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The Little Child Lost

by Ellen Bone

This isn't a traditional ghost story. It isn't a ghost story at all, but a reflection.

It started a few days ago when I asked a question on a online social media group. The question was "what was the word, or line spoken or written that struck a deep chord within you and changed you?" The responses were wonderful and very spiritual, but that wasn't where my thoughts were. I thought I'd share three true, and very different, incidents from my childhood that shaped me.

It must have been in the third grade that a little boy called me a "dog". In those innocent days, that was a huge slur and meant that you were incredibly unattractive. All kinds of things are said as children and most, if not all, are forgotten, but those words, on that day, somehow struck with a direct and deadly aim into my soul. I have always had an uncanny attunement to other people's emotions and troubles and those words shaped how I have interacted with people for all of my life. No, I don't go around feeling ugly or unloved, but I have carried a deep sense of not wanting to put people in the uncomfortable position of having to deal with or even be nice to someone who had been labeled a "dog". Silly,maybe even funny, I know. I chose careers that worked behind the scenes and my metaphysical profession carries it's own secrecy and confidentiality. To this day, I race through conversations so that people don't have to linger long , even though I may cherish and look forward to their conversations.

The second incident was closer to high school age. I came from a large family and without very much money. My clothes were always neat and clean and my grades good, so the traditional caste system that exists in our school system wasn't sure where to put me and I realized I teetered close to the edge of untouchables or those labeled very poor. So, one morning a thin, tall, high school boy got on the school bus near the end of our route, as he did everyday, and no one wanted him to sit with them. He is taunted and teased and mistreated....I have an empty place near me that morning. Now, I would have never, ever, have made a move that would have prevented him from sitting next to me, but he looked into my panic stricken eyes and with his own wisdom moved on . He knew that sitting next to me would have also sealed my fate. I have regretted my entire life that I did not openly welcome him and braved whatever the bullies dished out.

The third thing that deeply affected me was from a book I tried to read. Our home library was huge and diverse and we had a book that was interviews with survivors of the Indian massacres that was happening in the West during the time the Civil War was going on in the North and South. It had been written so soon after the massacres that initials were used so that you could not identify who was being interviewed. It was a book so graphic and horrifying that I could never really read it, but there was a short byline that was written almost as a note of unimportance, but it struck me deeper than any line of horrific torture. It was a note about a little girl who after having witnessed the torture and death of her family became mute and unresponsive. It was noted that she would be shipped back home to the East to an Asylum. I wondered for years whatever happened to her......

As I write this seemingly gloomy blog, it's not gloomy, but one of discovery and understanding. It helps me realize that somewhere within all of us resides a lost little girl or boy that adapted and found a path to follow. This is really a reminder to really look around us and within ourselves every so often and send a huge dose of love to .. ...the little child lost.

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