May 29, 2024

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Favorite

By Ella Gordon

In thinking about today’s prompt, my Favorite cousin came to mind. Favorite, meaning someone or something that you love above all others. My cousin, Mamie Allen, who we call Honey is my Favorite above all cousins, of whom I have many.

Honey is ten years my senior. She is eighty-seven and her birthday is February first, the same birthday as my late husband. She always sent my husband a Two Dollar bill for his birthday. Now she sends me a Two Dollar bill for my birthday, January Nineteenth. Why is Honey my favourite cousin? When I was in nursing school, we only had a two-week holiday at Christmas, and April, which was at staggered times. For my vacation in April, I wanted to visit Honey in Birmingham, Alabama. Honey was a divorced, single Mom of four children, and she had her fifteen-year-old sister living with her at the time. Honey’s mother had died a few months before. My father, who had been Honey’s mother’s brother, said “Honey has too much on her hands. You should come home, instead.” I called Honey and she sent me money for a bus ticket to visit her for two weeks.

I was so inspired about how Honey raised her children, went to work everyday (even though she was on welfare), and lived in the projects, next to the railroad tracks. In a few years after my visit, Honey was able to buy a house, and move her family to a better part of town, though it was next to the railroad tracks.

Today Honey is still going strong at eighty-seven years of age. She is active in her church, serving on the Usher Board, and preparing food for Repasts. She visits friends and church members in nursing homes every Thursday, and she still mows her yard. She used to mow her neighbour’s yard, her brother’s yard, and her sister’s yard. She worked in the accounting department at the University of Alabama Book Store until she retired at the age of seventy. Though she had a fall, fracturing her hip, and recent car accident, fracturing her clavicle, she still visits her sisters, who are younger, though wheelchair bound, everyday!

I have used her work ethics as a guide for my own life, which started with a bus ticket to Birmingham, Alabama.

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