what makes a poor man rich…?

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


Patience and faith and love.
I often say to people that my sons and I raised each other. I certainly was an unsettled (teen really) man when my sons were born…I had no skills-those came along as time did. Being a parent was a skill that came the same way and to ensure I got a complete experience in the job I ended up being a single parent. Just me and the boys.

I’m incredibly impressed on how my sons have grown to the men they are. I attribute this to prayer. I once had to rise in the wee hours of the morning and hike out of here to the highway and hitch to work. During my walks I prayed for nothing else except that my sons would never end up like me.
I was very broken then. Not very many years since my life in barracks D…12 years by then,but as this morning-it seems only just an arms reach away.
In fear sometimes I would drive us out to the state prison at Raiford. We would stop at a burger place and get fries and a sandwich and then carry-out the food to have a pic-nic lunch with on the prison highway right a way.
Raiford is an ominous vista to look over-there are several miles of prison to view and the choices of buildings do not make any change in the fact that this is a place you do not want to ever have to go.
I feared how my life had gone would somehow reflect on my sons. I could not take it if that was to happen and not knowing anything-this was a measure that I felt important.
I can’t quite think of how it was exactly that I told my sons what happened in barracks D. I don’t believe as boys I told them much about the actual attacks-but I remember the nights I tried to escape the thoughts and realities by by sucking drugs up my nose I would lament to my sons the misery I was and the misery the drugs were and the reason my life was such a failure was by my failing the in the Navy.
I walked those miles into town in the darkness of early morning-no where close to dawn,and prayed God would not see my sons have the same life I had.

It is not hard for me to see that God is in my family and heard the way I asked for the hope.
My oldest son entered the Navy…it was my suggestion they both did-and they did,but my oldest stayed it through. They live north of Georgia and there have been times my son has called and said “meet me at the truck stop”-and here he and my grandson drove all the way just to have breakfast.

My youngest son saw something about the prison visits-he has worked in corrections for several years,yet he also enjoys serving his country and this Saturday will be enlisting in the Coast Guard reserves and leaves for boot camp in July.

It does not take a rich man to raise a good son. Love is in our system and soul and has no degree in how rich or poor we are but has a sense of how real we are and that sense conveys itself to those around you-you cannot fake it when it is real.

The mobile home in the photo was set up out here when my sons were in high school-and I had work in south Florida.
I primarily lived down there during the week and returned on Friday night to restock the refridgerator and check my sons for injury and bruises and Sunday night drive back south to work. By this time we had formed a relationship of trust-and this worked.
At this time we were living in the cabin (the walked home home) -which is now my studio,and once was connected to a travel trailer sort of addition. The travel trailer was well worn out and since torn down.
I bought this place in the photo for a thousand dollars over 20 years ago. It was half dark-I had to use a flashlight to look inside…and it needed work. It has needed work ever since,but it was all I could afford.

It is kind of funny-this entire residence has been getting some kind of renovation after the other-it is soon nearly to where it is needing nothing in inside-what was once three bedrooms and two baths is now one large long living room and a tiny kitchen and a bath and the room with the french doors-the room I sleep and write in.
This room began to leak last summer. Not a drip-twenty of them and a sort of water experience coming down the wall. Truthfully-it became tiring and old.
It was difficult a little over a week ago-I was about to do something so out of my stream. I was going to have this place torn down and move a double wide trailer in….4 bedrooms and two baths-a kitchen you could ride a bike around. Carpet…and one of the baths had a ‘garden tub’ and a separate shower stall. Walk in closets in two rooms and closets all over on top of that.
I wept about the whole thing. I prayed as I wept and the following morning I decided to call the whole thing off. It was not me…and it seemed so much to tear down something I spent so much time trying to make work as a home…a place where my kids made life work for each other those weeks I spent in south Florida.

It rained yesterday morning-it was an odd rain because it usually waits until the afternoon to rain these days.
I stood out in the addition and listened to the rain playing on the tin roof and watched in joy as it poured off the edge…I kept going back and forth to look in the room that leaks,and that back outside to grin at God for how relieved I was to see it dry.
My sons pitched in-my oldest drove down from up north of Georgia and spent a day and a half with my son the corrections officer to build me a roof over this poor old trailer house.

It all works. Faith is a valid for real truth-patience some how works with faith,and they blossom when you least expect it-and in the proper time.
It is the rainy season here in Florida-as a matter of fact,it is now hurricane season. Almost every day we recieve a thunderstorm. I was not looking forward to sopping up the remains of the storms-but knowing I have it far better then so many others I was prepared to do it as it came.
I expect a call today or tomorrow from a well man. My sons have arranged for a new well to be drilled-one with a pump that is attached to a pipe that extends it into the well itself. It will never loose its prime-the biggest hassle with my current well is whenever the lighting strikes and clips out the electric,already twice this week…it means I have to load the truck with buckets and drive into town to find a source for water-on return each bucket has to be ladled out into a small pipe…a slow process-and very annoying that I get annoyed at having to do it.
I have been sitting back in awe these the last few days.
I never realized what it meant to think about something as general as a water well…but the very thought of the end of the bucket brigade is so relaxing. The roof over my crumb of a mobile home-relieves so much stress.
I feel so rich.

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