The Garbage Man’s Daughter: Let Go of Shame

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The window to your soul is often said to be within your eyes. Davidic Kincaid takes the reader inside her mind, soul and her private world as we see the vividly depicted images as she relates them, experience the eye witness accounts of the hardships, defeats and difficulties this nine-year old child endured living and growing up in rural America in the 60’s.

Narrated by Davida herself, she recounts her feelings, memories of the day her life was swept away by a force equal to that of a tornado’s wrath, when living in Marshall Village became a mere blur and life on Cashmere Road a reality. Children need to live in a nurtured environment with loving parents setting a positive example But, Davida’s father is taken from her and her mother befriended another man whose primary attribute is getting drunk. Outspoken, straightforward and smart Davida lets the world know she won’t stand for Mr. Fred’s ways and speaks out letting everyone know, especially her mom, how she feels.

Imagine living with no water, no bathroom, no faucets or bathtub and without any of the conveniences we take fore granted? Why should any child have to adjust to living in worse than impoverished conditions? Few if any joys accept the love of her grandparents who provide some consistency, lessons in life and love for this amazing child. Stacking wood, washing clothes by hand, lighting a fire – what more does this child have to endure before the light at the end of the tunnel finally shines. Living in this community and learning to milk cows, gather eggs, farm chores and much more not only add to building her strong character but also makes her appreciative of anything that comes her way that is positive.

But, Davida has her sense of humor, her sassiness and her strong will to survive that allow her to never feel beaten and always rises up. I especially relate to her description of when everyone where she lives goes blackberry and mulberry picking which I loved doing with my grandmother growing up in the mountains during summer vacation. The delicious treats Davida describes are similar to the ones my grandmother made using blueberries and blackberries. How special that must have been!

Yet, as Davida confronts her mother about why her father left, and the author flashes back to the day her father left home, you see that life was not so different for her mom growing up leaving her wondering why she made the choice to deal with a man as unworthy as Fred. Added to that her mother relates a secret about her grandfather that no young child should hear and her image of what she thought her grandparents perfect life was is marred.

Take a picture of this family and the pieces would not fit together as they might in a perfect puzzle with no empty spaces. Two women, her mom and her grandmother, diametrically the same yet so different. One willing to accept faults and mistakes the other unforgiving. Secrets, truths, harsh realties related by our author Gloria Mitchell, as I continue my review of this riveting, heartbreaking, true to life, poignant, and masterfully crafted and told novel, “The Garbage Man’s Daughter.”

Davida created her own creed for marriage in her own mind. Resentful of her parent’s failures and breakup she promises herself that she would do better in life. Flashbacks of past events remind Davida and allow the reader to understand how her mother’s and her present life mirror each other in the wrong way. Watching her sisters leave the rural life she came to despise, Davida is more determined to rise above her station and not be left behind.

Educators can have a strong impact on young children. A simple nod, comment or smile makes all the difference in the world to a child like Davida. Mrs. Moss not only encouraged her in class but also provided the consistency, understanding and hope that she needed at only nine years old. As she states: Her parent’s separation did cause her to mature faster than most children her age.

Life took on a different turn and Davida learned of life’s more prevalent lessons. Visiting her Aunt and Uncle she asked to remain to take care of her elderly aunt. Step one in getting away from her harsh environment. Caring for her Aunt Lulu Belle, living in a beautiful home, making wonderful friends and using her own skills of enterprising to get the new coat, shoes and roller skates for Christmas she so rightly deserved and worked hard for, Davida is an true example of a young lady who would never stand down and definitely rise up.

But, after one year of tending to her Aunt’s needs the family doctor instructed them to get Lulu Belle’s son to care for her sending Davida right back where she started but not quite the same. Helping her sisters and brother learn how to care for themselves, helping her mother and standing out in school, this young lady only proves that where you live and your level in life is not who you really are as her teachers told her and encouraged her.

Curve balls are not just thrown in baseball games often life might throw some really difficult ones right at you when you least expect them. The author, through Davida, relates a child’s encounter with many family members who die, others who disappoint her and a mother comes face to face with the same challenges being afford her own child when her mother requires full time care after her father passes away. But, Davida picks up the brunt of it and with the help of her sisters and brother she once again proves that she can withstand another of life’s setbacks and not give up. Flashbacks of her childhood, her life in Marshall Village, the stories her father told her about growing up and the tragedies that he endured, did not allow her spirit to wane.

Life dealt Davida and her family some really tough hands. One young child who grew up too fast but never gave up on herself. Read this outstanding novel told through the eyes of a young child as you take a journey back in time and open your heart to Davida Kincaid, her sisters and brother see the world as she viewed it back during at time when life was not so great for one young child. Find out what does happen, where her family winds up and learn that life is filled with struggles, hope, defeats and challenges that might break your spirit and faith if you let them: But she did not!

Hope, survival, joys, secrets, lies and betrayals filled the life of Davida as told by our author. Without her father as a constant in her life, she became a second mother to her sisters and brother. Never knowing some of her siblings who were sent to live elsewhere, her father created his own life without her and his children in it.  Difficult for any child to comprehend no less live with in heart, spirit and soul.

Davida Kincaid is a true role model for children. Appreciating the small things she received, the few joys that she experienced and the hard lessons she learned made her stronger, wiser and able to become the outstanding educator, mother of two daughters, CPA, radio show talk host, divorce group facilitator and so much more. Read this outstanding novel. Hear the voice of this young child and never settle for less than what you want in life. One young daughter of a Garbage Man one young mind that never gave up on her goal: Rise Above and Succeed! She Did!

This is one book that everyone needs to read in order to understand that you can self-motivate yourself to succeed. That teachers do have a positive influence on their students as I know I did on mine. That a parent’s harsh words can do more damage than a belt or a strap and that love comes when you least expect it and from many different sources. Added to the book are some very thought provoking questions that everyone should answer and reflect on. These are thought provoking and mind stimulating questions that will help you understand dealing with hard times and develop a better perspective in general. Who are your friends who you will go to when you need to get rid of the garbage in your life?

Everyone has trash. It is where and how you discard it that makes all the difference in your life and how you continue on. Read this book and your faith and hope will grow too.

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