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.