sorry, that I am digressing a bit.” Susan started to giggle. Now I bet we could help you with your search. “What do you have so far?” David shared his findings. “Where do we go from here, Susan?”…“What I will do is take the information you have provided and work with it accordingly. With your permission, I can provide your information with our volunteer team and see what we can obtain. By the way, our services are free.”
A few weeks later David received a phone call. “The truth of the matter is David, your birthmother committed suicide. As I understand it, your mother was not seen around the neighborhood for a few days. The police department received a call on a Monday for a welfare check from a neighbor to visit your mother’s home. Soon after arriving to check on her the responding police officer found your birthmother in her car parked inside her garage. From what was determined by the authorities, a hosepipe going to the interior of the car from the exhaust was placed through a rolled up tight back window. The engine had stopped idling probably because the car ran out of gas. Even though the engine had stopped, enough time had elapsed for the carbon monoxide fumes to have killed her. I am so sorry, David. Hanging up the phone, David walked slowly across the warm living room carpet, over the cold linoleum kitchen floor to his stainless steel refrigerator. Opening the icebox a cool light breeze enveloped David’s facial features simultaneously triggering within him the sensation as though a sword pierced his very soul. David began to hear the sound of ice crackling as the dark diet cola made it way, cascading down the sides of his frozen Waterford crystal glass. Moving through the living room, glass in hand David made his way back to his old reliable recliner. With the sounds of George Winston’s piano, playing in the background, lifting the ice-cold glass to his lips, David refreshed himself from the news he earlier received.
Three Years Later
Having kissed his live-in lover goodbye, Jerry was off to work. Transcending sovereign borders around the world, like Jerry, members of the working class around the world endure this all too familiar ritual, daily. Legendary writing duo, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, growing up in Liverpool, England, summarized accurately within the lyrics of the Beatle’s pop song, A Hard Day’s Night, the relationship Jerry viewed he and Sondra had
“You know I work all day
to get you money to buy you things
And it’s worth it just to hear you say
you're going to give me everything
So why on earth should I moan,
'cause when I get you alone
you know I feel ok.”
Lennon and McCartney
In order to provide for the material possessions that couples, in his income bracket were expected to afford, Jerry understood he had to work hard. Developing a work ethic starting as a small boy, when he first began to bus tables at his family’s owned and operated deli; Jerry learned not to be afraid of hard work. After college, Jerry was recruited to begin working for an independent American military combat support agency within the Department of Defense. It was his company’s responsibility for ensuring Federal acquisition programs (systems, supplies, and services) were delivered on time, within projected cost or price, and meet performance requirements. After a few years getting his bearings with the company, Jerry was promoted within his department becoming section head. This was great news both for him and Sondra, his soon to be bride. Jerry had come a long way in his life. His family was especially proud.
Having just finished a major project on time and within budget, Jerry left work feeling excitedly overtaxed. Driving home, he acknowledged to himself that he had been recently spending an inordinate amount of time alone at work and away from Sondra. Earlier that afternoon, Jerry purchased tickets for him and Sondra to enjoy a surprise romantic getaway vacation. He was eagerly looking forward to getting home to share what he imagined to be, an intimate, quiet dinner with the love of his life. Having arrived in his cul-de-sac, Jerry was thinking of the surprise on Sondra’s face would radiate when he showed her what he had purchased with all the overtime he had been working. Standing at the front door of his newly renovated condominium, the portal that sequestered Jerry from the hustle and bustle of the world outside, Jerry retrieved his keys from his front pocket. Opening up his rustic mahogany door, tears began to well up in his eyes. Lying on the carpet piled before him, were some of his personal miscellaneous effects and his clothes. They were all that Sondra had left inside this man’s castle before leaving. Jerry’s personal computer that linked him with his company’s office was gone and even his European tapestry, which he purchased on his last years business trip was missing. Sondra had cleaned him out. The paramour of his dreams had turned surprisingly into his worst nightmare. Feeling numb through out his body, Jerry’s autonomic central nervous system went into autopilot. Looking over the pile of stuff left on the floor, Jerry could only scream inside. Unable to speak, Jerry picked up a leather belt from off the floor. Finding his way to the entrance of his bedroom where he and Sondra, like two dancers performing the classical ballet, Gisele, with passionate energy and exuberance, made love so tenderly, so gracefully the night before, began to reminisce, thinking of a time less painful. … Located in Orca City’s fishing district, just a half block west of the Sakura Island Ferry is found Poetry ETC; a hole-in- the-wall used bookstore favoring first editions, rare, and antiquarian books. Emigrating from Scotland, the Macrory family founded Poetry ETC, back in the early 1980s; originally, with the hope they would be able to make a just, down-to-earth fair market profit to feed the family. Within a short time though, through popularity among the locals, word of mouth propelled Poetry ETC to take off like a skyrocket. Soon the bookstore was connecting buyers and sellers alike to inventory on hand. While most, just went to see what all the hoopla over the bookstore’s reputation was all about, only the true coinsurer of fine books was able to appreciate what a literary source for wit and wisdom Poetry ETC. may bequeath on those who ventured through the candle lit gated entrance way.
Having passed over the threshold of Poetry ETC, entering this treasure chest of scholarship, two ill-fated lovers were about to have their paths cross. Reaching for the same book, at the same time, the natural fiery colored redhead began to lose balance, falling just slightly enough to cause the second patron to lose his sense of balance. Recovering from the fall, to the ground, the man, offering his hand, identified himself as Jerry. Accepting, the woman introduced herself as Sondra. Locking eyes, the two were straight away, enmeshed emotionally.
Following the example of the newly renovated The Willow Tea Room, in Sauchiehall Street in downtown Glasgow, the Macrory family continued the tradition having a Scottish Tea Room designed within Poetry ETC in Orca City, Maine. Turning into the New Willow Tea Room, the two began sharing cups of hot tea. Experiencing mutual attraction, the two word warriors commenced upon becoming acquainted. Jerry, seizing the moment, began speaking first, “If I made love to you as gently and tenderly the way I am imagining it would be right now, you would first fall in love with me and second, you would never be satisfied with another lover.” Sondra responded teasingly, “I’m game. Prove it.” Leaving together, within the week the two were live-in lovers.
Moving to the spacious closet found within his bedroom, Jerry slipped his belt over the closet rod making a noose. Jerry’s secret keeper was on foot in the other room. Before she was able to catch up with him, Jerry, slipping the noose around his neck fell forward hanging himself. Jerry was dead – the only witness, to the sound of his necking cracking, his black cat, Swartz, his secret keeper, left behind by Sondra.
Jerry killed himself. Jerry was murdered. Rumors of Jerry’s death began circulating among the neighbors. With the suspicious absence of Sondra, David too was openly minded to any possibilities. Still, a Police Senior Volunteer, working exclusively during the summer months, David had access to sources within the department. Asking around, an informer revealed to David that his neighbor’s live-in girlfriend allegedly moved out leaving him devastated. After an investigation, it was determined that Jerry motivated by a spontaneous sorrowful grief, killed himself by hanging. Jerry’s death certificate read like David’s birthmother’s death certificate. Listed as the cause of death, Suicide. Thus, rumors regarding Jerry were laid to rest.
Now that David was aware of the accurate investigative findings regarding his neighbor Jerry, his own curiosity regarding his birthmother’s reported suicide began to awaken. Contacting Garrett David shared his intent. He wanted to have his birthmother’s suicide investigation reviewed.
Three Month Later
Now that he was aware of the truth behind his neighbor Jerry’s death and the accurate investigative findings of how Jerry died, David’s own curiosity regarding his birthmother’s reported suicide began to stir within him. Contacting Garrett, David shared his objective, “Garrett, I want to have my birthmother’s suicide investigation reviewed. I need to know the truth behind my birthmother’s suicide. In order to do this, I’ll need your help along the police departments if need be. I want to have my birthmother’s suicide investigation reviewed.” Garrett was game.
It had been approximately three years from the time David had last spoken with Susan Richmond, the woman from G.I.V.E, about his birthmother’s findings. Hoping for the best, David was in luck. As it turned out, the file folder that contained Susan and the G.I.V.E. team member’s research notes and findings as they applied to David’s birthmother’s search was still obtainable. Learning this out, he also found out that he was not going to be able to connect up with Susan. Gregory Smyth, it seems, had eloped with Susan Richmond Smyth and was living large being on a long over due honeymoon. Once retired, the two having been divorced soon acknowledged what their friends and co-workers recognized all a long, they were meant to be together. Still, receiving this news, Susan’s absence was not going to be an impediment for David.
Elvia Gutierrez was the assigned G.I.V.E active caseworker for which David would now need to work. Speaking to David by phone, she remembered his case, as it happened; because she was a new volunteer at that time of the investigation. As a newbie, Elvia was the unpaid helper whose shoulders Susan placed the responsibility on for organizing the information David provided to her a few years earlier. David set up an appointment with Elvia for the coming week.
As he was looking for a parking space to park his car at the G.I.V.E Center, David imagined to himself, after all these years, he was about to meet the one woman, who through her volunteer service, had assessed and examined all the raw data of David’s search at one time, in one place. Even Susan had not done that. He was hoping that her heart was big enough to care as much as he felt he needed to accomplish his goal of finding out what really happened behind his birthmother’s death. Turning off his car engine, David acknowledged to himself, how vulnerable he was feeling.
Having been introduced to one another and having shared a few polite mutual niceties the two got down to the business at hand. David first explained about what news he had received from Susan regarding the findings that were uncovered by the G.I.V.E., investigation team. His birthmother, Dorothy Clairvaux, was dead by suicide. David went on to share how, in the last three years; he had accepted the original findings up until his neighbor, Jerry, had also died by suicide.
Regarding Jerry’s death, at first, David began to explain to Elvia, the circumstances surrounding his death were suspicious enough to warrant the consideration that Jerry may have died by homicide. With this possibility thoroughly examined by the authorities in charge, the findings confirmed the causality behind Jerry’s death was directly attributed to him taking his own life via hanging himself with a belt in his bedroom closet. While David was speaking his memory returned him back to a time forty plus years earlier when his late father had beaten him with his leather belt in his bedroom. Returning back to the present, David continued his sharing with Elvia adding a short digression in order to compliment her on what an unusually decent listener she was. With Elvia’s input and conversational exchange David left the G.I.V.E. office emotionally exhausted. Walking to his car he remember this same feeling leaving the high school gym so many times in his youth, tired muscles and yet with a warm fiery glow on the inside.
Following up with Elvia’s suggestion David made some inquiries around the local newspaper morgue. With Garrett along for the ride this time, the two scrolled through microfiche tapes looking for answers. After a half an hour or so having elapsed, Garrett uncovered a soon to be identified clue. At that time, however the two did not recognize what significance this bit of information may prove to be.
Uncovering a story regarding a famous old court trial resulting in the conviction of Harry Topp and several unnamed co-defendants, Garrett continued reading. At about the same time, David located a story about a local woman’s suicide; her name being Dorothy Clairvaux. Reading further, David unearthed the lynchpin that would hold together the two seemingly unrelated newspaper stories on the trial and the suicide. This discovery was located in the last paragraph. The last few lines of the journal piece on Dorothy’s suicide read … Earlier this year, Miss Dorothy Clairvaux’s testimony led to the convictions of her boss, Harry Topp and several other men. David stopped reading.
With David feeling the way he did, Garrett made the necessary arrangements making copies of the newly discovered evidentiary documentation that the newspaper articles provided. Now it was only a matter of time before David and his friend Garrett, would know the whole sordid details surrounding his birthmother, Dorothy Clairvaux’s death.
The following few weeks David was responsible for preparing and giving the final tests to his students. Having also to prepare for tabulating up all of his student’s final grades, David thought the follow up investigation would have to wait. Garrett had other ideas. While David was taking care of his teaching responsibilities, Garrett came though for his friend as he said he would. “Listen I asked you if you want to do this I’d help, remember? That was over three years ago” … “I remember.” … “Listen, you are not the only one who can keep promises you know.” Loosing his usual comedic side, Garrett continued, “Listen, with all due seriousness, I said I would help and help I will. Remember Alexander Dumas’s famous line in his story The King’s Musketeers, One for all, and all for one (un pour tous, tous pour un). We could also invert this line to say All for one, and one for all, David. We at the department are with you David. We’ll hunt down what we can. Just allow us this. As I’ve teased you all these years, I love ya like a brother, we are family, you and I. Let me show you what being a member of a real family will do for you bro.” … “It is cool Garrett to really be family. You‘re right my friend, we are family. This includes everyone at the police department too. Go for it.” … Giving Garrett the lead in his search, David worked on his school responsibilities.
Within a few weeks school was finished and once again David was back at his post volunteering at the Missing Person Division within the police department. Garrett had asked round the department for assistance and was referred by a police buddy, to a retired deputy coroner, Dr. Sherry Grayson Read, M.D. who moonlighted investigating old closed and cold cases, much the same as David did who led Garrett to suggest David start his search. The word finally arrived from Garrett’s inquiries. Garrett was ecstatic as though he was a rookie once again, going code three with his lights and siren blazing for the first time after a speeder. Catching up with David Garrett attempted to restrain himself. “Hey, I got a call David from Dr. Read. She is available to meet with us tomorrow afternoon at three o’clock. She will bring her findings along with her. Are you ready for this or would you rather not know?” Garrett was biting his lip, “It is up to you. The findings are all in. What do your say?” … “Three o’clock it is.” Having David’s assurance, Garrett called to confirm the meeting with Dr. Read for the following day. “What I have been able to find out from the original investigative notes is in order to protect herself from her boss and his associates’ retaliation before the trial, your birthmother was placed in protective custody through the office of the District Attorney. With finding out that, she was pregnant; that really threw a monkey wrench into the mix for the powers that be. With that being said, she was still pregnant and unwed. In other words, people viewed people differently back then. As you know today being an unwed mother, it is no big deal. Look at Hollywood celebrities; it is so commonplace. Not so then and in the fifties, that was a different kettle of fish. As for your father’s identity, that information, David, she kept to herself. There is no information except, as I understand you already may have some. He was an architect and the tall, dark and handsome type.
Fortunately, for everyone involved, he was not involved in this thorny problem. As for the people, your birthmother was willing to testify against, they were pure evil. Understand what your mother was already cognizant of; she had insider information regarding the organized crime crew money laundering and she had witnessed her boss directly shoot one person. For all she knew he may have killed others. As ruthless as these people were, from his point of view what is another murdered among friends? Murdering a witness was not out of the question. No, witness no prison. As for your birthmother’s boss, the District Attorney’s Office was attempting to place him on death row and through using your birthmother’s testimony, to place his associates in prison for life.
Defendants take being put to death and being put in prison for life very seriously. She also new these people had connections statewide and with this in mind the best option she figured was, why risk her unborn baby’s life. Fortunately, everything worked out right. Provisions were arranged through the proper channels to hide her through the trial and through her giving birth. Following the delivery, your birthmother followed through with giving you up for adoption. Whatever you think of your birthmother, David, she had the best intentions and hopes for your success. As she figured it, her life was in jeopardy already, once she became privy with what she knew of the money laundering and seeing the murder. It needed be for the child she was carrying, that child still may have a chance to live without fear. In order to give the child a chance at an innocent life, by giving the child away she understood she would have to die a little. After all that was said and done, she choose life for her baby, and David, here you are.”
“Now you were right about her death. It was not suicide after all. Let me explain David, after reviewing the first findings, there were several discrepancies over looked during the first medical autopsy. In addition to a new medical autopsy, my office investigators performed a psychological autopsy and uncovered some interesting leads. We shared those leads with the District Attorney Office Investigators. We have discovered how the original findings were just ignored. It may be better to say not reviewed at all.”
“Your birthmother was living in a modest home alone, which was true enough. The first investigation suggested, as far as her acquaintances were concerned, that after being a successful witness, your mother appeared to remain quite depressed. It was even suggested that she had lost all will to live; especially believing she had a miscarriage. Your adoption, as far it has been documented was sealed. Neighbors believe the fetus was miscarried. My investigation suggests your mother had made the acquaintances of a new female neighbor. This woman invited your mother to accompany her for dinner. Your mother accepted the warm invitation having become semi-recluse. She arrived driving her own car, parked it at her new friend’s house and from there both of them were seen driving off together in another white two door sedan. They had their dinner and returned at about 8:00 pm Saturday evening. We know these details because the District Attorney Office Investigators have made thorough inquiries from the restaurant staff. Your mother was not seen alive since returning home alone that night. “My findings suggest having made some preliminary examinations of your birthmother’s remains, and from the various changes seen in her body, I believe your birthmother died somewhere around 11 pm that Saturday night, shortly after being seen returning home from the restaurant. With your birthmother having been passed away for a couple of days, arriving Monday, the police officer finding her was unable to do anything for her.”
“Returning from a fact-finding mission, “the District Attorney Investigator’s findings, has come up with a detailed account of who your birthmother’s friend was and how she fit in to an organized crime hit on her birthmother. Brace yourself David. As you are well aware, your birthmother saw her boss shoot and kill someone. She also knew information regarding money laundering. Having testified about all this, her boss was convicted and sentenced to death row with his co-defendants being sent to prison. According to the District Attorney Investigator, the same organized crime crew that your mother’s boss and his buddies worked for is the same organized crime crew this woman worked for. She was hired to become your mother’s friend and then set her up and execute her for having testified. Taking her out for dinner was the ploy in order to slip her a Mickey Finn in her drink or secretly poison her food. Be that as it may, it is believed that curare was the poison additive used. Producing muscle relaxation independently from anaesthesia and with your birthmother safely unconscious in her car the rest was just a matter of details. That’s it. You have the whole story.
Telephoning Garrett, the two agreed to meet at the local diner. Having tears in his eyes, David shared with his life long friend, the whole affair, from beginning to end. Listening sincerely, Garrett said, “As long as I’ve known you David, you’ve been a sensitive man and that’s okay. Actually, having the sensitivity that you do posses only shows you are an intuitive person with a heart. Having said this, let me say David, from what you have found out here by keeping you, harm may have come to you from those whom she was testifying against. Your birthmother actually loved you so much rather than to have kept you, she chose to save you by giving you away to be adopted. Being an unwed mother, in the early 1950’s, that was tough enough and to choose to give you up for adoption, the way you have explained it to me, that is a selfless love --- a love that most of us as human beings only long for and few if ever attain to being or experience receiving. It seems your mother, has been one of the few people that has loved you without a selfish motive. Your adopted parents and your first girlfriend, Selah, seemed to have only loved you for what you were able to give them in return as it suited them. Now, finding out the truth behind your adoption, your birthmother loved you the way you have always sought to be loved, but have not been able to find. As you know David, I am a Christian. I am a reminded of a Bible Scripture I first learned as a child from The Gospel according to St. John, Chapter 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” The motivation behind both your birthmother and God the Father resonates through the same purpose of love – protecting another. Each gave up their only begotten son. With your birthmother, it was to protect you from harm from those she was testifying against. With God, it was to provide protection, from eternal punishment for those who would repent and believe. Each, were motivated by a selfless love.”
Listening intently to Garrett’s words David’s tear ducts opened releasing fifty plus years of dammed up emotional pain. With tears, cascading down his cheeks, a new visitor appeared at the front door of his human spirit. This visitor unveiled before David’s mind’s eye a wooden cross --- upon this wooden cross was nailed a thirty-three year old Jewish carpenter – Jesus of Nazareth --- the Son of David, The Messiah of Israel, being God in human flesh. Next, the visitor revealed to David that God’s Holy Spirit placed him, within this Son of Man, much as a smaller box is placed within a larger box when one is opening a surprised gift. Now a voice so faint that David barely was able to perceive it, spoke to him saying, “Ask me into your life.”
Without hesitation or reservation, David speaking through trembling lips, obeyed the still small voice and whispered these words from his heart, “Lord, come into my life.” Instantly, David perceived consciously the visitor was the resurrected Savior, the Lord Jesus. Resulting from David’s prayer it was as if pure oxygen had filled David’s spirit, destroying all the sinful bacteria that had been corrupting his soul. Inflated with eternal life, David’s spirit was sanctified being enclosed with pure Divine Love and pure Divine Light. Now David comprehend that his birthmother loved him. His Divine Creator, the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit also loved him. David had come home. Love had found her son.