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Bridgett ~ Mother of Them All  


 Shadowed Pain By Marsha Steed ~ Serina stood in the office of the Orphanage, awaiting the return of the children. Elaine, Serinaís daughter and the social director of the Orphans of Dover had been compassionate and found homes for each of the little ones for the holiday season. A family who was willing to adopt a child for two weeks wasnít easy to locate, but Elaine had managed it somehow. Serina was certain that the little ones were delighted in such a treat, but a bit fearful at the pain that being returned to the home would bring. Still, there was always pain she supposed. The holidays had passed gently, bringing much change in her own life. She looked down at the stack of papers, eight names to be re-admitted after Elaine had signed them out just before the winter celebrations. Very soon, one by one, the families ought to be returning their charges. Serina could envision the scene all ready. A stack of neatly pinned papers growing thicker as foster mothers wishing they could do more, returned the children. Some would enter with relief in their eyes that their service was at an end, some would be stern and condescending as if it were somehow Serinaís fault that the child had not been perfect; still another would return teary-eyed and clinging and perhaps . . . just perhaps . . . one would decide that they could not give up the precious child, and give him or her a permanent home. If they returned the long slender pin that attached the child to a thin stack of paperwork, they, with their records, would be refilled away almost like a borrowed book on a library shelf. If however, the pin was attached to the new parentís lapel . . . well, that was the only reason Serina looked forward to the returning each year, on the hopes that one of her precious ones would find a family. It didnít always happen, but once in awhile. . . Each child came to mind as she looked through the sheaf. Little Arora, at only ten had come here when she was six. Her eyes were amazing, and yet she had never spoken. Serina wondered at the pains the girl had undergone to steal away her voice. The doctor's had no idea why she did not speak, she was healthy and she had had no scars or signs of abuse. She had been found huddled at the gates of Dover, and never a sound had come from her lips. Though a sweet child she was, and her eyes expressed much. Elaine, Serinaís daughter, had grown rather attached to Jon already. He was an engaging boy. His mother had died at childbirth, and his father in the war as a soldier. If she had known of his Grandparents, surely he would have a home, but she did not. He had been cared for by Jon's aunt, but with seven of her own she had found it impossible to keep him after the monies from his fatherís bequeathing disappeared. It was a sad state, and though she wished she could care for each individually, . . .


...( to be continued ) 


I am grateful to the work of Jonathon Bowser  for the exquisite picture of the woman on this page. 

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Marsha Rose
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