Orphan Survival Stories Index |
In my office there is a picture taped to the wall in front of my desk. This snap-shot has to be one of the saddest pictures that I have ever seen. I have tried many times to remove it but I cannot bring myself to reach up and take it down.
The picture was taken at the wedding of my orphan brother, David "Freddie" Hutchins". He and I were raised together at the Children's Home Society Orphanage, located in Jacksonville, Florida.
David is sitting in a chair, inside a church, all decked out in his tuxedo. He is waiting for the preacher to arrive so that he and Christina can be married. The look on his face should be one of happiness. Instead, it is the look that a child would have on his face if he were lost, or abandoned in some strange, unknown, scary place. I had not seen that look on David's face since the day that he was dropped off at the orphanage. He was a very scared little boy who did not know which way to move.
David sat there motionless, watching as each and every wedding guest arrived. His eyes would shift, no more than an eighth of an inch, as each individual stopped to sign the guest-register. I walked over and placed my hand on his shoulder.
"Roger, this time next week I'll be dead and buried in the ground," said David.
Not knowing what to say I just squeezed his shoulder.
"Roger," he said again.
"I heard you David."
Several months earlier David had learned that he had cancer and the doctor had given him less than sixty days to live. In that sixty day period he had gone from a 215 pound very handsome gentleman to that of an old man weighing some one hundred pounds.
It is somewhat understandable to have that look on your face when you, as a young child, are dropped off at an orphanage, abandoned and then forgotten. But it just breaks my heart to have to see a grown man die with that same sad, abandoned unloved look on his face.