Orphan Survival Stories Index |
THE BED WETTER
How horrible it was to have to wear a sheet wrapped around ones self like a diaper for having wet the bed. In addition, then having to walk the horrible, long 2,000 yards to the dining room at the far end of the orphanage grounds in Jacksonville, Florida.
We were all young, scared boys waiting in line double breasted, for the daily ritual of marching to breakfast, dinner and supper. We did it day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.
I will never forget the house parents doing that to me. I will never forget the girls looking at me as we marched past their one-story dormitory. They spoke not a word as they stood in total silence, with their eyes looking down toward the ground. Nor was there a smile on any face or a giggle in any heart. Only the look of horror as they knew very well this day would also come for one of them, if they wet their beds, just as it had come for the poor, topless, breastless little girl who had preceded me two weeks before.
For years, I sat with my face pressed against the six-foot chain-link fence. I was watching and waiting for someone with compassion to come by and take me away from this terrible place, but no one ever came. Oh, how those heartless acts almost destroyed me as a young boy. I have become a man with very little heart, a grandfather who is sad and so afraid to love.
Were these few drops of wetness worth drowning a young precious heart forever? Have I ever loved anyone? Yes. I will always love those children, who silently bowed their heads with respect and reverence, as I filed past them, half-naked like Caesar, The Great Bed Wetter.