The warm blanket felt so good against her chilled petite body and as she turned on her back and looked up SHE saw the ugly light bulb hanging from the wire in the ceiling. It was ablaze with its glaring light illuminating the ugly walls that made up her room. It was a crisp Christmas morning and SHE knew that her Mother would be back in a moment to see if she was awake yet. There was no way to get out of going to the local television station as she knew her Mother needed the money and that would help make their day nice and perhaps she would get the one thing that she wanted under the tiny lit Christmas tree. HER brothers and sisters would be waiting for them when they returned later that morning. How SHE dreaded the bus ride downtown. Lonely, tired people sitting on the smelly old bus that would take them to the places that they did not want to be at on this Holiday morning. It was frigid outside and SHE could never seem to stay warm in that tattered old wool coat. SHE knew she would once again have to sing for their supper. It was not such a bad thing, to be paid some money for doing something that you truly liked to do and that made you feel tingly inside when you did it. It was like a moment when SHE would get a big bear hug from her Mother that made her feel happy. Only HER singing feeling was double-triple. It moved her emotions to a place that she had not yet matured to yet but the resonance and emotion that poured from her voice moved anyone who got the opportunity to listen to her. All the people at the television station were so nice to HER and her Mother. The six piece band was made up of men who loved to make HER feel like she had six Dad's all very protective and in awe of her singing talent. HER real father had died before she was born and all she knew of him were the stories her siblings would tell her about. If he were alive SHE was sure SHE would have loved him greatly. Her Mother had all but sold everything of possession to keep a home for them all. She noticed at an early age the musical sounds that emanated from her baby's mouth. When the radio was on it would become the best babysitter for HER. All HER brothers and sisters saw what music would do to HER when it was on the radio. SHE could hardly speak yet SHE would sing total lyrics of songs in exact pitch and tone. When you would try and talk to her she would look curious at you as if she did not understand and when you sang your question to her, her response was amazing.
It was truly a natural god given talent that SHE had been born with and it was one that her oldest sister truly admired. It had been earlier that summer of 1955 that she was taken to the county fair by her favorite sister. She had secretly signed HER up to sing at the talent show that was being held. It had been sponsored by the local bread factory and there was to be a winning fee of $100 and her sister had a feeling that SHE just might be the winner of that showcase. The money would help her Mother and that made them both feel good to help out. There was absolutely no trepidation that SHE had when called up to sing a song for HER spot in the show. Being so small and the crowd so big did not make her nervous, but it did spark something within HER that would start the climb up to a place she never dreamed about.
SHE asked in the most childlike way if they knew her favorite song and the musicians agreed that they did and once they struck the first chord SHE stepped innocently up to the big microphone and let loose with a voice that completely silenced the large audience that stood watching. Not one flat note emerged and the sound and performance stunned everyone including the musicians. When SHE sang and held the last note, there was such applause that it frightened HER and SHE ran back to her sister's side. The ovation was overwhelming and she was picked instantly as the winner and given the prize money. The local papers snapped a lot of pictures and SHE was unfazed by the accolades being placed on HER at that moment. SHE sweetly asked if she could now buy some cotton candy and ride some of the attraction rides. It all went over her head and SHE then resumed her place in the crowd. They spent their time walking around while people stopped and wanted to ask them many questions but it all seemed bothersome to HER. SHE wanted to have a good time and be left alone with HER sister. To their Mother's happiness when they presented her with the winning prize money, she put together a celebration dinner and the day would end with a prayer that made her Mother realize a gift had been bestowed on her youngest child. SHE knew something had changed in her on that day yet SHE had no idea what that would be just yet. All that mattered at the moment was the time being shared with her family.
The next morning's newspaper cover story would spell out HER future and create an explosive energy that would fuel the rise to the top. THe last few months had been spent traveling back and forth to the station in wee hours of the morning. That long bus ride would get them back home just before it was time to be in school. As she opened the door, once again, to the station she hoped that there would more time to sleep when they returned back home. That was not to be on that morning, as a gift would arrive that would not be packaged with bright paper and a bow, it would be a very large gift that would completely change all their lives in just that one moment. Christmas came with much joy and happiness on that day, SHE would not be aware of just how to take it all in and which road would start the journey. SHE began to believe in angels that morning and knew for sure that SHE was being watched
over. It would always become her saving grace............from any fall.