When I was five my mother gave me a paint set. I knew then that painting was for me. I painted everything I could.
At sixteen my brother Dave paid for me to go to beauty school. I was always planning to get back to my dream of painting. Fifty years passed, along with a lot of heart ache: broken homes, hundreds of miles from home with no friends or family, two handicapped children, and a sick and hurt husband and a baby in my arms. I opened a beauty shop in my home. This way I could look after my children and my husband. This lasted for ten years.
My oldest son married and left home. I gave them a lot and helped them get a mobile home. They told me they hated me. It hurt so bad I cried for years. This son passed away in 2010. I still pray for him, and I pray that the pain will ease up in me. My second son, born retarded, still lives with me. He has learned to look after himself and helps me a lot on the farm. My third child is a daughter, who is married with two wonderful children and lives in Amelia, Virginia. Her youngest child is a girl who loves to paint, just like I did as a child. When she comes to stay with me we always paint together.
I was married to this husband for eighteen years. It was a rocky marriage, a lot of hurt. I never did do anything right. One day he came in and said, "You are too old for me. I'm packing and leaving. Good-bye." I was thirty eight at the time. He was gone. It was a relief and I slept for three days. It was the first time I had any rest in ten years.
When I was forty two I married Charles Bowman who did, and still does, run a bulldozing business. We have now been married twenty six years and reside in Burkeville, Virginia.
I ran my own beauty shop for twenty five years. It was nice being my own boss. I worked at Brookview Lodge as a beautician for twelve years. I loved that job. I worked with the older people. I had to give it up to look after my own mother. She would say, "Get back to your painting, paint me a pretty picture." So I did and could not stop painting. She went to live with God three years ago and I miss her so much. I can hear her saying don't give up, live your dream. I never gave up on my dream. I'm an old retired woman now. I can paint and when I'm painting it's as if I'm a little girl again in the 50's. My paintings are from that era and my memories. A life and time for me that is gone forever.