One Sunday

June 5, 2009
By George Singleton GOLD, Cecil, Alabama
George Singleton GOLD, Cecil, Alabama
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Settling into one Sunday morning, my aunt, Mable, me,my mom, Tanisha, Grandpa Rosco, and the rest of the family arose for a great church service. In the country town of Cekalville, AL, the church is only a short distance away, one can walk instead of drive, but it’s more appropriate to drive. The small church in the focal point of the town is like a home for each and every member of the town; it’s open to anyone outside of those boundaries as well. Everybody seems so humble, so loving; if anyone needed anything someone was always there to secure one’s need.
That Sunday morning, Pastor W. L Daniels preached the word of “humility”. He was so passionate, so affective that each and every member was standing on their own two feet praising God’s name
, shouting and clapping; it was joyful and powerful. But after he spoke an additional word or extension to his initial sermon, many were in disbelief. For the record, most people in that church want to believe in God’s word but they are just too selfish. The Pastor had opened the floor and he said, “Who believes that we own our possessions?” Surprisingly, seventy-five percent of the congregation raised their hand. The pastor did not judge them, did not resent them for having their own opinion. He was just focused on their education not their personal proclamation of the desirable knowledge in knowing that humans or people rather are just stewards of the earth, nothing more or less.
Service did not last long; it was only about an hour and a half. After church, everyone cooked Sunday dinner. Grandpa Rosco always cooked our Sunday dinner. Before we all arrived, there was an interesting news flash on channel 12. It informed us of a thunderstorm; we weren’t worried or anything because it happens all so often during the spring and the summer time. My mom told my siblings and I, “bring your coats and umbrellas and maybe even your boots just in case it rains pretty hard”. Our grandfather did not live far from us; he lived about 200 yards behind us. When we walked out the front door it started raining cats and dogs. We weren’t even wearing our coats; we had them in our hands. We all ran to my mother’s car, my sister was practically crying because my mom couldn’t get the door s to open and consequently, my sister’s hair got wet. I said to myself, “girls and their hair, if you knew there was a high chance for rain, why didn’t you wear a hat from the start?” As we traveled, even though we didn’t have far to go, my mother had the windshield wipers on the highest speed and she still wasn’t able to see the road. The road wasn’t paved, so it was even harder to keep traction and preventing ourselves from not hitting a tree. We still were traveling on the dirt road in a straight direction; there were turns that we had to follow, but by the severe interference with the commotional rainfall, we couldn’t veer to our right or left so we had to pursue straight forward which spontaneously we ended up at the front door; my mother braked just in time. When we came to a complete stop, we had such a rush, we were ecstatic on how we couldn’t see through the windshield and that we could have crashed and our grandpa’s house is only 2 minutes away.

We got out of the car rapidly, well my sister acted like superwoman because she was already inside of the house when my brother and I got out. I said to myself, “I guess she paid a lot of money for her hair treatment”. My mom was the last one to walk in because she thought the rain would slack up, but ironically she didn’t want to wet her hair either. As we walked into our grandpa’s humble abode, we smelt the essence of so many different spices, herbs, and sauces; it was so appetizing even though we haven’t seen the food yet. My lips were so moist because unknowingly I was licking them; my brother had to ask me, “What are you doing?” And I answered, “Uhh I don’t know, I just want to eat.” Before we ate, we greeted everyone that surrounded us. We are polite folks, but we just had to do that, so those folks would get out of our way, especially my brother and I; my mom and sister were non-participants. So we practically fought our way through the surrounding crowd. Before us, there were bowls, pans, and entrees of chicken, mash potatoes, collard greens, sweet potatoes, macaroni, corn bread, ribblets, and the list went on. I knew I couldn’t eat everything, but I did put everything on my plate to fulfill my craving for my grandpa’s admirable soul food.
As my family and I were eating dinner we all notice that it was still raining heavily, lightning was clashing in the clouds, and thunder was roaring as loud as a 747 taking off from the runway. We were seated near the window and we had a clear view of the uncontrollable rain drops accumulating on the grass and into the crevices on the bare land. As we were so engaged in the profuse waterfall, other family members started to intrigue themselves as well. We were all wondering when it was going to stop, my aunt mable said, “If the rain doesn’t stop, I’m staying here for the night”, and my grandpa responded, “The hell you are! If I have something to say about it, you taking your ass home”. My grandmother countered and said, “Mable, you can stay here as long as you want to”, and my grandfather responded, “Okay, I guess it’s fine, but under one condition, my wine bottle better be still full in the morning”.
It’s now five passed noon, and mostly every family member besides a select few have left. The one’s who stayed were me, my mom, aunt mable, grandpa Rosco , grandma, and my brother and sister. The rain still hasn’t stopped. It’s been about five hours since the first pour. As you can imagine, the rain collectively protruded into the home. It came through little by little, but after a half an hour or so, the pressure from the water burst open the back a doors. Fortunately, my grandpa has a two-level home, so we all stampeded up stairs while the magnitude of the water below us slowly reached its capacity; the flow was sure not limited to the lower level. As hours proceeded, there was not a chance that we could release the massive volume of water to save our life. We were all scared, we were all terrified, but that surely did not stop us from surviving and swimming to higher ground. My grandpa stopped and thought of a rewarding plan. Before he pursued his plan, he broke one of the windows in his bedroom for us to settle on the roof-top until he came back to rescue us. I told my grandpa, “You can’t leave by yourself, let me come with you!”, and he responded, “Come on then, let’s go!” And we proceeded; we climbed down carefully without getting snagged on one of the shingles. But there was a problem; we had to swim at least a half a mile to get our boat because it drifted away when the rain fell.

My grandpa and I were both good swimmers; we swam and we swam but a barrier came between us. It wasn’t anything physical in our way but my grandpa got cut by a piece of metal on his leg which slowed down our mission. I was only 12 years old then, but I knew that a shirt tied around his leg would stop the bleeding. So I ripped off my shirt and gently wrapped my shirt around his leg and tied it securely to stop the bleeding. My grandpa wasn’t a big man, so to quicken the rescue; he rode on my back until we got to the boat. There were moments where I wanted to give up but my family meant too much to me so I kept going until I reached the destination. It took me about 45 min to swim that half a mile but I did it; it wasn’t race, it wasn’t a competition, but it was a matter of sacrifice for the one’s whom I love.
Shortly after we arrived at the boat, I picked up my grandfather and placed him gently into one of the seats. I wasn’t familiar on how to drive a boat but my grandpa was, so he instructed me along the way. On the way back, it was a quick venture, it only took us 3 min to get back to the house. I pulled up at the side of the house, so my family would not have to swim to the boat. As my grandpa was still seated in the boat, he directed everyone how to climb down without getting hurt, and I was standing closest to the house for their retrieval. Everyone made it down safely, thank God, but they were all still shaken up about the situation. My aunt Mable finally calmed down, and she said a prayer as we went to higher ground: “Lord, I thank you for keeping us, I thank you for saving our lives, I thank you for my family, Amen”. After she said that, we all reflected on our lives. My grandpa spoke up and said, “I love you all, and you all mean the world to me”, and we all hugged one another and shared our tears. Since that moment, we have never spoken negatively or even argued with one another, we all shared each other’s joy and happiness.

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