I will sit here a while and rest; the burdens I bear are too heavy for me to carry.  Mom passed away when I was young and now Daddy is gone as well.  There is no one left but me, oh how heavy the burden is, five younger sisters and two younger brothers in a shotgun shack.  Who will help me carry this burden?  Perhaps my burden is my blessing; seven siblings looking to me for strength and comfort.

For this moment I will sit here on this window ledge.  Yet, I will not cry, nor will I show how afraid I am.  In a while, I will walk away from this house where we spent our last summer together with Daddy.  I will pack our meager possessions, walk down that dusty dirt road with my brothers and sisters and we will prosper.  We will still be a family, and we will laugh and cry together.

Like soldiers, we march toward the city fifty miles down the road.  We have between us a dozen biscuits, a few apples, two suitcases and the knowledge that the road is long, dark and few people travel it at night.

Like soldiers, we march toward the city fifty miles down the road.  We have between us a dozen biscuits, a few apples, two suitcases and the knowledge that the road is long, dark and few people travel it at night.  We will walk through the night and hope someone will come by and give us a ride.  Tomorrow I will see the sun rise upon the ocean and our new life will begin. It was near midnight and we walked with our heads down barely putting one foot in front of the other.  I carried the youngest in my arms and you could hear the sniffing and only the dark could hide the tears.  We had one meager lantern and a few beeswax candles providing the only light in a moonless night.  We were nearly exhausted and wanting to give up but there was nowhere to go but forward.

In the distance, we could see headlights behind us heading our way.  The old dirt road was long and straight.  It seemed the lights would never reach us.  I had the boys gather wood and we started a small fire by the road to stop the truck heading our way.  As the truck came closer it slowed down and pulled up beside us.  The driver told us to climb into the back and they would take us all the way to Myrtle Beach.

We all curled up under blankets they had given us, eating the sandwiches they handed out to us to curb our hunger.  One by one we drifted off to sleep with the rocking of the truck and the steady hum of the engine.  It was still dark when they woke us up.  The man helped us down and gave us what little cash he had.  The wife held us all close and they said goodbye.  We could hear the roar of the ocean as we walked over the dunes.  We built a small fire and drifted off to sleep listening to the healing sound of the waves gently crashing upon the shore.

The morning came, and a cool breeze blew down upon the shore.  The sunrise was beautiful beyond anything we had ever seen, full of yellows and oranges in an azure sky.  Today we would start a new life.

Point Of View

The community welcomed Adaline, all my aunts and uncles, and my mother.  They all found homes, jobs and had large families.  That same beach was where my mother met my father.  Adaline was always the matriarch of the family, and she found a job at a restaurant on the pier near where they slept that first night.

From the depths of despair and tragedy, you can find hope, courage, and the endurance to go forward.  Within yourself dwells the strength you need so you can rebuild and find happiness and purpose in life.  My family grew and prospered here, and I am thankful that Adaline carried the burden and never faltered.

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Larry Tyler
I have 40 years of Retail Management experience. I am the person they send in to fix things. Call it a Store Focus Specialist, a Smoke Jumper, an Outlaw. I can work within the system or go outside the box when needed. I love walking into chaos and bringing order. I am not a key word person and my education came from mentors not schools. I believe that everything that we do starts with hiring the right people. Driving sales, merchandising, customer service and metrics are just keywords until you hire the right people. My top talents are Recruiting, hiring, training, associate development, and going into a focus store and turning it around. Most importantly I believe in people and that if you teach them, develop them and believe in them they will do far more than they thought possible.

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