I Wuz Just Thinking: Life’s Abrupt Changes

Life goes on in downtown Kilgore, but for some who live in the small East Texas town, life is filled with constant changes.

Life in this small East Texas town of Kilgore may seem to remain the same for so many, but each passing day brings changes in our lives.

Growing up in a small town and living here for most all of my years on earth, life seems to stay about the same year after year.

Family, friends, and I go to the same churches, shop at the same stores, attend the same town functions, as well as the sporting events, or see one another in the doctor’s waiting rooms where we catch up on each others’ families.

The years pass but yet life seems to stand still. Then just a few moments ago, I turned on my computer in the middle of the night and there before my eyes was an obituary of a life-long friend.

Memories through the years flood my mind.  I’m almost breathless. I was not even aware my friend was ill.  We had visited recently in the chiropractor’s office where she had taken her husband. Then we visited again in the aisle of the local grocery store.  W quickly caught up with news about our families but did not talk about ourselves.

Betty Mahurin Baker

My husband’s family had been neighbors when my friend, Ann Bess Hedrick, gave birth to her three younger sons, David, Don, and Dale.  The older brother, Bill, Jr., had been born a few years earlier.

Jimmy’s sister, Cynthia, was about age of nine or ten when her triplets were born. She could hardly wait for school to be out each day so she could go help take care of the babies.  All four of the boys grew up calling her ‘Sister,’ and even today with Cindi being 77 years old, the Hedricks still call her ‘Sister.”

All four of the brothers have contributed much to our town of Kilgore.

Even a couple of my sons, as teenagers, helped Bill Jr. with carpentry work in his photography shop.  Most everyone is acquainted with the comedian plumber David, the school teacher Don, and Texas Eastman retiree Dale.

I cannot bear the thought of her husband, Bill,  their four sons, and their grandchildren being without the “glue” of the family,  Anna Bess.  But peace comes with the faith and knowledge their wife, mother, and grandmother was always a Christian lady.

Life in this small East Texas town of Kilgore may seem to remain the same to many, but each passing day brings changes in the lives of my family and friends.

Each passing parade, Veterans’ ceremony, or other function will have one more seat vacant because my friend will not be there waving and smiling so broadly....as I wiz just thinking.

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