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KATIE

She was raised in the mountains, the sixth child of James and Katie O'Leary.

Nine children were born from this marriage.

Her Momma had married her daddy in the Spring time.

She never knew the year.

She remembers her Momma sitting on that old front porch talking about the wedding.

How the aroma of orange blossoms filled the air.

How young and handsome " her James " looked, as he said yes.

Yes to I will take "my Katie"

As she looked at this bent, tired old gentle lady, she tried to she her as a fair young girl.

Her most wonderful memories of her momma were these's " after supper" talks.

There were no TV, no radio, no electric lights.

Her Momma taught her to cook and sew before she was ten.

She remembers her daddy reading the Bible by the old oil lamp.

She taught he was the bravest, smartest, strongest man alive.

He was her hero, her daddy never owned a suit.

He would say, " Never had a need for all that flashy stuff".

She can see it all in what she calls her memory book, its locked in her heart.

only she has the key.

She can still hear her momma " YALL GET IN HERE!! Supper is getting cold.

She thinks back to the day a letter came in the mail two of her older brothers were called to war.

It breaks her heart yet today, as she sees her Momma open the door to that tall young man in the uniform " I'm so sorry, Mrs. O'Leary".

Two brothers were gone, never to return to that old house.

Her older sisters had married, moved away years ago.

She can see the shadows on top of the mountain as her two brothers were lowered into the ground.

She sees the two tiny little mounds of dirt these were her the place her momma and daddy had chosen years ago for the babies taken from the fever.

She can see her daddy reading from the Bible as her Momma sang Amazing Grace"

It was only a few weeks later married, left the mountain, became a Mom herself.

Her daddy was taken when her baby was seven.

Now she stands on the mountain top, smells the sweet aroma of orange blossoms.

It is spring time in the mountains.

The birds chirp out a lovely tune.

She looks down at Katie O'Leary her Mom her mentor.

She must now say Good-Bye.

She looks at her children standing close by with her grand babies.

" Momma thank you for all the love you gave me.

Thank you for the spankings, thank you for making me go to school."

It is okay Momma go home now.

She hears a voice softly saying " Katie Supper time, the foods getting cold. Come home.

ęcopyright ~ Johnnie Oakes ~

5/06/03