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     My name is David DeLane Snow.  I was born on July the 12, 1963 in Irving, Texas to Bob and Linda Snow.  By the time I came along my brother was already three years old. (The blurred memories and faded photographs and stories filled in my "black out years").  I remember Carmel covered apples, laying on my stomach watching Star Trek in color! The "wonderful" smell of Moth-balls always makes me recall my mother's mother as she used them for everything! Laughter and smiles. I remember tearing open a "Christmas gift" and trying to re-package the bright red fire truck without getting caught. I remember a lot of ear aches not getting attended to and being yell at for my crying.  Slaps as well; I became deaf in my right ear, (nerve damage it was said). I remember hearing the word “retarded” a lot and wondering what it was.
   However, my being the "love child" did not seem to last long in its enchantment for having 'just another mouth to feed' began to take its stressful toll on my mother.  Her depressions and loneliness lead her into drug use. Heroin became her addiction of choice, that later eroded to an affair.  (According to my Uncle Rick); Dad was dropped off by his father one day from work and came home to find Linda entertaining another man in their bed.  Losing it Dad beat the man so severely that he went to the hospital, and Dad had a stay over in the local jail. (A story I never personally heard recanted until after my father's passing).

   It was not very long after that episode that a divorce came through.  As the State did in those days my brother and I were awarded into our mother's custody.  (The vagueness of these events stem from the dust of years, age, embarrassment, and just wanting to forget things, and for the parties involved to just move on in life).  My Dad moved on with his life. Drinking for one.  Continuing her apparent downward spiral, Linda took my brother and I on her junkie-prostitutional journey with her; (as my brother remembers several details of our mother's "front seat companions").  Where and how things took their real turn continues to be a mystery but somehow life went on.  Linda dropped Tracy and I off at a daycare babysitter, and on the third day of not showing up family members were out-of-the-loop as well; or simply unable to step in and accept the burden of caring for us.  The State of Texas came in and CPS advanced us into the care of Buckner's Children's HOME. (As of this date I still have not found out the duration of our stay and records were not forth coming in my adult attempts to uncover them).   Either months or years it was long enough on our psychological development to seed some strong issues on my brother and I. But in time we were "rescued" from it to endure other childhood experiences.
   My dad move on with his life but the memory of his sons played on his mind continually so that by the time word reached him the wheels of how to retrieve us turned quickly.  In some bar swimming in a piety party Bob met Brenda Shepherd, a newly divorcee with her own daughter.  Sharing their stories Bob also told her "my cousin says the world is going to end in 1975 and I need to join Jehovah's Organization."
   To which Brenda replied, "Before that happens you need to get your boys back." After that smile they both got married in a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, and then headed to Buckner and argued over my brother and I. Linda was a mess as all she and Bob could do was scream and yell at one another with Brenda trying to play the calm one.  “If you take ‘em,” Linda said leaning toward the other woman, “take better care of ‘em than I did.”

   I recall a dark night leaving the bright lights of a gas station waking up in the front seat of the car.  The seven years old me looking up at Brenda and asking, “Are you my new mommy?”
   “If you want me to be,” came her smiling reply that it was alright to go back to sleep.

   I remember I use to love being a Jehovah’s Witness, bow tied and book bag in hand, playing the doorman at the Kingdom Hall and enjoying the Dramas at the Assemblies. I was special, an elite among men.  There was no loss of Christmas joy, nor any memories of the wickedly-Pagan Halloween; other than not answering the mysterious knockers who came to our door.  Yet as I grew up I always felt confused.  Every time I had just begun to understand what was being studied in the Watchtower, and proud that I was able to answer predetermined questions into the microphone as it was passed about; a few months later New Light changed things.  No matter how much I tried to grasp their deep theological concepts they kept sliding out of my hands.  I was never smart enough, I was told for Jehovah’s Light always gets brighter and brighter.  I recall growing up and being in the field Ministry doing the preaching work and having doors slammed in my face, dogs being set lose to chase us away, being sprayed with water instead of lawns.  I remember being sent to the principal’s office for not saluting the flag as an idol and over hearing one worker tell another teacher, “There’s that stupid kid again.”

   “Stupid,” “Retarded” wear on you after a while.  (Note to self: things to never tell a child.)  I failed first grade for these very reasons. I was always a failure at simple things that was why I was in class with other Special Needs Students.  Up, until I sixth grade everyone thought and called me “special,” (I never knew why), when I joined “normal kids” for the first time.  As it turned out I was not Developmentally Challenged after all just dyslectic, deaf in my right ear and needed to wear corrective lenses.  Did not help my early case that I came from a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic and bi-polar step mother or being raised in an overly controlling religious group either.

   Everyone in my family became baptized members of The Society.  I had always wanted to get baptized at the District Assembly, the same one as when the Dramas were done, like how cool would that have been?! Yet, as much as I loved The Truth, I always seemed to have had too many questions for the elders. Their forever-changing doctrinal New Light always reinforced the reasons for my low self-esteem issues as I was not smart enough to understand such things.  What hurt my growth of such spiritual matters was after rambling on excitedly so about something I learned directly from the Bible, my Dad said, “Son, even Jesus rested, can we give all the questions a break?” 

   With all the negativity that others seemed to look into my life I thought I lived in a thrilling time.  I had an old tree in our back yard that had a plank of wood nailed to some high branches and it was my “tree house”. I loved Star Trek and Planet of the Apes cartoons growing up.  Vietnam news playing in the background on TV only reinforced to us the “end of this wicked system of things” was just on the brink of sure fulfillment. Yet, when the year 1975 came and went without Armageddon our worldview changed.  My father became disillusioned and bitter against The Society as our family’s attendance began to fade, but my own faith in the Governing Body as the true mediator of my salvation never waned.  
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  1. I feel I have known you my entire life and you have grown into my second dad. You are incredible for all you have been through to still be you! I love you.

  2. *Sniff* *sniff* *blushing* Why thank you very much for the touching comments. I am the blessed one.