By Carol Prewitt
I recently spent some time talking with Bill Strong and, of course, old times came into the conversation.
He spoke of his mother, Martha, who had been born in Breathitt County during the Depression years.
At that time, many families had a hard time making enough just to keep food on the table. With no way to support their families, many had to make the hard decision to place their children in the local orphanage until times got better.
That is where Martha and her siblings ended up. What a heart-wrenching decision that must have been.
She came to Madison County, married, raised a family and worked at Westinghouse in Richmond until retirement.
One of Bill’s favorite memories is going by his mother’s house and sitting on the front porch swing. Soon, Mom would come out to join him. His mother had such a sweet spirit that calmness would come over him, and he always left feeling much better than when he arrived.
Bill shared one of the poems she wrote Feb. 18, 1982.
Today is my birthday, I’m sixty four
I was so thankful this morning as I opened my door
Outside I saw another new day
With all the beautiful things my Lord has made.
I saw little children playing in the street
I saw an old man and woman shake hands as they meet
I saw the sun shining through the trees
It seemed to be saying “Good morning” to me.
Out in my yard there stands a tree
Today it means so much more to me
I can remember this tree when it was so small
Today it has grown so large and tall.
Around this tree is where my children played
In the hot summer days it was their shade
They too have grown up just like the tree
Are all gone now and have their own families.
I thank the Lord for all these things I see
And for the sixty four years he has given me
If He seems fit to give me more
I’ll always treasure the things I saw
When I was sixty four.
Martha lived on many more years, passing away at the age of 97.
It feels good to back in my regular routine with family and church and writing this weekly column. Keep those memories coming.
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