I grew up in a small country town called Brundidge. It is a very small town in Alabama. I hated when my parents decided to leave Mobile to be in the country. I can remember Brundidge so vividly. My mother inherited about 148 acres of land from my great grandfather. Closing my eyes, I can still see the trees, fields and bales of hay as if I were there now. I can remember as a child thinking, I am going to hate this place.
Little did I know, I would love Brundidge or as my siblings and I called it “the country”. Reminiscing on what my father taught us, my siblings and I have become very independent. As a young girl, my father taught me how to drive tractors, how to plow the fields, plant vegetables and the list goes on. He instilled in us the values of being able to do for ourselves. He would always so “Ginna, never be in a situation where you can’t do for yourself”. That stuck with me. I loved Brundidge but when I was old enough to leave, I did just that. I wanted to be young, on my own and independent. I moved to Huntsville, AL at age 19. “I’m free” is what I thought, until I started missing home. I missed the peacefulness of the country woods. The sound of the crickets chirping at night and the birds singing in the morning. I missed to cows mooing when we walked pass them. I even missed the sound of the tractors starting up, getting ready to work.
My father became ill and I had the opportunity to move back to Brundidge. I jumped at the idea because being independent at a young age is not so fun. Now, instead of being Independent, I am dependent. Although dependent, I still had the thought of doing for myself, like my father always told me. My father was very independent until he had a massive stroke in 1995. The stroke left him paralyzed on his left side but able to walk with a four prone cane. He became dependent on my mother and me. Eventually, I had to put my life and career on hold because my father needed me. It’s hard to see someone you love, your hero, and the person who taught you to be independent, dependent. My mother and I worked hard with rehab for my dad as well as being his personal nurse. Independent, but not independent. Meaning, I was independent to a certain extent because I lived with my parents. We depended on one another. January 26, 09, I lost my father to a massive heart attack. It was so quick, like in the blink of an eye, he was gone. I was a daddy’s little girl, although there were three girls. Up until his death, he was still teaching me the values of doing for myself. He didn’t want me to have to depend on others when I was in a fix. He taught me how to do things that some men can’t do, like changing the oil in my car or simply cutting the grass. Until his death, I would always say “Thank you and I love you” before I left the house and when I came back. I am Independent. This I Believe.
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