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Chidren of Fate - revised
May 20 2012

A year or so ago, I wrote Children of Fate, along with And Then She Crossed. At that time, I was so filled with emotions over the entire ordeal that I could not come up with just the right way to put it into words, therefore it came out a mess, at least to my way of thinking. I wrote Stan a letter and explained that I was rewriting it and asked if it could be taken off. He explained that no, it couldn't be taken off, but that a revised version could be on. So, for the next few weeks, that is exactly what I will be doing. Putting a revised version of the two stories that I have combined on here. I hope I have cleared up some of the facts as well and have written a better story. I hope y'all enjoy it. The spelling in the story may not be politically correct, as I have used some of the linguistics of the time frame as well as some of the southern way people talked from time to time. Any and all corrections pointed out and critics are welcome. I have finally gotten to the point in my writing where critics don't bother me, as they did when I first started. Thanks for reading, and enjoy.

The book, is now being divided into 3 seperate books, so the confusion should also be cleared up some, at least. Please remember, this story is non-fiction, with fiction added in. It is hard to describe, exactly what it is. It is more non-fiction than fiction tho.

A.J.Angerstein, May, 19th, 2012

Children of Fate – The Beginning
written and revised by A.J. Angerstein,
May, 2011 – New Revision, May, 2012

Author's Note:
In the duration of writing and rewriting, and then rewriting again, I have come to the conclusion that there are no real answers out there, simply because of
lose of information, non-compliance amongst the characters, and several other factors. This series of books is based on real human experiences, mostly my
own, plus a few friends with some fiction thrown in. All the names have been changed in this book in order to protect the innocent, who currently live or
lived upon the face of this earth. I have great hopes that this book will make any human that reads it experience all the emotions that are known to man. I
pray it makes them laugh, cry, get mad, and even feel as though they are not the only ones who have experienced turmoil, happiness, and acute sadness. I
also hope and pray with all of my heart and soul that whoever reads this book, enjoys it completely. Perhaps by turning this story into a somewhat
fictional story, I can help someone else along the way.

Children of Fate

Spring of 1951 – Lyons, Texas

When Dorrie told her two best friends from nursing school that she would take 'one minute of total bliss over a whole life time of ain't so great', God must
have been listening because He took her statement to heart. Of course to Dorrie that one minute was meant being Ashe Redmonds wife, come hell or high water. In God's time frame, one minute is completely different from human time frame. Humans went by a clock. God had no clock, to Him, life and time are eternal. Laughing, her friends Suzie and Rosa told her she had better be careful what she wished for. Apparently they knew God a little better.
Then both of them glanced over at the devastatingly handsome Ashe Redmond and both suddenly became very serious. Suzannah, known only to her closest
friends as Suzie, looked Dorrie straight in the eye and said with a heavy sigh. “I am sorry I won't be around to help you if you get into trouble with this wish, but then I guess we all have to get on with our lives.” Suzie had been born and raised in the orphanage. She was bound for other places in this world, just as long as it wasn't anywhere near Lyons. Dorrie just nodded her head and wished her the very best in luck and love.
As the three broke off for the evening, Dorrie's wish got granted. Ashe had made his decision as to which one of the 'terrible trio' he wanted.
Jonathan King had made his decision also, and gently took Rosa by the hand. Ashe however, dragged Dorrie to his car and by the ripe old age of 73, Dorrie
finally realized that Heaven was not to be bargained for. One minute of bliss had turned into a lifetime of hell, high water, lies, greed, selfishness and
sometimes terror, for both parties and their families, including future generations, and now she was at the mercy of those future generations with no way

Now, on this fateful night, Dorrie thought to herself once again, “Nope, Heaven was not to be bargained for”, as they stuck one last needle in her arm. It wasn't happening exactly the way they had planned for it to happen, after all, she was supposed to die one month earlier when they had left her in the car sleeping off the medication with the motor running. They figured if she inhaled enough carbon monoxide she would just die. All they had to do after an hour or so was take her back to the nursing home from dinner with the loving family and tell them she wasn't feeling well. But, it hadn't worked out that way. So,they had to wait another month. That actually just meant a few more thousand dollars in their hands. There were just a few things they didn't count on.
They didn't count on The Angels of Mercy and Love standing by, and having no compassion for such acts, nor did they count on someone else who really did
love Dorrie figuring out what they had done. They didn't realize that sometimes comatose patients knew everything that was going on around them and they had no idea by making it happen at that precise time, that they were entwining two very important things that had happened in Dorrie's life. The first of course, being her own death, and the second, being the death of a child born to her and Ashe, 52 years earlier, at the exact same time and day of her own death. As she watched the man insert the needle back into his pocket, they walked out of the hospital room in the wee morning hours, no one ever the wiser of what had just happened, nor the fact that they were not who they had claimed to be when they went in. A few minutes later, Dorrie's soul left it's
earthly home for the last time, and she had finally escaped all the fear and hell here on earth.

Thousands of Years Earlier

Somewhere along the way with the creation of this vast universe came humans. That could be when the trouble started. The Creator, of course, never really had that intention, but in giving man free will, along with a set of rules to follow, the free will might have taken over, setting the book and the rules on the back burner. Now man, who came along never realized fully what the Creator had in mind,so they didn't really pay much attention to the rules. At least some of them didn't, so they didn't have a second thought about what their actions could result in for future generations. So, there are several
scenarios in which the troubles of mankind began. People started feeling emotions about all kinds of things, including the way other humans looked and they acted upon it. Therefore, eventually blood got mixed from the acts of humans. That blood filtered down thru out the ages and here we are, all with the same color of blood, but not the same nationalities or beliefs. It is just that simple, that pure. The emotions, the purest of acts also filtered down, right along with the acts of impurity. Those acts of impurity, make man one of, if not the most, dangerous creature on the face of this earth. The Creator also bestowed special gifts on certain people, and some people were terrified thinking those gifts were really curses. The thought of people being cursed and being able to do certain things was terrifying. So, therefore, fear, coupled with all the other emotions already known to man, turned the world upside down
and inside out.

Winter of 1952, Lyons Texas

Dorrie lay starring at the dangling light bulb. She prayed to herself that Rosa and Jonathan would hurry. Clutching her belly as another wave of pain hit, she
let the tears roll down her cheeks. 'To hell with being strong, being brave', she thought to herself. She would certainly never roll her eyes or shake her head
when another woman cried out in pain while in labor. Maybe this was God's punishment to her. She also wondered why she even still believed in God. After all, it could not have been Him who heard that fateful conversation, for this marriage had began on a bad note, and would probably end up with either Ashe or herself dead. If not both. It had turned into a love/hate relationship, almost from the beginning. Her paw didn't like the Redmond family, thinking they were just white trash and Dorrie was terrified of certain members of it. She couldn't tell anyone that, at least not anyone but Rosa. Rosa was going to deliver the baby. Rosa knew everything about her life just as her husband, Jonathan Edward King did. Rosa had definitely ended up with the better of the
men they had married. Rosa was the only one who also knew that Dorrie had just as much of a fist as Ashe did. Ashe would certainly never let that fact be known, after all he had his pride. He also had his curses and at least one of those curses had caused last nights entanglement, as well as many others.
Between his family, the booze, the loud music, and his wanting a clean house and cooked meals, Dorrie just wasn't up to it all. After all, she was a college graduate, a nurse, and was far too good for this kind of thing. At one time, yes, but not now. Her career was just too important.
As she heard the car pull up she tried to drag herself up on the worn couch on which she half laying, with one leg dangling on the floor. Thank God she had left the door open and the screen unlocked. It might be cold, but the smell of old booze, filth and cigarettes was clearing out.
When Rosa and Jonathan (Eddie to his friends) came thru the door, they both gasped and starred at Dorrie.
“Dorrie, I am sorry but you have to go to the hospital this time. There is no way around it. Don't worry, I have it all fixed, with the nurses on duty and with
Dr. Almot. I will only call him if absolutely necessary.” Rosa said with a heavy breath and tear laden eyes.
“I know, Rosa, and it's okay. I really don't want to have this baby here, on this worn out couch. I know you are a trained mid-wife, but I am worried about
baby now.” Dorrie wiped away a tear as she tried to get up.
“Dorrie, wait, let me help you. Where is Ashe? Is he at work? You want me to call him?” Eddie asked as he reached down to help her up.
“I guess, I don't know. He was all mad last night and then there was a party, after the party broke up, we got into it and he stormed out. I guess he got
mad, I hit back again. I am beginning to think I will never learn. She tried to smile, but somehow smiles eluded her these days. ”
“Well, maybe I had better not call him, after all, we are leaving after this shift, you know that. I wish you would change your mind and come with us. We
would help you raise the baby. No one knows where we are going except for you. He wouldn't find you. You could put a stop to all this right now, why don't you consider it, think it over. The offer is on the table, and I won't call him. Actually, we need to hurry, if that bastard shows up right now, I am just going to have to kill him, that is all there is to it.” Eddie wondered why on God's green earth he had ever considered Ashe a friend. He had almost killed him the first time he beat Dorrie up, thinking the woman shouldn't ever have to go thru that. But Dorrie insisted on staying in the marriage. He didn't understand it,
and his friendship with Ashe had ended that very day. It never had been a friendship to begin with. It was more like a 'having a beer buddy', but once he
and Rosa had gotten married, he found that life offered much more than just a beer and no longer felt the need for it. He prayed that someday perhaps Ashe would realize it also, but somehow he doubted it.
When they got to the hospital he parked around back. It was only a few hours until Rosa got off and he was staying put in case Ashe came in drunk. There wouldn't be any of this crap at this hospital, and he would make sure of it. Knowing that Ashe would figure out where Dorrie was, and that if he was drunk he would probably stash the car in back, just in case he had to get away fast. Eddie could see both the front and the back from where he was parked.
'God', he thought to himself, 'it was going to be one hell of a long night' and got out to smoke a cigarette. Thank God he and Rosa had sent their belongings ahead of time to Arizona, otherwise there wouldn't have been room in the car for Dorrie was his last thought before looking around for Ashes car. He was glad to see the man's car was no where in site, yet.

A Baby is Born

9:32 pm.
'Finally', Rosa sighed as she thanked God that this birth was over. It had been hard and long. Dorrie had been a trooper though, and did exactly as she was supposed to. Now came the hard part. Telling Dorrie about the baby. It had barely started breathing, crying weakly, and that black eye didn't help matters any. However, she was a beautiful baby girl, and other than the facts at hand, seemed to be fairly healthy. Her weight was good, her breathing was now normal and her heartbeat was strong. All babies eyes were astounding to Rosa, but there was something about this baby's eyes that was undeniably different and it had nothing to do with the black eye. It was as if the baby was keenly aware of what had just happened and what was going on.
“Rosa, is my baby okay? What is it? Please tell me.” Dorrie was wiping away the tears, mostly out of relief. She didn't think she was going to make it thru
this child's birth.
“Dorrie, honey you have a beautiful baby girl. She appears healthy enough, and well, she has all her fingers and toes. She has jet black hair like you and
Ashe, but she definitely has distinctive eyes. There is something more in her eyes. I'm not sure what it is, but it is almost like they are filled with fire, and
stars, or comets. They are extremely unique”, letting her voice fade as she continued to clean the baby up.
“BUT?” “I hear a but in your voice, what is it, what is wrong? Ashe wanted a boy. Now there is a girl and something is wrong, isn't it?”
Rosa looked down at the baby wrapped in the blanket. She hugged her tight and then proceeded to Dorrie's side. “Yes, there is something, but it isn't any thing that won't fade with time and love. Love her Dorrie, love her with all you have in her.” She handed the baby to Dorrie and stepped back. Dorrie began to softly cry.
“I hope it doesn't make her blind. Ashe will be really mad if she goes blind because of that eye. Her eyes are haunting, aren't they? At least, to me they
are. But don't worry Rosa, I will give her the best life I can. I am so tired, can you please take her? I was going to name her something different, like a
name I heard on the radio the other day. That name was Jennah, and I thought it might go good with Marie. But now, seeing her eyes, maybe Jessie Jean
would be better. What do you think?” Rosa turned as she lay the baby in the crib. I think either name would be fine.” Then she picked up the needle filled
with a sedative and quickly inserted it into the woman who was already falling asleep. Picking up the baby once more she sat down in the rocking chair as
Dorrie danced quietly between the two worlds. Dorrie looked over at her, and smiled softly. Dorrie spoke softly, with a slurred voice, indicating that the
medication was taking effect .
“She is gonna be different, she is gonna be a fighter for sure, just like her daddy. I hope those eyes don't say what I think they are saying.”
I like Jennah Marie, but Ashe will want Jessie Jean, a good ole southern name. Maybe I had better stick with that one, after all, he wanted a boy.” Then
Dorrie once more began to drift down that tunnel toward oblivion. The baby's eyes were still haunting her. 'I can't let this happen, I can't let a child
of mine have this stupid curse of theirs.' She thought to herself as she felt herself swirling toward the darkness. As soon as she was sure that Dorrie was
completely asleep, Rosa took the baby and headed toward the nursery. She smiled at the nurses who had been on guard, ready to call the cops if need be
the minute Ashe walked in. She handed the baby to one of them and they each took turns holding the little girl. As they handed her back to Rosa, they
all heard a sound and looked up to see Ashe opening the door, with Eddie not far behind. As they each came out from behind the desk, one reached for the
phone. “Wait a second, he doesn't look drunk, he looks worn out. Let's see what his mood is, I don't think he will get cocky with Eddie here,” Rosa told
the nurse. Everyone was so protective of Dorrie, and Dorrie didn't even realize it, and may not until it was too late, Rosa thought.
Everyone held their breath, watching carefully as Ashe approached the desk. Not taking his eyes off of the bundle that Rosa held tightly, he asked where Dorrie was. After Rosa told him she was sleeping soundly, he lowered himself into a chair and sighed a breath of relief. The other nurses backed off a bit as Rosa walked over to where Ashe sat. Eddie was standing nearby and listening intently to every word that was said just in case Ashe went off again.
“Ashe, I want you to meet your daughter. Her name is either Jennah Marie, or Jessie Jean. You want Jessie Jean, Dorrie wants Jennah Marie. Now, I am going to let you know what I want, and don't think that I don't mean it or won't act on it, just because I am not around. Ashe, look at me” she said as she reached down and gripped the man's jaw firmly. “If I ever, ever find out that you have hurt this child, I will come back to Lyons and kill you myself. They will find you scattered from here to hell and back. Do I make myself clear? If you and Dorrie want to kill each other, go ahead, but either of you lay a hand on this child, or any other child from this charade y’all call a marriage, and you will have to deal with me personally.” She could see the glistening tears in the man's eyes, but knew it wasn't because of what she had just said.
“Maybe we could call her Jessie Marie, or maybe we could give her all four names. I don't know if that is possible, but what the hell, maybe it is. You don't got to worry none Rosa, no one will hurt my little Jessie Jean or Jennah Marie. I don't care what we name her, as long as she is a Redmond and she is mine.
Ain't she beautiful? She's the most beautiful, well, the most beautiful human I have ever seen. She looks like her momma. But those eyes, they are definitely Redmond eyes. They have fire, and deep pools of water, along with stars and probably all the secrets of the universe in them. Yep, she is mine; her name just don't matter. If anyone ever tries to her hurt, I will kill them myself, don't you worry none about my little girl.” He stood up and started walking back and forth, singing a country song. “Yep, she is gonna be a spitfire. You can see it in her eyes. That black eye, well I will never be able to apologize enough to her for that. I could be the most famous and richest daddy in the world, like a movie star or drive big beautiful cars and it still wouldn't be enough.” He looked at Rosa and smiled. “You sure Dorrie is okay?”
Rosa smiled. She hadn't seen Ashe sober in a very long time. As she looked at him she remembered that fateful night. Dorrie was right, Ashe was very handsome and that smile of his was devastating, to all women. When he sat back down he began to rock back and forth, continuing to sing. She walked over and squatted down “Yes, she is fine, she needs a good nights sleep, it was a very hard birth. I have sedated her for the night. You need to get
some rest also, so why don't you give me this little lady and go on home. They will still be here in the morning. You can come and pick them up.” Ashe stood up and started to give the baby back to Rosa. As he did, he started to shake and his knees buckled, causing him to nearly fall to the floor. Eddie ran over and grabbed him, setting him down in the chair.
“Easy there buddy, it's okay. She is beautiful, you are right there, you are so lucky Ashe. So lucky. Listen, you know we are moving, and that we are leaving
tonight. Make tonight a new beginning for you and Dorrie and the baby. Become a family. Love each other, cherish that child, but at the same time remember what Rosa said. I won't be able to stop her, you know that, she was once part of the 'terrible trio'.” Ashe nodded his head and let the tears fall.
Eddie got up and patted Ashe on the shoulder. Then he walked out, and lit a cigarette. He just sighed, wishing Ashe and Dorrie would realize how lucky they were. After a few minutes Ashe wiped away a few more tears, then got up and headed for the door. Instead, he decided to look in on Dorrie, just to make sure she was okay and still sleeping. As he sat in the rocking chair looking at her he began to speak softly, as if he feared he might wake the dead.
Rosa had come around the corner to check on her once more also, but stood silently just out of sight, listening to the man as he talked to his wife.
“Dorrie, I fell head over heels in love with her the second I saw her. I don't care what her name is, she is just so beautiful. Why she is the most purtiest
girl I ever did see. Did you get a good look at those eyes? They are,, well I just don't have the education to put those eyes into words, but they are like those sparklers on the 4th of July. Me and you, we're like fire and ice. Always tryin' to put each other out. But you know something Dorrie? I really do love you. I love you a lot. And our little darlin', well she looks like you, ceptin' she's got those fabulous eyes, Don't you think? We can make this work. I know we can Dorrie. I will get another job, I promise I will do my level best to be a good husband and get a better job. I promise will I do my best to quite the drinking and partying with my brothers. But Dorrie, please, understand that I am not the man who made you hate men and please quit taking it out on me. I don't quite know what happened to you, but hell Dorrie, you can forget it. You can just forget it. Us Redmonds will take care of you. We really will, if you will just let us. Well, I guess I had better get on home, I have a surprise for you and Jennah, or is it gonna be Jessie? That would sure please my maw, you know?” Then he bent over and gently kissed the woman. Rosa slipped quietly away before he saw her and said her goodbyes to the other
nurses. She watched from the front seat of their car as Ashe drove off.
“Well?” Her husband looked over then wiped a tear off her cheek. “Are you ready Mrs. King?”
Smiling she looked over at the handsome young man next to her. “Yep, hit the road Jack, as the song says. Only one more stop to make, then we are off to Arizona.”
Looking thru the rear view mirror Rosa thought to herself, “God, I hope I never have to come back here.”

The Surprise

As soon as he got home he called his older brother. Before long, the entire Redmond family was there, except his paw who was babysitting for his oldest brothers kids, as they were already in bed. Thank heavens for the old garage out back. Dorrie never went near it. She hated spiders and she had seen one in it. They worked thru-out the night, getting the surprise ready for Dorrie and the baby. Not one of them drank a beer that night, after all, another
Redmond had been born and they had to make sure that everything was just perfect for the baby. His mother and sisters tackled the house, and after they finished the old baby crib they brought it in and set it up. His mother then set about arranging the baby's things in the old dresser they had refinished to complete the room. With the money Ashe had been saving he also bought baby powder and just about everything a baby could need. He put new sheets on the bed so Dorrie could have something new also. He had been squirreling away money a little at a time just for this occasion. Tomorrow he would call Dorries parents to let them know that all were okay and they had a new granddaughter. He would invite them to a barbeque on Sunday, and tell them to
bring who ever else in their family wanted to come. After all, a new baby was coming home, and it was time to celebrate the birth of Jenna Marie, whom he
would later nickname her Jessie. He like Jessie Jean. It was a good name. But since Dorrie had delivered the baby he decided he needed to give her this
one. For after all, she had gone thru the pain. It was only right. Ashe was a good man, but sometimes the drink got the better of him, and he just couldn't
control himself. All it would take was one word out of Dorrie's mouth and the fight was on. She sure could get his dander up. But he really did love her, he just didn't know how to show it. After all, he was uneducated and his family was known around town for their drinking and fighting and were considered white trash. Well at this very moment, white trash or not, he was the richest white trash in the world. Maybe with the baby being born, Dorrie's family would accept him and his family a little more and they could all become closer. After all a baby does have a way of bringing people closer.
After a few hours everyone sat around the kitchen table eating a delicious meal of biscuits and gravy. Ashes maw, Lidia made the best biscuits and gravy taste like the best steak in the world. Ashe finished his plate and reached for one more biscuit, buttering it and pouring honey over it. Everyone had been working hard and Lidia knew her boys enjoyed a hearty meal. Ashe wasn't quite sure how to say what he wanted to say, so he just blurted it out.

“Maw”, he said with a deep breath, "She has the gifts. Her eyes say she does. I saw it in her eyes”. The entire table sat dumbfounded, their eyes starring straight at Ashe.

“Are you sure?” Lidia asked in a choked up voice. “IF she does Dorrie is gonna have to let me help her. The child will grow up scared half to death most of her life if someone, and I am that someone, can't teach her the ways. That way she won't go to the dark, she will stay on the light side. Ashe she needs to be taken to church right away. You know it.”

“Dorrie goes to church Maw, I just don't. IT ain't that I don't believe, I just don't like going to church. I kin talk to God out on a riverbank easier than with a
bunch of people all around me. Don't the Bible say a crowd? Or at least 2? Well, there's a crowd, there's people in their boats, there's guys all along the bank and then there's me and God. We talk all the time. But I don't think Dorrie is gonna like it one little bit if she knows or even thinks that Jessie has the gift. I mean Jennah, hell I don't know for sure what her name is gonna be. I know, I know,” he said as his maw opened her mouth to speak, “It oughta be Jessie Jean or Jessie Marie, but Dorrie likes Jennah. She got the name from some radio show or fancy upped magazine she was readin.”

“Well, all I know is that Dorrie needs to get her head back on her shoulders and start thinkin' straight. But, I will be able to tell, by looking at her eyes.
Then I will once again, have a talk with Dorrie. Lord, I hope she don't do nothin' stupid. I swear Ashe, I love Dorrie to pieces, but she ain't got a lick of
common sense. Iffin she did, your ass would've been settled down a long time ago, like your poppas was, right after I married him. He was a gadabout too,
just like you boys, until I put the straight and narrow down. Martha had to do the same thing with your brother, didn't you Martha?”

Martha smiled at her husband, but he was the one who answered as he looked at Maw with nothing but love in his eyes. “Little Dove” that's what his poppa called her, maybe a tiny little woman, but she could handle the worst of them and she sure had her hands full when it came to this bunch. It didn't seem fair to him somehow, that the women in the family had to birth the children and raise 'em up right also. She had made meals out of nothing, it seemed, made clothes, hell, she even once made him a pair of shoes. How she did it with 11 kids was beyond him, but she did. And now she was babysitting grandbabies. Yup, his mother was one helluva of a woman, who had definitely been blessed by Gifts from the good Lord above. What she could do, have those dreams and just touch your burn on your arm and the next day it would be healed, how she knew when one of her kids was in trouble, or when something disastrous was about to happen, one had to believe in God, just watching her in action. She even spoke in riddles and terms unknown to man when she prayed, just as if she and God had their own language. It had been scary a time or two, but most of the time, it was just plain ole' awe
inspiring. None of them understood it, but accepted it. After all, they had every kind of blood mix in them there was just about to be had. His grandmother was Cherokee and Sioux, although no one understood how that had happened. Their Poppa, Roy was German and Irish, and Lord only knew what else.
Their parents were loved by everyone, while their kids seemed to be hated by everyone. They had one helluva a mix on their hands. But they never failed
to stand beside their kids, never looked down on them, or mistreated them in any way form or fashion. All 11 of those kids adored Roy and Little Dove.
Secretly they called her his pet name also, but knew that name was reserved only for him and the way it made her smile when he said it, one would have
thought she had been kissed by the stars. Yet at the same time, you could see those pools of fire in her eyes, especially if you had gotten into trouble. A
day didn't pass that Lidia wouldn't read to them from the Holy Word, and every evening before bedtime, one would find her on her hands and knees,
kneeling and talking to God in her own language. Matthew figured that was what kept her going when times got tough.

“Yesam”, she shore did. “Now look at me. Work 5am till 5pm, even get to retire in 20 years with a check just for sittin on my ass. I look forward to that day.
I only have about 18 more years to go, just to get it, too. Yes sir, I sure do look forward to that day.” Matthew got up from the table with his plate and
turned to Ashe. “I'd wait awhile buddy, iffin I was you, before mentioning that gift you think your baby's got. You know Dorrie, and she ain't gonna like it
one little bit. She's scared of it, that's what it is. We can all see it in her eyes. I wouddan want to be the one to set Dorrie straight, but Martha on the other hand, it wouddan bother her a bit, or Irene, now would it Jimmy Boy. Oh and I get weekends off too.” Matthew smiled. “Ashe you got an education. You learned how to weld and that pays good, man, real good.” Ashe smiled and kept right on eating his biscuit. He loved his family, they were always so supportive, even in the roughest of times. Wasn't that what his parents had tried to teach them? He knew it was, he just didn't know how to make Dorrie realize it.

“Nope, not one little bit. You know what they say, “ONCE A REDMOND, ALWAYS A REDMOND. WE SEEM TO RUB OFF WRONG ON EVERYONE.” Jimmy was the quieter of the brothers, but when he did speak he made a lot of sense. Even though, he had quit school to help his paw in the fields like the rest of them, they often wondered if Jimmy had also gotten the gift and just never talked about it.

Lidia sighed, “Well, I guess y'all are right, but Dorrie can be tough too. She just don't understand and yeah, she is scared of the gifts. Maybe someday
she will come around and understand that we do love her. A body would think that she knows about gifts since she went to church, but since her daddy died and her momma remarried well, things have been different with the family. Lord, we knew them a long time ago, before her real daddy died. I don't know much about this one she married. They moved off to Louisiana right after they married. Those people have bad gifts down there. Maybe that's why she is so scared. Don't judge her so much. Thar's a lot y'all don't know bout that family. Now git on with what work there is left to finish, and don't use no more bad words at the table or I will get out my switch. You boys ain't too big for my switch. You never will be.”
The boys jokingly shuddered at the thought of her switch. They had all known it a time or two growing up. Matthew looked at Ashe and then back at his Maw
Ashe smiling that Redmond smile that had won her heart many years ago, when she first saw his poppa.

“She does know, Maw, she does, she just considers it a curse.” Ashe whispered silently to himself. How could he ever explain to his mother that his wife
thought she was cursed.

Irene and Martha just sat smiling at each other, thinking the same thought. “OH boy, now we get to whoop Dorrie's ass.” Martha spoke up about then,
“I do believe my ears aburnin” them talkin bout us behind our backs, and don't you forget honey baby, I got me a college education too, just because it weren't at some fancy nursin school, don't mean shit. Maybe I don't make people well when they're sick, but I make 'em look awfully pretty when they want to catch a fellar. And that is not 18 years, it's only 17 years, what happened, you lose track of time somewhere along the way?” She then tossed her paper napkin at him. “Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell ya, I'm pregnant again.” Matthew dropped the plate then caught it just before it hit the floor. Everyone else once again sat dumbfounded. It was certainly a night for celebrations. “Did the cat git your tongue Matthew, or didn't you hear what I just said?”

“You sure, baby doll?” Matthew ran over and grabbed Martha up out of the chair and swung her around. Ashe looked at them tears in his eyes. He wished with all of his heart and soul he and Dorrie had that kind of love.

“Yeah, I'm sure. Definitely sure. Ashe, your little lady is gonna have a new cousin. Maybe it will be a girl and they can play dress up together and have tea
parties.” Lidia smiled as her son and daughter-in-law hugged. Lord, she prayed, let Ashe and Dorrie be happy someday also. To be continued,,,,

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