**TRIGGER WARNING FOR ANYONE SENSITIVE**
Our neighbor and ‘adoptive’ Grandpa Emerson, who was a great friend of my grandfather’s, lived just down the country road from us, two houses and down the hill from us. Emerson was also the grandfather of several of my friends. He would help us out with home improvement projects in the house I grew up in. He would give us rides to or from the bus stop.
But one day was vastly different. I was 10 years old walking home from school when Emerson stopped in his little pickup truck to ask me if I wanted a ride the rest of the way home. I said sure, not even thinking twice about it. But as we drove, not in the direction of my house, but in the direction of the back gate of the mountain gated community, I knew something was different.
Emmerson had me crouch down in the seat, floorboard of his pickup as we passed the gate. We turned left and drove a couple miles down, where he turned left onto a dirt road. He parked in a spot that had a CAT tractor. He had me get out of his pickup and enter the cab of the CAT. Just behind the seats was a flat surface and a sleeping bag. I was scared.
I was a child who obeyed my elders. I was always terrified of getting in trouble. This was no exception. I did what he said, until… Emmerson asked me to pretend to be his wife. He kissed me right on the lips, and I felt his tongue penetrate through my lips, while his hand was reaching for my private area and rubbing it.
I don’t know what came over me, and I’m absolutely sure God was protecting me, because the next thing I know is I’m yelling at him to ‘Stop!” and opening the door of the CAT and demanding he take me home! I leaped out of the CAT and I was determined to walk home if he was not going to take me.
I never considered the fact that he could have killed me right then and there. That never entered my mind. I don’t know why he didn’t. Because what happened next, well, I have no words for. He took me home. In fact, he gave me an ice cold can of Pepsi and a bag of M&M’s and made me promise I would not tell anyone.
I got home but my mom knew something was not right. I was not myself. I am not sure what I was, but my mom knew. She asked and asked, and I finally gave in to telling her what happened. Please keep in mind that I had no trust in adults protecting me by now as I had put up with a lot of this type of stuff from an exceedingly early age without protection. And my mom was re-married to a man I had barely know for a couple of years. But she encouraged me to tell my stepdad Larry. And I did.
The cops came to our house and I told them my truth. They tried to make me out as the bad guy, like I was lying. Larry interjected that I would not lie and that I had no history of lying. I told them the truth and they told me they would investigate it. You have to know I was terrified!
It turned out that Emmerson lied to the police. He told them it never happened, that I was a liar. They made him take a polygraph test which showed he was lying. It also uncovered that he was molesting my friends, his granddaughters. I lost them as friends, they hated me for ratting out their grandfather. I had no idea he was doing that to them too.
Emmerson did not serve time. He was put on probation for what I think was 18-24 months. I was too young to understand that justice was not served. Of course, his family didn’t testify against him.
Here’s the thing. While my family parted ways with Emerson, I still had to see him at the local gas station/mart in our country community. I would do whatever I could to avoid him. I wished him DEAD. Yep, that’s right, I wished he would DIE!
I found out when I was 15 while sleeping at my friend Cheryl’s house, that he had a heart attack and died in his sleep. While I was relieved, I wouldn’t have to encounter him ever again, I had this dreadful feeling that I made his death happen by wishing it for five years.
While I was conflicted with these feelings, I cannot tell you enough how badly I felt for having ‘caused’ this man’s death. Just wishing his death and then having him die made me feel awful. Words cannot express how badly I felt or the guilt I carried for years.
Here’s what I would like to say about this, don’t wish such horrible things on people. God takes care of things as He should. I don’t need to wish for ill or death on someone. People’s actions take care of that. It is my goal in life to be a good human, to serve, to act in kindness, to live serving others. It is not my place to wish anyone fall with illness or death. Their actions alone speak for themselves and their demise is of their own doing.