My American story started when I was born during WWII. My mother had to have ration stamps for my milk. My parents had a Victory Garden in New Jersey. I remember in 1954 when at school they added "under God" to the pledge of allegiance to the flag. While on a childhood visit to North Carolina, I watched a black chain gang doing work on the road outside of my aunt's house. Men on horseback with rifles seemed so scary to me.
When I became pregnant while in high school, I was told to leave and not come back. I struggled to raise my two sons while avoiding the brutality of their father. I knew learning was important, but was disappointed to find I needed a man's permission on my college paperwork. I built a career and it supported me for 45 years. Now I am a great-grandmother...spreading love. Nothing else matters.