The very first time I left home I had just moved to 1127 El Prado. My mom had told me I could not go out to play with my brand new friends until my room was picked up. I did not want to pick up my room....so I informed her that I was running away. She smiled sweetly and told me she would miss me. My brother cried and begged me to stay. I was not having any of it. I went to the closet where the suitcases were kept and got out a small one that would suit my needs. My mom asked me what i was doing and I informed her, "packing." She smiled and said, "not with that suitcase, it is mine....see the gold initials? You can use a paper sack." I snatched the sack and began to throw in some toys, clothes, and a banana. When I got to the door my mom kissed me on the forehead and told me to have a good time on my runaway. After I had passed through the door I heard the dead bolt click, the chain slide in, and the jalousies on the door window squeak to a close. I was ok....I sad on the stoop and thought about my plight. I then stomped down the walk to the street where I sat down and waited for something to happen. My dad was due home shortly and I decided I needed to return to the house because I was not allowed out after dark. I went back to the door, knocked, and waited patiently for someone to come and let me in. My mom opened the door and asked, "yes, can I help you?" I explained that I had thought about this adventure and would hold off on it til a day we were not having banana pudding for dessert. I never ran away again. I did leave....many more times. I left a year later to attend Belvedere Elementary School and returned at the end of the first day in love with school and dying to share all my adventures with my mom and brother. I left for junior high at Conniston and returned home excited again but also dealing with desegregation. I left again for Forest Hill High School and returned home excited yet again but also dealing with being a teenager....and believe me that was not easy. I eventually left for college. I was on my own for quite a while and loved it. I left to get married and moved very far away. I was 12 hours from my parents. I missed them tremendously When I was falling apart I would make a pilgrimage to West Palm and heal with the help of my mom. When I lost my first child I called her and cried and she cried softly with me and told me it would be ok. God would give me another and He did. One day in 1998 I called her and told her my marriage was over. I was devastated and expected her to berate me for giving up, after all marriage was "for better or worse...."....and I had failed. Once again I had left and my parents encircled me and helped me heal again. I ventured out and married again and after our second year together my parents came to live with us. My father was sick. They lived with us for five years before he died. By then my mom left me....she had Altzeimers and it would be an eighteen month process of watching my mom leave me. I laughed one day at her because she was constantly trying to run away from the nursing home she lived in. I would remember that day I left home....and smile through the tears. She died during my Spring Break in 2011. I was not here. I had gone by to see her before taking a much needed vacay. We were in Knoxville less than 24 hours when I got the call. One of us had left for the final time. I had seen her the day before we left...it was a good day....she knew me as me.....and told me she loved me. At first I was a little angry....because she was gone...and would not be coming back....but then one day I realized....she did not leave me. I see her in the passion for life my daughter has, I see her when I look at myself in the mirror, I feel her presence every single day that passes, and the funniest one...every now and then I hear her singing, You Are My Sunshine to me....and I know she is there.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.