Family stories are easily lost, especially in these times when children leave home and move far and wide from the place where it all began. Family reunions are times when the old stories may be repeated, but the young ones often don't listen. Some stories are never retold because of embarrassment or feelings of shame, and the failure to recognize that regardless of how dour our circumstances may have been, that was where we came from. Even our mixed heritage should be a source of our strength. My siblings and I often heard the stories of our grandmother, Mattie. My sister LaVerne, as the oldest had the foresight to write down the story as told by our Mother before she died in 1958.