For the Love of Family
Love, commitment, and sacrifice kept my family together. Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” reminded me of this as I read how her sincere selfless devotion and perseverance overcame all obstacles she came across. Just as Phoenix Jackson in the “Worn Path” sacrificed her time, health and even a precious acquired nickel (243) for the love and care of her grandson, my Aunt Mae Nell and Uncle Chuck sacrificed their home, lifestyle and finances to become the full time guardians of my siblings and me. My three siblings and I were known in the area as “the Carter kids”. I was eight years old when we lost our parents. My older sister, Princess, was nine and was my hero, tutor and protector. Together we attempted to care for our younger sister, Phella, who was five, and our baby brother, Pyron, who was four. After losing our parents, we had been living in various temporary homes (both together and apart) where we had become sickly, malnourished and extremely rowdy and undisciplined. We were not very desirable kids for fostering or adoption and our chances of being able to stay together were miserably slim. One very memorable day, our case worker from Grady County Family Children Services told us we had a home waiting for us where we would all be able to stay together with other members of our extended family. I was very excited to hear the news and could hardly wait to get to our new home and be together again as a family. Our new home was to be with our Aunt Mae Nell and Uncle Chuck. They owned a small independent dairy farm and had five kids of their own ranging from ages eight to eighteen. The two oldest from my Uncle’s previous marriage went to live with their mother after a few weeks due to the lack of space in the small three bedroom house. So many people made a contribution to assist us in adapting to a new way of life. Everyone, blood related or not, recognized that extreme sacrifice must be made for four young children in need of...
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