Choosing Sides

A situation with Floyd during the 2017 Basketball Finals made me think of repentance.  Repentance means to turn from sin and turn to righteousness.  Floyd was sitting in his favorite stuffed chair, with snacks on the table, waiting for Game 5 of the NBA Read more

What is the Reason for the Season?

As a child, only once, did I question the honesty and integrity of my maternal Grandma. Even then, when I reflected on all the facts, Grandma was absolved. I remember the incident as clear as if it were this morning. I was playing in the front room (living room) and our German neighbor, Mrs. Raymond, came up on the enclosed Read more

Faith Means Action

The six weeks between June 22nd and July 30th 2013 were loaded with change, chaos, miracles, and a lot of stepping out in faith. For two years, Floyd and I had been hoping and praying that Yehovah would make a way for us to move from Alabama to be near Charlotte, NC. We wanted to be a part of the Read more

Pet Enticed into the Arms of a Neighbor?

In the fall of 1995, Floyd and I (before children) purchased a home on 5 acres in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The house needed cosmetic work: vinyl siding and repairs to the upper porch. Early one morning, a construction worker found two abandoned kittens on the road and brought them to me. I immediately took them in and gave them food Read more

Secrets in the Buffet Drawer

My father's mother, Grandma Berry, as we called her, was born in 1909. Grandma was divorced when my dad was about five and later married Gerald Berry. He was a kind, easy going man that worked at one of the Ford plants in Detroit. I remember his metal lunch pail. It was black on the outside and shiny metal gray on Read more

Who had the greater FEAR? Me or my children?

In every parent's life you come to the point of deciding when to take your children to funerals. Sometimes this decision is made for you if the deceased person is a close relative and the child needs to go in order to have closure. Sometimes the choice to take the child to the funeral is optional; the deceased is not Read more

Family Life

Secrets in the Buffet Drawer

Grandma Berry and Jerry (right) with friends late 1940's or early 50's.

Grandma Berry and Jerry (right) with friends late 1940’s or early 50’s.

My father’s mother, Grandma Berry, as we called her, was born in 1909. Grandma was divorced when my dad was about five and later married Gerald Berry. He was a kind, easy going man that worked at one of the Ford plants in Detroit. I remember his metal lunch pail. It was black on the outside and shiny metal gray on the inside.lunch box Many men had that same lunch pail. Jerry, as we called him, died in 1960. Grandma was a widow for 34 years before she died in 1994.  Grandma never considered remarrying.  In the early 90’s, she told me an elderly religious gentleman, that had recently become a widower, asked her to marry him.  She become so anxious at the thought that the only thing she could think to say and not hurt his feelings was, “Oh, no.  I couldn’t marry.  I’m married to Jesus!”  The gentleman understood and did not pursue the matter any further. Read more

Posted on by Shar in Family Life, Marriage, secrets 2 Comments

The First Argument of Our Marriage

Floyd is an easy going guy. We have known each other since we were 5 or 6 years of age. I had NEVER seen him angry at me or anyone else. He might have gotten a little agitated with someone, but nothing more than that was witnessed by me. Floyd had such a wonderful character that my Mom and Dad would take his side before they had even heard my side of the story.

Shar is the girl watching her Grandfather escort her Aunt in the marriage to Floyd's Uncle.

Shar is the girl watching her Grandfather escort her Aunt in the marriage to Floyd’s Uncle.

We lived on the West Side of Detroit in a four family flat. My Mother and Father owned the building and rented us the upstairs flat across from theirs. Two other families were renting the two flats downstairs.

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Floyd (right) and his best friend in our neighborhood in Detroit.

About two months into our marriage, early one morning, Floyd and I were having an argument and I said something in a domineering tone. Floyd stopped in his tracks and looked me square in the eyes and said,

“You don’t talk to me that way! I’m your husband!”

His tone and seriousness shocked me. I started to cry. I mean boo-hoo-hoo, wailing crying. I am a bit dramatic, so I ran out of our flat and into my Mom and Dad’s apartment which was across the hall. Read more

Posted on by Shar in Family Life, Marriage, Mistakes, uncategorized 12 Comments

The Saga of Trying to Have Children–Part 3 of 3

Read The Saga of Trying to Have Children – Part 2 of 3 here

Aunt Mamie (Southerners pronounce it Ain’t Mamie.) hustled the four of us into Uncle Richard’s car and we headed down in the country. Now, I already thought we were in the country. We went down some dirt roads and stopped in front of a dilapidated house that was leaning at least 60 degrees to the right. For non-mathematicians, it was worst than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was nearly covered with brush, vines and kudzu. I sighed heavily at the thought of going into that house, but I had kinfolk in there and my curiosity was overwhelming. Besides that, Aunt Mamie was on a mission and she would have pulled me in there at my least hesitation.

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Aunt Mamie

Inside was Rev Sam (short for Samuel; he was a former preacher) and his wife, Betty Mae. They both were 90 something. Rev Sam was dressed in an insulated hunting outfit that went from his neck to his ankles and he had on long johns underneath. He was sitting in front of a kerosene heater that was on full blast, talking to his 70’s something brother. I was about to pass out from the heat because the temperature outside was at least 95 degrees. Betty Mae had Alzheimer’s and was sitting in the kitchen while a neighbor was combing her hair.

This is my cousin with Betty Mae in 2005; she’s 103 or 104. She lived in the Greene County, AL Nursing Home. Rev Sam had died some years earlier.

When we left, Aunt Mamie started in on me.  “That’s what happens when you don’t have children to take care of you. Rev Sam’s brother is the one who comes to make sure they have food and he’s old himself. You better have some kids, or you’ll end up the same way!”

I was too stunned and respectful of Aunt Mamie to start explaining the reasons why I didn’t have children. I just agreed and said I’d better get some kids soon.

When I returned to Floyd in Detroit, I remember sitting on his knee, crying and stressing out about how we were going to end up like Rev Sam and Betty Mae.  Floyd, the poor man, couldn’t do anymore than he was already doing. And I know he was probably making a mental note, “Last time she’s going to visit those crazy relatives!”

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Shar and Floyd.

Well, miracles of miracles, I got pregnant the next month.

After six weeks of elation and lots of doctor ordered bed rest, I miscarried at 10 weeks. That was the last time I got pregnant.

A year or so later, my Mom and I went to visit some elderly friends, Edgar and Emma. I hadn’t seen them in years. We were all sitting around the kitchen nook and Edgar started with the questions.

Family friend, Edgar

You married?”

Who did you marry?”

How many children do you have?”

No children!! What’s the matter?!! He can’t pitch, or you can’t catch?”

I laughed, and in a flash I answered, “He pitched, I caught it, but I couldn’t hold on to it!”

We all laughed!!

Looking back on the highs and lows of our journey, I am so grateful to have had the experience of pregnancy. I wanted so much to feel the unique blessing of a woman to carry life inside of me.

Some years later, Floyd and I adopted two children. In 1989, Joel, at 5½ months old, became a part of our family. We brought Ruth home from the hospital at 10 days old in 1999. 

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Ruth and Joel!

I love my children and our family is whole.

 

Mama, Aunt Mamie and Ruth in 2006.

 

 

 

 What was your favorite part of this story?

Shar

 

“Is she your real daughter?” they asked me. “Real?” I questioned. “What do you mean real? She is a child not born of my flesh, that’s true. But she is a child truly born within my heart….within my soul. Yes, she is real.” An adoptive mother

Posted on by Shar in Children, Marriage 5 Comments