Looking Back on 89 Years

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Bob and I at his 90th birthday party last October!

 

My birthday is later this month and I will be 89 years old. Since I first published my book THE DIRTY DAYS two years ago, many have asked me if I would go back and change anything about my life if I could. My answer is usually well, yes–but then again, maybe not. So many of the events that changed my life forever were never under my control. I was born the oldest child of a tenant farmer during one of the most difficult times in our country’s history. A great depression, the dust bowl, and then WWII. All of these events had a profound effect on who I was and would become.

As a result of our hard times, I learned the importance of friends and family (on whom we often relied), the necessity for resilience and tenacity (giving up was not an option), the need for charity and faith (someday things were going to get better–they just had to). My daddy and mother taught me integrity, the value of hard work, frugality, and pull-togetherness.

Do I wish my little baby sister had not died, causing my daddy to weep behind the house so no one would see him; or my mother seemingly lost and inconsolable over a tragic death that could have been prevented had we had the money to seek the best medical help possible? Do I wish I could have had store-bought dresses to wear and bakery-bread sandwiches to eat? Do I wish I could have had enough to eat–so often I went to bed hungry, yet never told my folks. Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

What I did have was a close-knit family that worked together, played together, grieved together, and stayed together. There’s no question I grew up with more hardship than I’m fond of remembering, but I also grew up in a house filled with love, courage, and hope. Would I ever want to change that–of course not!

Just some observations from a woman who has lived 89 years–and I’m looking forward to stacking up my 9th decade!

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2 thoughts on “Looking Back on 89 Years

    Trish Lewis Powell said:
    July 10, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Your experiences enrich us all and I am so grateful that you share them! Happy Birthday to you both, Aunt Norma!

    Heather said:
    September 8, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Hi,
    I just thought I’d say I love your stories – I’ve always liked listening to the stories of older people and what things were like and how people lived.
    I’m from Australia, but the stories my step-father tells about growing up on a sheep farm and travelling have some of that same quality that yours do.
    Thanks for sharing your stories,

    Heather

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