The Flowering Vine: My Inspiration


Even at the ripe old age of 55, I’ve not yet accomplished all that I hope to accomplish in life. I still have obstacles that I wish overcome and goals that I aim to attain; a mountain of education to climb; a valley of physical improvements to traverse; an ocean of spiritual maturity to cross, and although I’ve reached a chronological age somewhere past “middle”, I keep pushing; pressing my way through; forging my way on, because I know for a fact that it is never too late. I know this because I have a role model who has shown me that it is possible; that all things are possible if you just believe; believe in God and believe in yourself.

The following essay is written by “MY INSPIRATION” and Mom.

“It has been said that, ‘Freedom is an attitude of mind and heart that frees the soul to soar.’ A caged bird may be limited in where it can fly and what it can see, but it has the spirit to soar freely as it sings its sweet song. In its spirit, all physical limitations are overcome and its true nature springs forth untethered by constraints.

I graduated from T.V. McCoo High School in Eufaula, Alabama. This school was formerly known as Van Buren High School. The year was 1958; four years after “Brown versus The Board of Education”. The Supreme Court decision was popularly known as “Separate but Equal”. The System’s solution was a new, “Separate but Equal”, black high school. The school was built and completed in the middle of my Senior year. We had been set free! For me, this was a year of great revelation.

My class was the first graduating class from a school named after a black doctor. I was voted Miss Senior and rode in the town’s parade. I also performed an oration, (even though I was frightened to death). In the spring of that year, I graduated from a new high school but not without personal setbacks. My maternal grandmother’s demise was right around that time. In spite of this tragedy, this new God given opportunity had set me free. I truly believed that this new environment was going to set my spirit free to soar beyond boundaries and appearances; to step out on faith and do what God had created me to do.

My vision would one day be realized but not without trials. First, I had to have faith and believe that; “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And all of us….seeing the Glory of The Lord…is being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” -2 Corinthians 3:17-18. Due to financial conditions, I was unable to begin my academic flight immediately; there were detours along the way.

Within the unfolding story of my life, I created a family. So from the first flowering blossom to the last; from one side of the room to the other; from one end of the country to the opposite end, there was always God’s presence, teaching me and guiding me in the care of my family. My children grew up and created families of their own. This created the freedom for me to soar.  “Finally” I thought, “I can sing and soar freely; exploring the limits of the skies of my ambitions.

For a moment, I imagined that I was a time traveler; traveling back through the centuries until I was side-by-side with Michelangelo as he turned a block of stone into something magnificent; chipping away– never giving up until a masterpiece emerged. My aspiration was to get a college education and that’s was what I was going to do, regardless of how long it took.

Upon entering college, I realized how woefully unprepared I was. I was lacking the proper educational tools, and background to compete with the younger generation. I was a generation behind; “Separate but Equal” had failed me. But like Michelangelo, I did not give up. I worked on my own stone. I worked to create something magnificent to me; my masterpiece, for God had given me the ability to create.  It was not a Michelangelo, but something as simple as helping a child to learn his multiplication tables was equally awesome.

So, after many, many years and despite my lack of the proper tools; like knowing how to use a card catalogue, or how to operate a computer;  I received a degree in Professional Studies and a Master’s in Education. I taught school for twenty years and have been retired for ten. I am free! I did as the caged bird had done; I broke free and I soared. I no longer allow doubts and obstructions to keep my blessings from me.

To my children and grandchildren I say, “Soar as high as you can soar. Chip away at your stone, just as Michelangelo chipped away at his; create something magnificent and then sing your sweet song.”  The sky is the limit.

32 thoughts on “The Flowering Vine: My Inspiration

  1. Anna, you should check out the essay on my blog,, entitled, “This Land is Your Land”. In it, I describe how my school in South GA., remained segregated until 1970, despite previous laws “ending segregation”.

    You see, when it comes to correcting Injustice, the South (U.S.) has historically, lagged far behind the rest of the civilized world.
    In regard to racial issues in the U.S. there’s often a significant difference between the history books and real life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think Anna was looking at this:

      “The year was 1958; four years after “Brown versus The Board of Education”. The Supreme Court decision was popularly known as “Separate but Equal”.”

      She was probably thinking that Aunt Jet meant the Brown decision established “Separate but Equal” as opposed to making it unconstitutional.

      Of course, this could be one of those hairs that didn’t need splitting. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful and inspiring person your mom is! What a wonderful article! I can see she is a woman who considers life an absolute gift and makes joyful use of it. Please give her lil cheek kisses for me. And to yourself too, going for a Masters now, of all things!!! Wow, just wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. T. Wayne

    An inspiring post, Ron. This time, no need for the notes, so I set my pen and notepad down this week…

    Much like yours was for you, my mom remains an inspiration for me. She pushed me to go further than she did, given what she had to deal with growing up. Much like your mom, she too graduated from a segregated high school, but she didn’t go further with her education. I can’t say for certain whether the fact that she didn’t go to college inspired me to go, but I can remember from early on knowing and believing that I would go to college, and not only go, but thrive and graduate. Even as she had no real idea what that kind of life was like, she never stopped encouraging me to do my best, to go further and do more. Hopefully I serve as a kind of inspiration to my daughters to do the same, no matter their chosen goals.

    Thanks again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jet

      Thanks T. Wayne! I know your mom would be very proud of you for setting aside your pad and pen to pay attention to someone who has been down the trodden path; one who shared the toils and strife as she, in HER journey towards making a better life for you! Take care! You seem to be a perfect role model for your children.
      Ron’s Mom

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Jet

    Hi Anna,
    Thanks for the comments! I hope this will clarify any confusion that you may have in the points I was trying to make in my essay.
    “The Separate but Equal doctrine was confirmed in the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation. In practice the separate facilities provided to African Americans were rarely equal; usually they were not even close to equal, or they did not exist at all. The doctrine was overturned by a series of Supreme Court decisions, starting with Brown v. Board of Education of 1954. However, the overturning of segregation laws in the United States was a long process that lasted through much of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, involving federal legislation (especially the Civil Rights Act of 1964),and many court cases.” My school was built as a solution to the separate but equal proposition in 1958, before there was a resolution.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Hey, I asked her and she was like “I am 4 months and 5 days older. ”
          Something tells me she prolly practiced that a thousand times when they were kids😂😂😂

          Liked by 2 people

  5. So inspirational, Ron. Create something wonderful. We all want to do that no matter if we are writers, lawyers, doctors, etc. We want to be remembered for a contributing. Not necessarily famous but remembered by our loved ones and people that surround us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. omanfuqua

      I enjoyed reading about your mom endurance because my mom did the same thing. Mom had nine children and after me the youngest of the family she went back to school. Mom became a public speaker. Her radio station she talked on The Family Structure and Good Citizenship Starts at Home. She was honored as mother of the year three years in a row and then she lost her eyesight. My mom continued to lecture for many years after and one day she came home and said she was going to retire. Children was her audience and she didn’t want to make them sad by them feeling sorry for her because she was blind. But she began teaching a blind class the Bible because she knew the Bible word for word. She taught her blind class until she passed on. Her and dad are both gone and they are both my heroes still.

      Liked by 2 people

Lady G appreciates your comments ! 💋💋

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.