Eleanor Durrah

 

The Road I travelled

The Life Story of Mrs. Eleanor Durrah

 

Introduction

I am Eleanor Durrah and I was born on November 28,1928. 1 live alone at 18 Madison Street, Portland. I have three children namely Linda (40), John (39), and Treasa (37). The important stages of my life would be as follows. My life as a child was much better than the life I went through in later years. I was a happy child and my mother sent me to school at the age of five. Before I was taken to school, I was taken to a store to get a beautiful coat. On my first day in school I was afraid and began to cry because my mother left me. I overcame that fear in few days. I spent the next ten years in school.

Due to my mother’s chronic illness and kidney trouble, I had to stop my studies. I was fourteen when I left school to help my mother on her sick bed. After a little while, I got a job in a laundry for six months. Since I was a teenager, I did not sense the need for being stable on a job. Then I worked in another laundry, shoe shop and in a fish factory for short periods. I had a minister’s wife as my friend at this time. For domestic reasons I stayed home for a little while. In spite of my mother’s displeasure of the man, I got married at the age of twenty. I threatened her of eloping if she did not allow us to get married. Finally she yielded to us.

I had my first child Linda, born on December 9, 1949 which brought great happiness to my life. I considered that the baby worth all my life. My father also was very happy and he presented her $ 100 worth of carriage. It was also a period that I was really sick. My mother took care of me for three months.

In 1952 1 had my second child, John, a cute boy following which I became seriously ill again. But I was having my third child then. Treasa was born in 1953. It was a time I had my hands full of children, much more than I could care for; a 2 ½ year old, a 1 year old, and a new born.

My early period of motherhood gives me such a great sense of satisfaction because I did my best to the children with what I had. I could not work at this time because of the children.

My husband became an alcoholic at this time and used to come drunk. It was a period of hurt and mental agony. Probably he did not appreciate a wife who was a Christian. He drank off and on and ran around with the life of immorality. He was not concerned about us and no care was given to the children.

In the early years of the childhood of my children, I took them to the church and always kept them close to the church. At the age of four my children began their schooling. They were jubilant and happy kids. To support my family, I took up a job in a cloth‑sewing factory. I over‑worked there.

At the age of 35 my husband left me completely after a season of battering. I quited the job. It was very hard to live. Therefore I left the younger kids at the care of the oldest daughter, Linda and I went to work at the fish factory. It was to earn money to pay the bills

 

and to put food on the table for the kids. It was a really hard time. I got my divorce at the age of 39 and things began to get better then onwards. At this stage of my life I began to go to the church for finding peace and my son John went to the Bible College at Cleaveland Tennessee.

The next stage was settling of my children as each one got married moved away. I was left alone at home as I am now. I find my life much better now since I committed my life to God. My life is peaceful.

I reached the stage I am now inspite of all the hardships in the past. It is not on my own though I worked hard. Only with God’s help I am what I am today. I have a comfortable home to live in and I am healthy.

 

On The Road To Travel (My Birth)

 

I was the 14th child of the 16 children of my parents. I was born to my parents, Maria and Andrew Tuci on November 28,1928. A very joyful event took place in our family prior to my birth. My family was living in an apartment till then. The owner of the apartment did not want

such a large family to be in his building. Thus one day my father found an old house for sale priced for $200. My mother wanted to buy the house to have a place to live, but my father did not have any money to buy the property. Therefore my mother collected all the coins she had deposited for the past several years. It was exactly $200, enough for the house. My parents were so happy because finally they were going to have a place of their own. My father made the necessary repairs and they had just settled when I was born.

During the time of my birth there was no abundance in food supplies. Economically times were really hard and it was difficult to buy a pair of.shoes. There were also wars and curfews. People used to pray in churches to bring peace, ceasing the war. I don’t know who the enemies were. One of the things my mother told me as to what she thought about me even before I was born, was that I would be a baby boy. But I was a beautiful girl. I also had a sister who looked like my twin sister. There were several people who wanted to adopt us. My mother was unwilling

My mother loved us all. I can not remember anything of the first year of my life.

 

Beginning of the Travel (Childhood Years)

 

I do not have too many memories of my grand parents because they died in my early childhood. I vaguely remember my grand mother as a short, rugged and a very old fashioned lady. She was very affectionate towards her grand children. She expressed her love to me by feeding, giving cookies and rocking me in her lap, sitting on a rocking chair.

 

My mother Maria Tuci had two brothers and three sisters. She had a pleasing personality. She was very hospitable, generous and caring person. She enjoyed having guests at home and was concerned of poor people, buying them clothes, shoes etc. She was always loving and affectionate to the children. My mother was pleased only after feeding all 16 children. She used to read Bible to all of us near an old black stove and talked to us about Jesus. My father used to make us pray in Italian before we went to bed. My mother was not an outgoing person and was always confined to home. My father did all the shopping. To buy her personal things, My mother used to send her daughters to the store. She wanted to be with the children all the time. My mother was very strict in morality. She warned us to be careful as to whom we associate with in our public life. She was angry if children disobeyed her. Her very staring was sufficient to terrify us. My brothers did not bother her in later years. But my sisters were obedient to her.

My father Andrew Tuci, an Italian was tall, red and rugged with blue eyes, was always hard working. He worked for Central Maine Power Company for forty years. He was outgoing and liked by people wherever he was. My mother was jealous of him at times. She questioned him when he was late. He was also a man of understanding, calm and hospitable. He used to bring home Italian sailors from the port and arrange dinner for them. He was also a very religious man.

My parents used to make large dinners for family reunions when all our relatives got together and had a great time. He was also a man who had musical taste. He encouraged his children to be musicians. The only sad thing about my parents was that they were unable to provide what we had asked for. It was basically because they did not have the means. We thought then that they were the worst parents on the earth. But now my outlook is changed. They were the best parents. They always needed attention and obedience from the children. We thought it was awful. But now having been through so much of hardships of life, I understand that they did it all for our good.

I inherited a lot of things from my parents. Like my mother, I always like to be confined to my home. I do not prefer to be out frequently. I like to be with my children always and I have great love for them as my mother had. Since I worry about the children, I call them over the phone frequently to know how they are doing. I want them to be safe. Like my mother I was also a disciplinarian to my children, but not as bad as my mother was. I warned my children about the possible dangers that might happen to them. When I was a child, my mother used to read the Bible to me and prayed at 10 o’clock every day, along with many others. I was not happy about this regular gathering at the house. When I became a mother, I insisted my children to go to the church and practice religion in their lives. I believe, I inherited this quality from my parents. I have also received the attitude of hospitality, generosity etc. from my parents. I did not like to impose anything on my children, but presented the facts to them for their choice. This was a nature I developed by myself.

I have seven brothers. They are Andrew (79) South Portland, Toni Tuci (74),Yarmouth,(an accordion Teacher and barber); Louis Tuci (passed away a few months ago); Dominic Tuci (70), Portland; Ralph Tuci (69), Portland,(carpenter); Carlos Tuci (65) an accordion teacher, S. Portland; Johnny Tuci (55) works for Maine Central Power Company,

Gray; My sisters are Treasa (a missionary, died at the age of 40 in 1952), Josephine, (died at the age of 72), Antona (died a few months ago), Rosey (74).Portland, Katey (61) S. Portland.

When we were children, there were lots of singing and music at home and it was a real happy time. We had our band at home and we used to go to churches and homes to play. The neighbors were attracted by our music. My childhood was indeed great and wonderful years. I miss all those good old days. I miss my brothers and sisters very much. That was the best time of my life. There were great rejoicing with my brothers and sisters. My brothers were smart and intelligent. Most of them graduated from Portland High School. Since they got married soon after they finished

their schooling, they were unable to obtain higher education. They took up trades according to their taste. But they send their children to colleges. My brothers and sisters are loving and sacrificial.

 

One of the outstanding memories of my childhood is the first day of my schooling. My mother bought me some new cloths and took me to school at the age of five. When she left me at the school, I was so scared, cried and wet my pants. When my mother came back, I was all wet and she was so upset. So embarrassed and to cover up from others, I took out my sweater and wrapped around my waist. When I came home, I had a feeling that I was grown up to go to school. The next important memory comes from my eighth year of age. Since we were too many children, we did not have enough toys. I remember, a guest to our home brought a teddy bear. I wanted the doll so badly. But my sister Kate was there to grab it away. Therefore the man took a match stick and asked us to snatch a piece of it and one who got the long piece would get the teddy bear. I was excited and broke the match stick and got the long piece and therefore the doll. My sister became so angry. I kept the doll in a shoe box and kept it under my bed all the time.

Growing up in my home was like a zoo. Our home situated in a sand covered area known as the Tuci Lane. We used to run around and play in the lane and had races occasionally. It was a great time. our neighborhood was consisted of our relatives mainly. The neighbors were mostly friendly. I was helping many of them, going to the store for them. An old lady whom I helped constantly stand out in my mind.

My childhood was a mixture of happiness and sadness. I was sad because I could not be dressed like other girls of my age. When I saw better clothes on other children, I felt myself ashamed. Since we were 16 children at home, my parents could not afford to buy expensive clothes for me. I felt inferior in front of well‑dressed girls at school. I had happy days also. But predominantly I was sad.

As a child, I liked to walk and play in the sand as my sister used to take me to the beach. Since my mother had lot of work to do, it was my oldest sister who took me to the play ground and to the beach. I used to spend a lot of time in front of a mirror, wetting my hair and combing it in different styles, beautifying myself. Nevertheless I had a happy childhood.

The happiest memory of my childhood is on an Easter day, my mother took me to a store and bought me a pretty blue dress, a coat with a matching hat. My sister also was given a new dress. But when we came home she began to cry saying, my mother bought me a better dress than her and she wanted mine. Then my mother asked father to exchange her coat and to get one like mine.

I did not really like going to school because, I needed a lot of assistance in school. I used to come to my mother asking for help in my studies. My mother spoke Italian. I could not read or write Italian. Unlike today, there was nobody to help with tutoring. Therefore I did what I can in my studies. I had lot of friends at school and they liked me very much. I used to drag behind in my studies. I was so shy to face a class and to recite. Therefore even if I had a question, I did not put my hands up.

When I was a child, I dreamt about living in a cute, big white house and flowers all around. I wanted to be rich and to have two children. But these dreams never came true. I never had any ambition of a career.

I was basically shy and did not share the inner feelings and troubles with any one, even to my mother. I never felt so good inside. I had never been taken to doctors or counselors. I can not express what made me to withdraw like that. I always felt within me that something was wrong. I used to throw myself on the bed and lay there. I always wanted to be like other people, but I could not. I do not know whether I was sick or so. I never shared this with my mother. This

 

 

was not caused by the struggles in the school or by the pressures from the friends. Of course I.had problem in school because I did not have things like other children. But I always had the feeling inside that “I am poor and incapable.”

The saddest time of my childhood was the occasion when my mother took me to an old and bed‑ridden sick lady. She was a relative of my brother‑in‑law. The lady was dying on the bed. She was screaming and talking to my mother in Italian, “Marie, Marie. Would you forgive me?”

I am awful hot”. My mother told her “You are already forgiven”. The dying lady said that she was going to “California”. The screaming and the death of the lady scared me. Returning home I asked mother, “Why did the lady said she was awful hot?”. My mother replied, “She must have been burning in hell”. Ever since this incident, I sleep at big light. I put on 100 watt bulb in the parlor of my house all through the night even today. I was afraid to sleep in the dark. My mother scolded me for going with her.

 

The Road Still Smooth       (Adolescent Years)

 

There was one teacher in the school whom I liked most. She was Miss Caroline. She taught me quite a lot, taking me at her desk and helped me as much as she could to make me understand the lessons. She taught me in the sixth grade. She was also very kind to me at the time of serving lunch. I did not have any money to take to school for lunch, because we were poor. When she passed around milk and cookies for the children who have money, she used to call me “Little Tuci girl, come up here!”. I knew that she was going to give me something to eat. She used to give me milk and cookies which was enough for the day. She did it all through my sixth grade. Miss. Caroline also used to counsel me to read a lot because that was the means that make me smart. Therefore I used to read a lot.

The most significant event of my life from age six to sixteen was my love with Franky, an Italian young man. Whet I went up to my aunt’s house I met him and my aunt wanted me to go with that man. Once Franky wanted to take me to the bazar at St. Paul’s Church. Because my mother was very strict, I told him that I should first take permission from her. Therefore my aunt went to get permission from my mother for me. But she refused to give me permission because he was not of the same religion. I was very upset about it.

I was shy while I was a young girl. Once I get to talk to people, I would get along with them. I wanted to make friends with youngsters but my mother was very strict. That was one of the pressures I had at this period of life. I liked company of people. I remember the opportunity I was given in the school to take part in plays. I was so proud to be in a play to present myself in front of the parents of children. It was a great time. The worst memories I have about the school years would be, there were many girls who had pretty dresses and I was really jealous of them because I did not have them.

 

While I was a teenager, I used to walk along the Congress Street. I liked the water fall (fountain) in the park and used to watch that. There used to be church services in the park and I attended them. It was the greatest joy I had in my teen years. As a teenager I liked to go for shopping at Filene’s at Congress Street. For ten dollars I used to buy skirts, and sweater. Once I told my mother,, ” Mom! I am going to work”. Then she told me that she would give me ten dollars a week if I would work for her at home. Thus I used to earn ten dollars each week. I always wanted to live decently like others.

My older sister, Antona was the one who guided me at this stage of life. She used to describe to me the facts of life. She helped me to develop my understanding of myself. My mother   was a shy woman. As a teenager, I wanted to be a movie star. To present myself in the same look, I used to spend a lot of time in front of mirror fixing my hair. Sherly Campbell, who was of my age was my heroine whom I wanted to imitate.

 

Through The Rough Road (Adulthood)

 

In my early years of life, I always dreamed of adulthood being spent in a happy family life. I thought that I would get the husband of my dream. But it never happened and the one I got was a failure. I also dreamed of having wonderful children around me and to have a beautiful car to travel extensively. I dreamed of trying to do every thing in my adulthood that I could not do in my childhood. My dream of adulthood also consisted of a small family, unlike my fathers family. I thought that my life in the adulthood would be very much different and better than my mother’s. But when I faced the realities of life, I understood that my life was never different from her. I wanted to go to a Bible School in my young adulthood. But my mother was so strict and she did not want me to go away from home. Therefore that dream also was lost. I wanted to go back to school to get better education in the adult years of my life, which was another dream never fulfilled. Therefore I could not get a good job, rather I had to work very hard in nursing homes and such places. If I could live my life over again, I would have the highest education possible and would buy a good car and would have a sizeable bank balance to live a better life than I do now.

I worked at the nursing home as a house keeper. The basic reason why I had to take up that job was that I did not have enough education for a better job. I had to take up that job to provide for my family and to keep my house. When my husband left me the whole burden of my family came upon me. Until the age of 38, I was confined to home as a house wife, with which I was satisfied.

It was only after I got married at the age of 20, 1 realized that I became an adult. Eventually, my children were born to me. When I looked back at that point to the fore gone years, I could not believe that I came to a place of responsibilities of adulthood. I felt like

I was shifted from my teen age years to adulthood so quickly by somebody. I could not fully accept the fact then. But it is interesting as I look back now.

I am not married any longer. I have been divorced for 18 years. When I was married, I had great love for my husband in the early years of my marriage. When he began to be unfaithful to me and left me, I felt like the whole world was crumbling down on me. I was with broken heart. I was always intimate to my husband in the early part of marriage. He also had the same feeling for me. I experienced intimacy in the inward expressed through caring, loving and supporting my husband. When that was broken, the intimacy was gone which was really terrible.

I usually have parties and family get together which is one way of using my leisure time now. I also used to go for skiing and skating. At present a lot of my free time is devoted to church activities, visiting people etc. Much of my time is spent in housework, cooking, watching TV and playing organ, entertain myself. I have always a sense that I am a part of the community. I feel lonely without being involved in the community.

 

There are many stresses I have felt as part of my adulthood life. When I was 21 years of age, I had two children and my husband left me. The entire responsibility to care for the two children and me was an awful stress on my life. The next pressure that I had to bear, was the courtship of my husband with several other women. He began to mistreat us too. Therefore I had to be ‘the man and the lady in the house’. The pressures were so much as I had to provide food, clothing and education for my children, all alone. Then I took up a very hard job. My pressures were increased as stress from work also was added. The struggles of my life went on for ten years, until my children grew up. The next terrible stress was the divorce that I had to go through.

I felt as if it was the ‘end of the world’. But once he left, there was peace in the family because there was no more fight. Nevertheless it was the beginning of another kind of stress, as I had to make all decisions in the family such as illness of children, scarcity of fuel etc.

I could clearly trace the transitions in my adulthood life. The first one was that I became a mother. The irresponsibility of my husband made me to take up , which was another transition. Following this, we were united , which was the next change. After 10 years he left me again. This was followed by my divorce, which was another transition. Taking up the whole responsibility of the family such as bringing up the children, working hard at job etc. were great changes in my life. My oldest daughter, Linda got married at the age of 18, which was another transition for me.

Then my son John got married and had the first child, which gave me the feeling of a grandmother. Taking Christine, my granddaughter in my arms was a great feeling for me. My children play a greatly important role in my life. They often call me and are concerned of how I am doing. I live for them. I help them whichever way I can. I always impart to them my faith in God, the moral values I hold and expect them to live the way I live. When they were children, I was particular about sending them to the Sunday School, encouraging them to play Christian music and church attendance etc.

Celebrations such as Christmas and Thanksgiving were a part of our family tradition. It is a time of family reunion and times of great joy. My brothers used to play with their bands at these occasions. We also had family reunions at other times during the summer at the Italian‑ American club, where all my relatives would gather. It was also an exciting time. We used to have these types of reunions in the country sides, where there were games and fun.

 

Journey Thus Far     (Important Thoughts and Influences)

 

My first experience with death was a terrifying one in my early childhood when I witnessed an old lady dying. The more deeply felt death was the death of my oldest sister at the age of 40, while I was 19 years of age. She was like mother to me. She was a great person in my life as she was always concerned of me. I could not get over the loss of my sister for a long time. She died of cancer in 1952.

My parents were particular in passing on their ideals and moral values on us. They were modest Christians, held high moral standards. There was no fights between my parents. They always emphasized that we were not to fight but to love one another because we were brothers

and sisters. No doubt , they shaped my behavior too.

 

There were several people who influenced my life. I had a very special aunt named Josephine, a very sweet lady who lived in Boston. Shallet Morton was another special friend of mine who was so concerned of me. I enjoyed going to her home. Rose Venally, a minister’s wife was a special person to me. We traveled together to a lot of places. Divino was another unforgettable friend. I miss all of them. My nieces Mary and Esther are outstanding persons in my life. I did not have the privilege of getting acquainted to high officials, as I am a common person. As I look back, it is my mother who influenced me most in shaping my attitudes and moral outlook of life. I always listened to her. Even today, I remember all the advices she gave me. She said, “I am not going to be with you all the time. Therefore I want you to learn all things about life.” My brother Andrew and my sisters also influenced my life. I had to take several crucial decision in my life such as my marriage, divorce, buying the house etc.

I remember some of the major events of the world in my life time. I was so sad when I heard the news of President Kennedy’s assassination. I was glued to the TV all the night. I was working at a Textile factory at that time. There were commotions in the streets. It was a shock to

me. Viet‑Nam war was a matter of concern for me as one of my nephews was in the front‑line of the battle. Since his mother was worried, I used to go to her frequently. My daughter Linda was asked to write to the government to get him released. Finally, he was released, but was nervous because of the war. Martin Luther King’s assassination was also shocking to me. Hearing about the moon‑walk, I thought it was awful for them to walk in God’s territory. I was watching the TV all the time. I was very much interested in the fall of the Berlin wall. The recent Persian Gulf war made me nervous as there were military men from my area fighting in the war.

I feel that I am part of the community. One of the means of involved in helping my community is by supporting The American Red Cress. Giving to the poor and needy is a great concern to me. I also support the church. The Middle Street in Portland was called as Italian section and “Little Italy”. Therr lived a man who used to play Italian music and entertain people. There is a special sense of closeness within the Italian community than other ethnic groups. They are loving, easily mingled and hospitable people.

Italian community have their traditional food items like baked lizania, meat balls and sauce, different kinds of macaroni, baked fish etc. Heated Italian wine was used to soothen aches and pains. Applying kerosine in the wounds, applying dry mustard on the swollen part and soaking in water to heal the swelling and pain at the feet, bathing in water that is mixed with baking soda to heal itches were all forms of traditional treatments.

 

The Road I Am Treading (Retirement Years)

 

Even after retiring from work in 1989, I wish, I could be back at work. It is because of the loneliness I feel in the house. I spend my time by house upkeeping, walking, visiting, playing piano and reading. Being lonely is the worst part of the retirement life for me. The best part of retirement is the feeling that I am no longer bossed by people whom I worked with. There were no appreciation for the hard work done. I feel so awful being alone. I always love my grandchildren to be around me . But it is impractical. Nevertheless, I care for them and have them with me once a while. I like them talking about different things. When they resent their parents, it is unacceptable to me. I get back after them some times..I would like them to grow up to be good citizens of the country and Christians.

 

There were times in my life, when I feel that I belong to nobody. I used to express it to my mother in my childhood. She affirmed to me that she loved me. The happiest time of my life was childhood and teen age years. But I was shy and did not associate with people so much. I was smart to my age. When I reached 30, I felt that I had grown old and felt depressed. But when I turned to 40, I felt as it was the best of life, feeling good health, relieved in my mind and felt so refreshed. I never thought, because of the difficulties of life that I went through, that I would ever live until 60 years of age. But I made it. To me financial responsibilities was the most stressful feeling of adulthood. Feeling of loneliness is another stress on my later adulthood life.

I have had spiritual experiences when I was a teenager. It was a feeling that God was calling me for something. I felt that tug all through my life to do something good for others and thus service to God. I was unable to do it and therefore, God called my son to take up the call and he is a Christian minister today. I feel the closeness of God when I pray. I want to be real and honest in my religious life. I have always a God consciousness when I make my choices between right and wrong. I have felt a spiritual guide within me. There were occasions, that prior to some happenings, they were made aware to me. My daughter Linda’s accident that I was made aware before it happened, is a classical example. I always was myself, rather than living in imaginations and fantasies. I do feel an inner strength because of my faith in God. I pray whenever there is a difficulty in life. I do not want to compromise my values such as honesty, truth morality, etc. The control on my life is of God. My children and grand‑children are the greatest joy of my life. The birth of my children were the occasions of greatest joy in my life. It was so thrilling experiences for me to see little babies born so perfect. I am at peace within myself. It is a result of my religious life.

A clock my son gave to me is the most precious gift I have ever received. I shall never give it away. Every gift is important to me. I have a special liking for plants and candles.

The major decisions of my life were my marriage, having children, the divorce, finding a job, buying the house etc. I have made many mistakes in my life. The first and serious mistake was my marriage to a wrong person. I learned from that and I never wanted to get re‑married. There were occasions that I had to face disappointments. Usually in times like that, I pray and I get a sense of relief. Sharing my disappointments with somebody, is another way I handle it. When there

was no way of getting out of disappointments, I get upset and angry. I cannot but say that I was not satisfied with all the decisions I have made in my life. My childhood was indeed the happiest time of my life. It was because I did not have any responsibilities in life. My married life was the least enjoyable period of my life as it had to end up in divorce.

My parents were invaluable for me and my brothers and sisters were very much influential in my life. My husband was awful, but my children are great. I like my grand‑children. My relationship with people have been with ups and downs.   It is predominantly my son who brought a change in my life as he would encourage me and uplift me spiritually.

Being divorced I had a great responsibility of bringing up my children, which I did through hard work. Another accomplishment of my life is that I paid off the mortgage of my house and bought whatever I needed. There was very hard work behind all theses. I would never want to forget about my parents, my childhood and teen age years. I could never forget how my mother took care of me, when I became seriously ill following the birth of my oldest daughter, Linda. My father also had great concern for me at that time.

 

 

The Road Yet To Travel (Expectations About The Future)

 

I want my grand‑children to stick to the moral standards of my life. They are not to accept things from others whom they do not know. I encourage them to lead a religious life. I also warn them not to be like their grand‑mother in education. They must get good education. Sometimes I wish, I were young. But again I am satisfied of what I am. I do not want to face all the things all over again, as I have gone through enough. My greatest worry now, is my financial incapability

as taxes and prices are going high. Sometimes 1 wonder whether to keep ,the house or to sell it. Other than worries, I do not feel much of a transition at this stage of my life.

I faced life alone. As a single parent, challenges were great in front of me. But I came through it all. With the rest of my life I would like to travel a bit. I have had experiences in my life, which brought awe and wonder in my life. The most wondrous of all is the healing of my son, John from his brain tumor. I was called and told that my son had only six more weeks to live due to the brain tumor. I felt that my whole world was colliding. I went to Ohio to meet my son in the hospital. But amazingly, I found him with faith and hope. I went into a church to pray for him. When I came back to Portland, he called me and said that he was healed of the sickness and he was at home. It filled my heart with awe and wonder.

I always think about what is going to happen to me when I get older and as to who would take care of me. In spite of these uneasiness, I have hope because of my faith in God. In my childhood I always wondered about what life would be all like. But now, I came through a lot of experiences of life. Now I wonder what life is going to be like in the years ahead. If I could get my life back, I would like to be a teenager again. Responsibility was the most important lesson that I had to learn by myself. I learned it through the hard way.

I would describe myself to myself as person who had a lot of disappointments of life and came through it all. I am very much different from the past in my outlooks and thoughts. I have grown stronger and capable of making decisions in mind. I always want others to say about me, once I am gone (died), that they all miss me and there is no body to fill up the gap. And that she was a good person who overcame her disappointments in life with her faith in God and hard work. I would leave as my last message to the younger generations that, obey the truth of the Bible, have faith in God and work hard, which will bring success in their lives.

I would need a deeper spiritual closeness to God and readiness of mind to meet Him, before I die. My only wish is to see my two daughters to be truly religious, before I am gone. I am still trying to make my life a fulfilled one. I expect to live until I am 80 years old. I would like to die in my sleep. That will be my life all about.

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