Chapter 1- How it all began…
Chapter 1- How it all began…
I assume being eleven years old was not easy for most children. It certainly was not for me. My dad had been a pastor since before I was born. I loved that he was a pastor. I never felt pressure or as if I were being held to some crazy standard that was impossible to achieve. I loved that my dad was respected, intelligent, well-loved and, over all, liked by his congregation. That love spilled over to my entire family and people treated me extremely well…but I was still an 11-year-old child. And I still had all the insecurities that come with that time of life.
I had severe insecurities about my talent, intelligence, purpose and most of all my physical appearance…so basically, everything! By the end of elementary school, I was what one might have called a “big boned” little girl with a big personality. My older sister was an absolutely beautiful young teen. She had long blonde hair that regularly spilled past her shoulders as if she were on a Pantene commercial. Her waist was about the size of one of my “muscular” thighs. She had crystal blue eyes that would crinkle just a bit when she smiled her wide, perfect-toothed, white smile. She was petite, but normally hid it with a good set of heels; usually paired with a very stylish outfit. She was more soft spoken than I was. It would be unusual for her to stick her foot in her mouth or annoyingly dominate a conversation. She was still social and well liked. She just walked the line of outgoing and conversational and mysterious well. I felt she was basically everything that I was not.
My brother at this time was somewhat of an awkward looking young preteen. His head was large in proportion to the rest of his body. He was pretty short and shared my gene for unfortunate teeth. He was usually content to play by himself if need be (the curse of having two sisters), but he was kind and could play well with us as well. He was athletic involved in leagues with baseball, basketball, football, and showed promise in his young golf game. He was not merely a “macho kid” though. He also showed considerable talent in dance. He was naturally drawn to the dancing of Michael Jackson and would mimic his rhythm and footwork. Of course, mom tried to steer him to more “appropriate” role models and encouraged him to watch Christian artists at the time. Although, he didn’t seem too inspired by the talents of Ray Boltz.
We’d lived in Mississippi for almost nine years. The people of Colonial Heights Baptist Church had been so good to us, and we loved our time there. My family had moved there when I was only three. It was my whole world. There was nothing beyond Natchez or Clinton in my little mind. However, my dad’s “boss” had told us it was time to make a move and I was devastated. How could there possibly be any place better than Madison, Mississippi??! However awkward I was, I had friends; friends that I had grown up with since I was 3 years old. I didn’t even know what it was to “make a friend”. I was basically born with mine. These girls had been in my nursery, gone to VBS with me, been in my kindergarten class. I didn’t make friends… they just were there. I had a life that I could make sense of and suddenly, I had to leave it. And by “suddenly” I mean my parents told me two weeks before we pulled out of town because they were convinced that I would not be able to keep it to myself… which, looking back, was probably wise. But it did not make me feel good at the time! I was about to pick up my life, with my family, and move to Ft. Myers, Florida during the most awkward years of a child’s life. What could go wrong?
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-Love, the Grizzards