About Jo Ann

Where do I start...she's my mom.  Life has been hard for her from the beginning...she was born in the middle of the depression in a West Virginia coal camp...number 8 of 9 kids.  When I compare her to children today, I swear I just get mad...mad about all the things she never had...love, compassion, encouragement, opportunity...and just the simple joy of being a kid. 
Jo Ann

Her mother, Goldie, suffered from what today would probably be diagnosed as severe clinical depression.  To say I despised this woman is an understatement.   I know I should pity her and be understanding of her mental illness...I guess I just have a hard time giving her something she never gave my mother.  Out of all of her 9 children she beat one - my mother.  For this, I will never be able to forgive.

Her dad, Oather, was a coal miner that worked hard his entire life in the deep pits of the mines.  His existence was a sad one...except for a bit of "drink" on pay day and the joy he found in his children.  He had very little joy, but he did love my mother.  He tried to protect her from the wrath of Goldie.  He brought joy to her life.  I never had the gift of meeting him.  He died one month before I was born.  But I have heard so many stories...happy stories...about "Poppy".  And I've had the most realistic dreams you can imagine about the "grandpa" I never met.  I thank God for him.  He gave my mother a glimpse into the fact that she could be loved and cherished.  Without him, I'm not sure what would've become of her.

There were evenings my mother went to bed wounded and hungry, not enough money for everyone to eat...wounded physically and mentally after being told she was ugly and stupid...why can't you just be like your sisters?  Dear old Goldie is lucky she wasn't raising her children in today's world.  She would, hopefully, have landed herself in jail for child abuse and neglect.  I guess my mom was not lucky enough to be born today.

Yes, life was hard and was destined to get much harder for Jo Ann.