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Chapter Nine

Two families I knew belonged to a square dance club. They invited me and I started going and enjoyed it. I was probably not very good but I had fun. Patty and Cecil joined also and they were good. Lauri Street was only two blocks long and I knew these other people from the other block but had never met the Perrins. I had heard the mother had cancer and had died awhile back. Well, these neighbors wanted me to meet William Perrin. He had two boys, one was 17, and one was 10. Their mother had been sick since the youngest was 5 yrs old. We met and he seemed nice and since he worked shift work, we spent a lot of time together. He joined the square dance club too. Well, to make a long story short, we got married in 1964. We sold both houses and bought a brand new one on Block Street, where I still live. The younger boy seemed to adjust to me very well and the older boy had married and moved out. We did okay for a while. Then William started to act differently and would be mean to Bill and me and would rant and rave. I didn't know what to think because no one had ever told me that he had a mental problem for many years. Then I found out that in the past when he would go off on these spells, his family would dope him up, take him to Little Rock, and lock him in the V.A. Hospital for months at a time. I lived from day to day and never knew when he was going to go off. Patty started to have bad headaches that put her to bed, Michael was little and William wouldn't let me keep him and didn't want me to go help her out either. He could be mean. I was at my wits end.




I tried to be a mother to the younger boy. He seemed to love me and I loved him. Things rocked along and one day my friend Jewell asked me to go to Tulsa with her to take her granddaughter home. William was fine when I left and we were gone overnight. When we got home there were cars everywhere and all the kids were there. He had gone off the deep end again and the people who assured me he was fine started coming out and telling me that he was going to have to be locked up again. I talked to his boys about a new doctor in town, a psychiatrist, and said I want to try him before we lock him up. I took him there and he was found to be schizophrenic. The doctor put him the hospital for two weeks and then he had to take a pill once a day. He never had another bad spell. After that time, William and I had a good life together. We had fun and always had big family gatherings at birthdays and Christmas. We had a fishing camp on the lake and everyone would go over, spend the night, fish, and cook out. Bill married, divorced, and had two children that we practically raised. Poppo (that's what all the kids called William) loved them all. Patty had a little girl named Melissa when Michael was 3. One day they were over visiting and I had Melissa in my arms and she was about one and I walked outside to tell them bye when someone yelled FIRE, I ran back in and dumped the baby in a chair and started to fight the flames and Cecil put it out with the water hose but not before I lost the kitchen and blacked the whole house "AGAIN". This was fire three and I didn't learn cause I did it again the fourth time.

William loved for Gladys, Gene, and Walter to come visiting. In 1987, Gladys died suddenly of a congestive heart failure. I loved her so much. Bill had married again and had two more children and Patty and Cecil had divorced when Melissa was 10 and Michael was 13. It was very hard on Patty and the kids but two years later Patty met Irv Garrison and they married in three weeks. I thought she had lost her mind but she must have known it was right because they have now been married for 24 years. I'm thankful for them both. William found out he was diabetic but controlled it with a pill and diet and was fine. Then he started having trouble walking and they found he had an aneurysm in his stomach. They operated and that part went good but he couldn't come off the ventilator, his lungs gave out and he died in 1990. His children didn't want anymore to do with me, so I haven't seen them in 10 years. William didn't have any insurance, so I went to work sitting with homebound people and did that for 6 years. One night I woke up with chest pains. I took a couple of aspirin and went back to bed but the next morning went to the doctor and they said I had had a heart attack. I had a shunt put in and did great and was soon up and going again. Walter came and stayed with me for a week and then when he went home he had a spell but it wasn't his heart like they first thought. I told him he just didn't want me to get ahead of him.Bill Smith( Hugh's son)died in the summer of 2000 and Norma June(Hugh's daughter) died in a car wreck in December 2000. The only remaining child is Jessie Earl.

The children gave me a surprise birthday party on my 80th birthday and it was very nice. Gene and Walter came from Memphis and it was in the fellowship hall at church. Patty really worked on it and the food and everything was great. That was in 1995. In 1996, Walter had him a 80th birthday party and we all went to Memphis. Well, I have to end this story. I have had a long life for which I'm thankful, but it is impossible for me to write it all down. There were wrecks, fires, falls, surgeries, births, storms, and deaths, but I'm still going strong. I have children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and love every one. Thank you for coming and reading about my life. I thank Patty and Elizabeth for putting it down for me online. Please take time to sign my guestbook and let me know you were here and how you like my pages.


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2000 Patty Garrison
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