End of The Road, Deloris Collum

My oldest sister, Betty, always lived out in the country. To get to their house you would go past the country into the sticks, then turn off the dirt road to the pig trail and they lived at the end of the road. They had a hard time making ends meet and did good just to feed their children. There were seven children and like most big families the kids missed out on a lot of events and too much love. Deloris was kind of the black sheep of the family. I always felt sorry for her the way her Dad would talk to her and call her all kinds of names. Because of that kind of treatment, she did every little thing to make herself likable. By the time she was twelve she was shipped off to a State Home, where she stayed until she turned eighteen. It was there she was raped and had a baby that was given up for adoption, she never saw the baby after that and was not allowed to know who had him. After leaving the Home she was a loner and bitter, she tried marriage, it failed. Desperate for love she decided that she would become homosexual, gay. She became the part, short hair, men’s clothes ruffer talk. The tuff outward appearance and gay life style gave her the shield that she was looking for. For some reason she always trusted me and Arlene, and we would invite her over for Christmas. In those early years of her gayness she kept her “friend” away, which was good, other wise I too would had become a stumbling stone for her. I had two little boys that did not need to see wrong being seen as right in mommy and daddy’s eyes. I would never allow that open sin in my home. Before you think I am being judgmental, I am not. The Bible calls sodomy sin and so do I. It would be no different if someone wanted to bring booze into my house. No way!

As the years passed by we saw less of Deloris, only at summer family reunions. Her friend would often come and everyone was friendly at arm’s distance. Deloris would call our house several times through out the year to check on everyone and see if anyone died.

About ten years ago she called I answered the phone. “Hello, Uncle David, guess what I did today?’ “I don’t know, Deloris. What did you do?” I asked, almost afraid of the answer. “I got saved!” she said. “Are you proud of me?” “Yes I am” I could hardly believe the news. After a few minutes we hung up and I was hoping that now she would be at peace but I had some doubts.

A few weeks later the phone rang, it was Deloris, ” Hello, Uncle David, I got baptized this morning, aren’t you proud of me!”? “Yes I am.” I said as my eyes watered up. “Keep up the good work.” She did.

A few weeks later the phone rang, it was Deloris, ” Hello, Uncle David, you know about my friend?” “Yes” I said wondering where this was headed, I ‘ve done many wedding in our family. “Well at Church this morning God told me that I could not live like that if I was going to Heaven, I told Him I was going to Heaven because He saved me.” ” That’s right.” I said wondering where this was leading. “Well I don’t have a room mate anymore, and feel good about it.” Deloris declared. “I bet you are proud of that ain’t you Uncle David?” “I sure am.”

That was years ago and Deloris has been faithful to God and her Church ever since, even singing specials. What a difference the Lord makes instead of just joining the Church.

She never lost all that ruff acting, but now it was used to tell people that they needed to be saved. She always wanted to tell people what Jesus had done for her.

A few months ago i got a phone call, it was Deloris, “Hello, Uncle David, I have cancer.” “I am sorry to hear that.” I said with a lump in my voice. “Will you and Aunt Arlene pray for me?” she said pleadingly. “We will” Over the phone we had prayer, that was one of many prayers we had with Deloris in the last couple of months. About four weeks ago she called and said she felt bad because she had missed a Sunday at Church, I assured her that God understood. She said she loved her Church and hated to miss, but knew that it would not be long before she would get to go to Church with her mother and other loved ones, in Heaven.

On Tuesday I got a phone call, it was not Deloris, but family calling to let us know that she had died. Now she can go to Church with all the loved ones that have gone on before.

Deloris’ life did make a difference.

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