“I grew up in Indianapolis. In 1965, my husband, Terry, joined the FBI. We lived in New Orleans for 20 years, and it was a good place for crime. I loved Terry’s job. I knew a lot of things I shouldn’t have known, but I kept my mouth shut. Once Terry and another agent were following a bank robber for quite a while. The other agent’s wife and I got to dress up as prostitutes and walk with them. I wore tons of makeup and clothes that I never would have put on. We had a ball.
Terry and I moved to Fairhope when our kids started high school. We had four kids and I loved being their mama. We built our house in the country. I made most of the decisions because Terry was working on the murder case of a judge and his wife in Biloxi, and the fire-bombing murders of other judges. He always had something interesting to talk about.
I am a quilter and knitter. My mom sewed and made our clothes, and I learned from her. I quit teaching kindergarten to open my quilting, knitting, and teddy bear shop in downtown Fairhope. I had it for 12 years. I still make quilts for my family.
I closed the shop in 2005, and Terry got sick with brain cancer in 2006. It was only three months from the time we knew something was wrong until he passed away. I was fortunate that I wasn’t working, so I could give all of my time caring for him.
Terry died 16 years ago. I had to learn how to live on my own in a house that has so many memories of him. We were married for 47 years. I never dreamed we wouldn’t make it to 50. We didn’t have the chance to travel or to do some of the things we dreamed of after retirement.
You never saw me without eye-makeup until about three years ago. I have macular degeneration, and it is hard to see. I had to give up driving last year. Now I have to get my kids to drive me or take the BRATS bus, but the bus is clean and affordable. It is a great service.
I have had a great life, but it is hard getting older. My kids care for themselves, and no one really needs me anymore. If you raise them right, they still love you, but they don’t need you. But now I am selling my house and moving closer to my daughter because I am starting to need her. It is hard when that changes, but I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We keep on loving each other.”