For years a pastor friend of mine told me I needed to write a book about my life. I’d been through so many things throughout my life, things which were often funny, surprising, painful, joyful, and filled with lessons learned. My husband and I always have a story to tell. I said I would write the book if ever I found out what the point of the story was. It’s been over 30 years since he told me the first time. I’ve tried to figure out what the point was, the moral to my story, if you will. I still don’t really know. However, the drive to write has been strong for the last few years and I’ve decided it’s time to just start.
My own life story began when I was born on my mother’s 18th birthday and two days after my dad’s 21st birthday. Four years later, my mother was pregnant and divorced. Life dramatically changed. As the first grandchild on both sides of the family, I was always treated as a princess and the apple of my grandfather’s eye. I still remember sitting in the washtub on the back porch when my tall and lanky grandpa came in from the fields, head brushing against the ceiling of the porch as he was so tall and would smile such a huge, loving smile. I knew I was loved unconditionally.
Sometime that year, he suddenly passed away. My Momo Jessie and I (as well as the rest of the family) were devastated. For whatever reason, that summer I stayed with my grandma. At night, I slept in her soft, feather-down bed, piled high with homemade quilts and snuggled into the warmth of those blankets and her love. Every morning I would wake up to her homemade buttermilk biscuits with Eagle Brand syrup, homemade savory sausage and bacon fresh from a neighbor’s farm, fluffy scrambled eggs from the chickens in the yard and strong coffee brewed on the stove with lots of cream and sugar which she called ‘white coffee.’ It was so scrumptious, I’d practically wake up drooling.
One morning, when we awoke, she was still in bed and told me how she had a dream of grandpa in heaven. He was very happy and told her he loved her so much and couldn’t wait for her to join him. It was that day I decided I too wanted to go to this wonderful place where my grandpa was. This Jesus who loved us so much and who grandma and grandpa loved so much was someone I would love and have in my life as well. It was at four years old that I gave my life to Christ.
Two years later, Mama met a wonderful man who had three kids of his own. Mama was now 24 years old, remarried and had five children under the age of 6. My brother and I now had three more siblings. Mama did her best to blend the family and did a fine job of it. I grew up with a huge family of two moms, two dads, multiple grandparents, aunts and uncles and so many cousins I couldn’t count. When my step sister (three months older than me) and I graduated from eighth grade, our graduation party was so big we needed two full sheet cakes and had the picnic outdoors since we couldn’t fit all the family in the house.
Throughout my years growing up, the themes that ran consistent in my home were: FAITH in Christ, FAMILY, FOOD, FRIENDS, FUN, FINANCES and FUTURE. These continue to be important in my life and hopefully, I’ve been successful in passing down those values to my own five children. My role models have primarily been my Grandma Jessie, My mom (now with the Lord), aunts, teachers, friends throughout the years and the Proverbs 31 woman.
One of my passions has been cooking. I think I got that from watching Grandma Jessie cook, or maybe it was how the family all came together during the meal process-cooking, eating, and cleaning up afterwards. By the way, the picture on the front page is her home. This was the one place in the whole world where I always felt loved, accepted, adored, relaxed and free to be myself. Even as a young grade-schooler, my favorite past-time was to sit out on that old porch swing, drinking some sweet tea, listening to the old country and western songs on the radio propped in the windowsill and the locust in the trees while shelling buckets of black-eyed peas for Momo.
Throughout this blog, I’ll be striving to pass those values on to you. I want you to learn from the experiences in my life. If telling my stories will draw you closer to the Lord, help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made, give you a laugh or smile, it will all be worth it.
I’m just learning to blog, so it will be an experience for us both. Hopefully I will be able to categorize the posts into chapters of sorts with the above titles so you can look for those posts easier. Feel free to comment or share along the way. I’d love if this becomes a community of family and friends. My main request from you is to please follow Momo’s rule to “live right and do right” by being nice in your comments (no critical or attacking comments, and no soliciting, thank you). Well, here goes…