Growing Up Alone

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5.00 · 1 ratings · Published: Dec 24th, 2018 {{ book.ratingTitle }}
You couldn’t say Johanna was raised by her mother, she lived in the same house, but did more of the providing than her mother did when she had a bottle to keep her distracted. A bottle and male friends is the most Johanna remembered about her mother. That and being so hungry that she willingly cleaned spittoons at the local saloon for a few coins each week.
When her mother was sober, she taught her daughter the basics. She could read and write, plant a garden, and even harvest vegetables but when she was lost in the alcohol, Johanna was on her own. The girl hoped to keep her mother away from the booze until after the baby was born wondering at times if there would have been more children in the family had she not reverted to drinking again.
The child was born early. He was tiny and appeared dead until Johanna was told to take him out back and bury him. The apparently lifeless infant started to squirm when Johanna wiped his face. She knew instantly that if he were to survive, she would have to take him and leave or they would both be sent to the nearest orphan home as promised by her mother.
At thirteen, Johanna didn’t know anything about babies, but she knew Adam would be dead if she didn’t do something. With a goat for milk, a few diapers from the pastor’s wife, and what little she had to start with, Johanna began her journey south where the winters were milder.
Stopping at churches along the way, Johanna relied on the charity she found from the women to help her with additional food or baby clothing. The words from her little white Bible and the messages from the Sunday sermons began to nurture the seed of faith planted along the way. Johanna was almost seventeen when she and three year old Adam set up a camp on the banks of the river in Cosgrove, Missouri.
Young men were not interested in a young woman and child which was okay with Johanna. She saw the way men treated her mother and didn’t want anything to do with them. Then along came Brogan.

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