Orphan Survival Stories Index |
DAVID "FREDDIE" HUTCHINS
I stood on the front porch of my house watching as the sleek, green colored corvette pulled up into my driveway. I watched his every move as the 235 pound man closed the door of his vehicle and began walking towards me.
"Long time no see." I said to him, as I held out my hand.
The two of us shook hands and then we hugged one another.
It had been about 46 years since David and I had seen one another. The last time being when the two of us were twelve years old. Both of us now riding in the back seat of a police car. Two lonely, scared and frightened little boys being taken to the Florida School for Boys Reform School located in Marianna, Florida. I guess constantly running away from the orphanage, where we lived had finally caught up with us.
As we sat and talked I learned that David had, for a short time, become a policeman. Then he decided to quit the Atlanta Police Force to take up a new profession as a private investigator in Jacksonville, Florida.
For only an instant I closed my eyes and when I opened them again everything around me had changed.
"You are a part of my family" Said David, in a weak voice, as he looked up at me.
"I love you David" I said, as I looked down at him as he lay there in his hospital bed.
I grabbed his hand and I squeezed it tightly.
"God, would you be so gracious as to perform a miracle for my brother David" I prayed to myself.
I could hardly believe that in less than a year this strong, vibrant, healthy, good looking man could be reduced to looking as though he were a much older person. Within a matter of months cancer had taken it's toll on my orphan brother David.
How could this happen to a man who did not smoke or drink? How could this happen to a man who ate correctly and took vitamins everyday? How could this happen to a man who wanted nothing more from life other than to help kids and to give children a new start in life?
As I sat there by his hospital bed I could hear people out in the hospital hallway taking about going to the Outback Steak House when they finished their shift. The janitor rolled in his cart and emptied the trash can that sat near the foot of David's bed. The television soaps continued on with their stories. No one in the world was stopping in hopes that my brother David might have a chance catch up.
They say that God has a special place in his heart for widows and orphans. I hope that is true. For David suffered many a year at the hands of his drunken father. A mean, rough looking character who would come to the orphanage just to slap David across the face or grab him up by the neck and try and squeeze the life from him.
The Children's Home Society in Jacksonville, Florida was only place that David and I knew as "home". A place where innocent little boys and girls were worked to death and treated as though they were less than human. A place where children were constantly beaten and locked away in dark closets. A place where kids went to bed hungry for many a year. Our entire childhoods were stolen from us by people who secretly despised children; All for the sake of the all mighty dollar.
I am very proud of Freddie. I am proud that he was somewhat able to put those memories behind him. I am also glad that Freddie had a few people in his life that brought him some joy and happiness. The kindness shown to him by the Evans family was the core that David built his life upon. Oh how precious those moments were to us orphans.
I am also thankful to Chris and her family for loving and respecting Freddie. For giving him a family. It was nice to have a beautiful house to live in. It was nice to have a new car to drive. It was nice to have all the things that make life a pleasure. But what you didn't know is that what Freddie loved the most was having his very own dining-room table. Owning his own chair. A place to sit down and eat his meals with his very own family.
Yes, in room 333-A there laid a wonderful, good, kind and gentle man. A man who believed in being neat, clean and respectful to others. A man the world never really got to know. A man who wanted nothing from the world other than to be respected, loved and to be cared about.
If by chance you happened upon room 333-A. Or if you took the time to drop by and see what David might need; Then you are a very lucky person indeed. For your life, if but only for a moment, crossed the path of a wonderful man. My orphan brother: David (Freddie) Hutchins.
He will be greatly missed