A little girl is born – 1968

I was born on a cold, rainy Friday in February 1968 in a hospital in the city. My mother’s face in the picture of her holding me for the first time shows she wasn’t happy and wasn’t sure what to do next as she stared down at me. I’ve never seen pictures of my father holding me. Not even sure if one exists. But that picture of my mother holding me is the first glimpse into the life of a baby girl with an uncertain future.

My parents took me home to the small apartment in the small town they lived in. I’m not sure how life was at first but I have been told that when I was three weeks old I had started to cry. As I continued to cry my father’s frustration built to an explosive level and he started hitting me to try to “shut me up”. As he hit me, I began to cry even harder. My mother gathered some of my things, called a cab and took me to her parent’s house. I was told by my grandparents that I lived with them until I was 5 years old.

I don’t remember a whole lot from those really early years. I do, however have a memory of standing in front of the television when they showed Neil Armstrong bouncing along the moon’s surface in 1969. I remember seeing that and slapping the television screen as I giggled. Not sure how I remember that but it has been a lasting memory for years and years.

I do have many fond memories of times living with my grandparents. They had to be from the time I was four years old and up. Mawmaw would always be up early making breakfast for my Pawpaw and my uncle before they headed to the sawmill to work. Homemade biscuits and gravy with bacon, fresh eggs, toast and sausage with a glass of ice cold milk. While everyone was thoroughly enjoying that home cooked breakfast, Mawmaw would make lunches for Pawpaw and my uncle to take with them. Once they headed out of the door to work, I would help Mawmaw clear the table. As I sit here and reflect back on that time, I can’t help but miss my grandparents. They were the only stable thing in my life early on. I thank God for them!

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