Peace Family one of the joys of holidays is going through old photos and remembering.
Once you stop laughing at this one, I will tell you it’s my 2nd Grade picture. I was 8 years old. It wasn’t pretty…I was losing baby teeth, forgot my socks that day and my mom pulled my hair back in a ponytail instead of rolling it. I was skinny but an athletic tomboy who was determined to do well in school, because I had a rough home life. My father had abandoned my family when I was 4, and my mother went on to marry 5 times looking for love. My sister, brother and I just felt in the way.
This could have been a tragic story but something amazing happened. My maternal grandmother took me under her wing. She was a strong Christian woman who saw a bit of herself in me. She had been the captain of the basketball team in high school and head cheerleader and she saw athletic and social potential in me and nurtured that. She knew I was lost as a middle child often is, and she wanted to fill in the gap. She began attending all my sports games and choir concerts and was an excellent role model of what a nurturing, strong woman should be.
Years later I would have a counselor tell me that my grandmother saved my life. She believed in me and gave me confidence. She taught me to love Jesus. And she was a career woman all through the 1950s, 60s and 70s, which was rare at the time. She and my grandfather were married 52 years and were a great example of staying with something even when it gets hard. If there’s any good in me it is because of Dessie Mae and Jesus. I am ever so grateful. She died in 1994 but I wear her wedding ring every day on my right hand and think of her. Especially during the holidays.
So don’t be afraid to get out those old pictures and remember the past and where you came from. And build these kind of memories in your kids and families and stand in the gap when you see a need. It can change a life!
By the way, I’m the one on the second row, first on the left. With one front tooth. Stop laughing! 🙂