My sister and I, (I am on the left in the photo) each had a doll. My doll was named Jill and her doll was named Janie. It wasn’t just my imagination that her doll was much prettier than mine. Her doll had beautiful skin and looked much more real. She did not like for me to touch Janie.
When the school year of 1947 arrived, she went off to school and Janie and I were left at home to spend hours – together.
I was barely four years of age when school started in ’47. We had a red wagon. I could pull Janie in the red wagon and have as much fun as I pleased. This is just what I did until one day I carelessly left Janie in the wagon and went inside. The rain came…
Dolls in the 40’s were still made of Bisque Porcelain or a composition material similar to porcelain. Plastic had not arrived in the doll manufacturing world. Janie must have been a composition doll. When I remembered that Janie was outside in the wagon, all wet, it was too late. Her face was puffy and I knew that I was in deep ‘dodo’, although that phrase had not been coined at the time.
I did the only two things I could think to do. I wrapped Janie in a towel and placed her on the bed and I prayed. I prayed that God would return Janie’s face to normal. I am not sure that I had a lot of faith. Maybe faith like a mustard seed.
How long Janie lay wrapped in a towel I do not remember. I do remember that it was almost time for the yellow bus to arrive and with it the moment of reckoning when with trembling fingers I unwrapped Janie from the towel that covered her hideous face. Had I known the Alleluia chorus I think I would have sung it in my untrained four-year old voice for there before me was a perfect face. No one could have ever told by looking at Janie that she had weathered the storm.
I like to think that Jesus smiled with me that day.