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The Story of My Life - Page 2
(by Loma (Groom Harrison)

Mother was buried in the White Rock Cemetery, between Bailey and Gober. There was a deep rut in the road at the entrance to the Cemetery and I was so frightened when the high wheeled, horse drawn hearse leaned so far to one side that I was afraid thatit would fall over and spill my mother.

After mother's death, dad was unable to pastor his two churches, at Gober and Bailey, and care for four small children ages one through seven, so he had to resign and take all of us to live with his brothers and his youngest sister, Lou Young. Lorena and I spent the rest of the school year living with dad's brother Bob Groom and his wife Addie who lived near Canton, Texas. Geneva lived with Aunt Lou and her husband, Jim Young, near Granbury, Texas, and Uncle Alex and his wife Ethel Groom took Jim and nursed him back to health. They cared for him and loved him as their own, till dad married again in about a year.

I remember very little of the year at Uncle Bob's, except walking to a little country school, in the very cold weather. My most happy memories are about the wonderful "Singings that were held in their home almost every Saturday evening. In preparation for the great event, the window blinds were raised, the sheets taken off of the nice parlor furniture, and refreshments were prepared. Ora, their teen age daughter, played the old fashioned pump organ and all the young people gathered around and sang out of the old shaped-note hymnals. They sang in four part harmony and we thought it was the most beautiful music we had ever heard. The song that Lorena and I liked best was the do-re-mi song. Of course they were sight singing a new song, but we didn't know that.

Lorena and I were not allowed to stay up long for the singing. One night, Uncle Bob and Aunt Addie served the guests bowls of delicious pears they had gathered from the orchard and put in a big barrel on the back porch. They gave us a pear each and put us to bed. Well, we thought--- with a whole barrel of pears on the back porch, one pear each did not seem like our share. So we gathered up our gowns into large pouches, filled them with pears, went to bed, and had a feast. We put the pear cores under our pillows, so that no one would ever know. By morning, everyone in the household knew; we were very sick little snitchers.

That summer, Lorena and I went to stay with dad's brother, Willie Groom and his wife Aunt Lillie. I remember how I learned left from right while we were there. When our cat died, Uncle Willie told us to take the cat and to go to the "shinnery patch", (small oak bushes) and turn left, indicating which hand was left and which was right, and to bury the cat there. I never forgot right, and left.

That fall, dad married Celeste (Green) Johnson from Kaufman, Texas, whom he had dated before either of them had married. She had lost her husband and two children and was eager for a family. She was a wonderful step-mother to us. She loved us and we loved her. We had a happy home again----for one year. She died of pellagra, a disease which we now know was caused by a vitamin B deficiency.

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