Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid: Michael Anderson’s Fight For Life

WE Didn’t Plan On This
The funeral is at Severna Community Church and Brother Elliot Freeman comes up to the podium. The faces, the looks of despair remind me of an old black and white silent film. Time seems to slide by in slow motion, but nothing will ever be the same. “Good afternoon, everyone: I will be presiding over this funeral, as we celebrate the life of Michael Anderson. I want to acknowledge his family who’s here: his mother Viola; his father Gerald; and his sister Stephanie. And I want to thank the friends and extended family members who came to this occasion. We are not celebrating the fact that he’s dead, but his life is a lesson for all, especially parents. And if I break down, please bear with me. It breaks my heart to see children die before their time. He had something to offer to this world, even though he’s no longer with us,” he took a deep breath, struggling to continue. I wondered how he could. “Through my interactions with Michael, he really wanted to get a message across to everyone who knew him and those he had yet to meet. I know there are some people here who know Jesus, and there are some who believe in Jesus but in actuality are very hostile to Jesus: you have zeal but it’s not according to knowledge. I hope y ou will be able to see Him as He really is during the course of this funeral, and I pray that you will understand what Michael was trying to get across, as well as consider what God is trying to say to you through Michael’s life. We are going to talk a lit tle bit about his life, and for some of you, it will come as a shock. I know some of you went to school with Michael, and it’s my understanding that you had a moment of silence for him.” Bro. Freeman was offered some tissue before he continued.


Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid: Michael Anderson’s Fight For Life

“I met Michael when he was about eleven years old. We’ve had private conversations about his home life. As I close my portion, I will allow a few people, the ones mentioned in his journal, to speak and give their condolences. The conversations began after we had a Sunday school lesson about forgiveness. He was a little troubled with that, especially when he was telling me that he was abused by a relative. As I mentioned, I will be highlighting certain areas of his journal due to time, because I believe there are some things that are very important to him, and I believe you will benefit and appreciate what Michael had to say about his life. I know that some of you didn’t plan on being here today, but I believe God brought you here for a reason.” His eyes seemed to bore into me as I sat intently listening.
“As I think about it, I’m surprised Michael didn’t get caught sneaking letters to me when he would come to Sunday school on Sundays. He tried to be as brief as he could with me, and if he could write longer without getting caught, he would. He knew that he was always monitored by his parents. And he also knew the philosophy of the household, ‘what goes on in the house, stays in the house.’ Somehow, and I believe God was intervening; he was able to get the letters to me whenever he could. So, I will be sharing with you highlights of his life. Now for some of you, this will be a shock, but I believe that this is going to set somebody free. Let us pray: ”

“Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray that you watch over everyone here. I pray that your Spirit will minister to these Your people. You know that Michael is not with us in the physical, but his spirit and legacy lives on. I pray Lord, that you enlighten the eyes of our understanding and that You be with me as I deliver the message You want conveyed to these your people. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”


Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid: Michael Anderson’s Fight For Life

August 11th, 1985

I love to read science fiction, and my favorite book right now is My Book of Bible Stories. The reason why it’s my favorite book is because it contains the story of Noah and the Ark. I love the idea of it raining for 40 days and 40 nights, and God had Noah, his family and the animals in the ark during that time. I wonder what life was like inside the ark. My counselor wanted me to write what I did starting today in a notebook to better my writing skills, because I was behind verbolly in school, and that this would improve my physical and mental health. I’m glad she didn’t tell my parents that I am to do this. There is no privacy in this house. Nothing is to embarrass my mother. Later on today, my father, uncle and I were playing football with some other kids in the neighborhood until the street lights came on. It was so much fun!
August 12th, 1985

This is the day that Uncle Woody put his hands and parts of his body in and on the lower parts of my body. I was reading my Bible book, minding my own business, when this happened. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. In fact, I thought it was natural ; so I let him proceed for about fifteen minutes. He was enjoying it more than I was. Uncle Woody turned twenty-seven yesterday. Why is he doing this to me? I wonder, but I don’t say anything, because he’s good at punching me like I’m his punching bag. I don’t know if it is a means to toughen me up. If anything, it made me more afraid. I still hate him. My mother tells me to go over to his house when I get out of school, but my sister stays home with my Mom. It’s not fair that I have to go over to my Uncle’s, since my sister and I are only a year apart when I really hate him, but I know not to get smart with my mother.

Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid: Michael Anderson’s Fight For Life

Whippings & Wounds
August 15th, 1985

My mother came to me later that morning and said to go over to Uncle Woody’s house. I can imagine she saw a look of disgust on my face, and she said to not come back ‘till dinner time. Dinnertime?!! She must be crazy! This time my Uncle did something to me. Normally, when I go to his house, he lets me drink what I want. As soon as I went into his house, I went immediately towards the refrigerator. But when I grabbed a soda, he wants me to drink out of this cup, and then proceeds to pull my pants down and rape me. I was out of the house for about four hours, because I left an hour later to go home for dinner. I didn’t say a word, and my mothe r asked me if I took a nap. I said yes and didn’t say anything else. It was a struggle trying to take a bath without falling asleep, but I didn’t want to give my mother a chance to question my mood. I don’t understand her. My Uncle lies to my mother, and she accepts it. When I lie, she spanks me with that wide belt. When it comes to believing a story, she always believes Uncle Woody – and I know in my heart, he’s lying. I still hate him!
August 18th, 1985

As usual, I’m back at Uncle Woody’s house. He thr eatened me with a knife to take off my clothes. I screamed for him not to hurt me, but he cuts me around my ankle. He laughed while he said, “You can’t run. I’ve got your mom wrapped around my finger. She will never believe you. Now get over here, and take your clothes off; so I can get my piece.” It’s hard for me to escape with knife wounds on my lower legs and ankles. Uncle Woody took me to the hospital and said to my mother that I was playing with knives. When my mother and I got in the car, she yelled at me, cursing all the while. “Why were you playing with knives? Didn’t I tell you not to play with knives?” I said ,

Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid: Michael Anderson’s Fight For Life

“Uncle Woody stabbed me in my legs.” My mother said, “I spoke with him just a moment ago; you were playing with knives.” Why did I even say anything? She was going to believe whatever she wanted to hear. I gained enough courage to tell her so, and fired back, “You’re going to believe him, right?” She quickly responded, “Of course I am, and get prepared for another whipping. I told you about your lying; yep, I am going to beat the hell out of you.” Here I’m getting whipped for not submitting to Uncle Woody’s demands; why am I even here? I try so hard not to cry in the car, because I know that Viola is looking for another reason to whip me. My sister, Stephanie just sits quietly, trying so hard not to laugh at me. She smirks, but I ignore her. I got my beating once I got home. So, not only do I have bandages on my ankles, I have marks from the belt after the beating by my mother. I’m starting to hate her! It’s not fair being whipped by my uncle and my parents in the same day!