Norm Cummings was my pastor at the time of my Dad’s suicide. I met with him and his wife Amy many decades after the suicide. I had the chance to share with them what the reality of life was in the Caywood household in which I grew up . That reality was about as different as it could be from the picture he had been given by my parents.
As I spoke to him tears came to his eyes. Unbeknown to him his nose began to run. Norm was always completely groomed. However in his grief for me he was completely unaware of his leaking nose. Finally Amy wiped it for him.
When I was done sharing he said “George, When you were talking I completely believed you. Now I want you to promise to believe me when I tell you something”. This story is absolutely true and is not an elderly pastors glamorizing of his past”.
Then he told me his story. He said that back when he was pastor of our little Baptist church, every Wednesday evening the church held a prayer meeting. At the prayer meeting there was a prayer time in which the members took turns praying out loud. Sooner or later I would pray a 13 year old’s prayer. After I prayed the room got completely silent according to Norm.
Norm said that when I prayed I brought Christ into the room so powerfully that no one wanted to alter the mood by praying outloud. They all just sat there waiting until finally Norm would end the prayer time. He said I wondered what God had done with a man god had so anointed when he was a boy.
Let me be clear.It is not that I am better or worse that God had so blessed me. If there was some difference between me and other people it was that I was so without support and so desperate.
By the time I had gotten home from meeting with Norm and Amy I realized I had greatly misunderstood something immensely important. I had always seen myself as being totally alone growing up. I realized that I had never been anything that had even vaguely resemble being alone. God was with me. I needed to rethink and correct my memories to add God.
So I set out to correct my memories. I got a tablet and wrote down everything I could remember about my first year on earth. I then re-imagined my that memory with Jesus pictured in them. I went through each year until year eighteen and worked to correct my memories,
It was exhausting work. It took me a few weeks because with each new year I worked on brought up memories I had forgotten in previous years. I couldn’t completely rearrange my mind but it did take the lid off the jar. From time to time in this fifty years later time in my lifer the work still continues. At least now when I have bad memory about my boyhood I know I have to correct it.