My father abandoned us in a New Mexico trailer park in 1965.  I was still in diapers and my little sister, Lucinda, was just a new born.  My mother was only 17, had two small kids, no education, no job, and no husband.  Naturally, his name was Ray.  Growing up without him, I’d always heard he was no good.  My mother’s family despised him.  So afraid of the man were the grownups, that I was trained at an early age to beware kidnappings and was regularly coached to recite my address and telephone number should anything untoward ever happen.

Through some strange and abrupt arrangement, I went to visit my father for the first time when I was about 10.  My mother, my sister, and I met him at the White Castle hamburger joint on Vincennes in New Albany, Indiana, the next town over from Jeffersonville, where we lived in an alley apartment owned by my great grandfather.  As a young boy, I longed to call a man, Daddy, and for him to call me, Son.  I was desperate for a father to raise me and couldn’t wait to meet him, hoping against hope that he’d give us a second chance.  I fantasized that he would instantly realize how wrong he had been and that he would fall in love with me and return to us again to make our family whole.  I learned that he had since remarried and divorced a second time.  The second marriage produced another son, Dax, with whom my father was very close.  Competition.  Worried about this, I extracted from my father a promise that he would never leave me again.  He gave me a special telephone number that I could call 24-7, and he would come to me.  I memorized it and carried it around in my pocket for 3 days.  He was due back for a visit to celebrate my 10th birthday on the third day.  It was April 15, 1973.

Dax was just 3 when I met him that day.  My father brought him to my birthday party.  He was a cute fella, and Lucinda (by then 9) and I were playing with little Dax in the side yard of our alley apartment when a small car screeched to a halt at the head of the alley.  The sun had long set.  A woman jumped out of the car, grabbed Dax, and sped away.  In a cold panic, I ran back into our one-room apartment to tell my father that Dax had been taken.  He leapt from the chair where he had been chatting with my mother, rushed past me, and nearly ripped the screen door off its hinges as he exploded out into the alley.  In a moment, he was gone.  It wasn’t until the next morning that something began to nag at me.  I ran to the phone and called my special number.  My father was not in.  I called every few minutes.  Nothing.  As day turned into night, I became hysterical.  My mother tried to tell me that he never loved me and that he was never coming back for me.  I could not be comforted.  Funny how vivid are some memories.  I can hardly remember the birth of my son.  But that day, I will never forget.  I wrote about it a couple of years ago, and for anyone who cares, these were my thoughts.  It’s called Doom.

Doom approaches me,

Slowly, tentatively,

Dancing a little dance.

Now, deliberately,

Mocking and scoffing at me.

I have no chance.

It hurts so bad,

Though I wrestle and plead,

Cannot move from its path.

It bears down and

Completely encompasses me,

It grins and it laughs.

Desperation, resignation.

Inevitable desolation.

Will I ever love again?

Doom now familiar,

It lingers, it chides,

We’ve become old friends.

I hide all the scars,

But my lover can see,

A good man I’ll never be.

No one can love me

Just not worth that much.

If I was, he’d never have left me.

I press on in the hope,

Someday someone will,

Can anyone ever love me? But still,

I can’t cope,

I don’t have the will,

This heart, who can fill?

Then, another took his place,

I lean on his breast

He’s given me rest.

He holds nothing back,

He forgives me and loves me,

To Him I confess.

He destroyed the darkness.

He shone His light.

He ended my long, dark, lonely night.

I love Him, long for Him.

He’s given me peace.

My future in Him is bright.

Doom stares at me,

Curiously asking of me,

This gift, was it free?

I laugh and I shrug,

What else could it be?

Lost one, got Three.

I lack nothing.

Salvation is sure.

A daughter, a son, a wife.

Father, Son, Holy Spirit,

Making my heart pure,

And giving me new life.

Doom is fading and weakening now,

Struggling for breath.

When it comes for him,

Doom is begging and pleading now,

Fighting against death.

No way he can win.

I tap my toe,

And dance a little dance,

Upon His tomb.

Here lies a foe,

A menace,

Whose name was Doom.

Like it? Don’t like it? Leave me a comment!

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10 comments on “Doom

  1. Please tell more?

  2. You need to write an auto-biography. You can tell the story and make a reader feel as though they were there with you when it all un-folded! Write more No-Ray you have so much to tell…A MARVELOUS TESTIMONY as well!!

  3. Just when I think I have a glimpse of who the man, Noel Vincent, is, I read something like this and quite literally, a whole new chapter is revealed with entire new facets to explore. I am intrigued, challenged and honored to know you, Noel, and be considered an acquaintance. Moreover, I am cognizant and humbled by our mutual association with the Creator of the Universe from whom you get this character and testimony. To Him be the glory!

    • Jeff, my brother, you are far more than an acquaintance. You are one of my closest and trusted friends. We go way back. I am grateful for your presence in my life! You are among the finest men I know. Proud to be your friend.

  4. As I read this and remembering all of the pain that was attached to these memories, my heart bled tears again for you, your sister and me… and I thank God for the love he gave us that brought us out of the darkness into the light. Son, I am so sorry for the pain you suffered as a little boy. I love you so much and admire the man you have become.
    Your Mom

    • Mom, those days are gone. What a joy it is to me to know that you have given your heart to Christ and that we have a future laid up for us in Heaven, where there will be no more tears and no more pain. I love you! Noel

  5. As I sit here with the goosebumps still dancing on my skin, WOW is all I can say. I was thinking of Dax earlier today. You had just left the office and I suddenly remembered I was going to ask about him. When he first came on board and had called, I asked him about his name, it IS pretty cool. Now, reading this story, I see that the happy ending of the story has continued because I know the two of you work together.

    To now look at where you came from and where you have been, from these brief little glimpses into your life, it just reinforces my initial sense about you and then for your brother. There is a deep and genuine kindness and strength in you both.

    Should you ever decide to retire, do all of us a favor, write. Write a book with all of your stories, or write a book using all the wonderfully interesting people and places you have experienced and wrap it up in a mystery that needs to be solved; or needs to never be solved. I’d read it!

    • Thank you, Barbara! I will keep writing the book here, on the pages of my blog. Maybe one day I’ll organize it and expand it into something more. I love the idea of wrapping it into a mystery. We’ll see if the Lord leads. Blessings to you!! Noel

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