The StoryCorps Reports – Participant #3

1. Can you describe the moment when you saw your child for the first time?

I had seen all the universe’s beauty, love, and kindness wrapped into ecstasy.

2. How has being a parent changed you?

To be less selfish, narcissistic, and self contained. I see myself and my truer being being carried on. In your face I see a reflection of me.

3. Are you proud of me?

Our lives together through hunger, lack, working when you wanted to play gave you fortitude, tenacity, humility, and awareness that you carry daily as a grown adult. This has all owed you being a human on this planet that few women are allowed to know. I see both of you so enlighten by our lives together. You are an inspiration to me. Yes, daily I’m proud.

4. Did you have a nickname?

Eileen.

  1. How did you get it?
  2. When I came home from the hospital my

    brothers, especially the four year old Jarrett, could not say, “Vivian.” The letter and sound of “V” is the last letter in the alphabet for children to pronounce. Mom was not going to have her daughter, who she had waited for, be called, “Bibian.” I went by Eileen that both brothers, Bill (6 years old) and Jarrett (4 years old) could pronounce.

    6. Are you still friends with anyone from that time in your life?

    I met my former husband when I was bussed to an all black and new Jr.

    High. I was eleven and he was twelve. I just had Christmas dinner, 2008 with him. Surprisingly we still respect and care for each other.

  3. Did you enjoy school?

School was hard, frustrating and at times self loathing. I remember in 3rd

grade my teacher remarking to my parents that I had trouble focusing. They all three weren’t sure what to do with it. My teacher felt I had some learning problems yet not sure what to do with it.

This memory helped me when my youngest daughter’s third grade teacher felt, after 5 years of private education, she was behind her grade level. The teacher asked me if I would be willing to have some testing done to find her difficulty in learning. I was so happy seeing this teacher many years later thanking her. She remarked Atreya just needed to grow within herself.

7. What were your grandparents like?

Grandmas, memories are many, Grandma Nell making cinnamon rolls from scratch allowing me to mix and roll dough, picking apples, cutting, cooking, straining the apples for sauce. Showing me how to put paraffin on top of the Concord grape jelly. Helping my Mom with me when my sister Julie, as a baby, came home. I was upset and jumped out of the tub, running down the street. She went outside, found me, comforted and loved me, bringing me back after telling me stories of her family of 13 children.

8. Is there any thing that you have always wanted to tell me but haven’t?

I feel so comfortable with you. My love for you is like a mothers, sister even daughter all rolled up into one being. I am thankful over the 27 years we change in our many strong controlled attitudes.

9. What was your childhood like?

Living in Cincinnati, Ohio there were many different cultures. My Dad would take me on trips to museums, art shows. Allowed me to paint with his paints. Making a small area for my own easel.

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