Thursday, January 15, 2009


She has seven brothers and sisters, spread out over Louisiana and Texas. She is a widow and has been for a long time. She visits her husband's grave but says she's afraid of the scarecrow there. She has framed photos of her family all over her walls from floor to ceiling. Photos of weddings, graduations, dances, birthdays, school days. Photos tucked into the frames of other photos. She birthed one son, adopted one daughter and provided foster care for over 20 other children.

She tells me, But you are my baby.

She taught me how to braid. She loves to talk and she'll tell you stories about anything you want to hear that she knows, but God and family are closest to her heart. She laughs often and smiles regularly. She wakes every morning at 3:00 to pray the rosary. In the 1960s, at the advice of my maternal Grandmother, she saved seventy-five cents a day until she had $300.00 to put down on a house, for which she paid off the mortgage in 16 years. She carries a picture of my Grandmother in her bible, and the obituaries of my father and my mother. She's tired, her health isn't very good. She takes a breath in the middle of one of her stories, says I've had a hard life, I suppose, but God has also been real good to me. And she chuckles.

She is a constant inspiration to me and has brought joy to me in one form or another since I was two years of age.

November 16 2008 003


ghost said...

she's beautiful.

maxngabbie said...

Another fiber of your fabric, thanks for sharing. Yes indeed, she is beautiful.

Duly Inspired said...

Ghost - She is indeed.
MnG - I hadn't thought of it that way but Jessie is definitely a fiber of my fabric; and me, hers.

Soulful said...

Thank you for sharing her with us.

CreekHiker said...

What a warm and wonderful portrait!

Velvet Sacks said...

Her smile and your portraits of her (the one you snapped with your camera and the one you painted with words) spread her sunshine to the rest of us. Thank you for introducing us to Jessie.