Posts Tagged daughter

International Woman’s Day

Today is International Woman’s Day. As far as I am concerned every day is Woman’s Day. My mother worked long hard hours in a cotton mill and then came home and took care of her family. She and my dad did everything together. In later years she had her own lawn mower. His was gas operated. Hers was electric. My maternal grandmother worked as dis most of my aunts. My sister has worked outside the home from as soon as she could and for as long as she could. She helped raise three wonderful sons. Mt late wife taught kindergarten, art classes, and painted. Carol, my current wife, taught in South Carolina Schools for twenty-eight years.

My daughter, Suzanne, has worked in the hotel industry since late high school. She got her degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and has never looked back. She raised a terrific son. My granddaughter , Christina, teaches in child care after graduating from the College of Charleston. Her other grandmother also had a distinguished teaching career.

As an administrator I had many wonderful female employees who were paid on the same level as their male counterparts. It has been my great joy to work with many brilliant, talented, dedicated, hardworking women.

In religious circles, there are brilliant examples of women who lead the way: Dr. Molly Marshall, Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, and Dr. Linda Bridges to name only a few. My own congregation could not function without Lori Lethco, Emory Hiott, Beverly Bradley, Pat Ezell, Jane Hamrick, Ann Cheek, Susanne Jeter, Linda Lentz, Brandy Brown, Donna Parrish, Debbie Mack, Sue Murner and a host of others.

I have learned the hard way all of the things that my two wives, daughter and sister have done for me that I took for granted. No matter how hard I work, I can never repay their efforts great and small on my behalf. All I can do now is work for and vote for justice for all women everywhere..

*The picture is of my parents taken by my son, Michael.

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Happy Birthday – Suzanne Carnell Smith

The Birth of Elizabeth Suzanne Smith –August 23 –Baton Rouge, Louisiana

            We left Wheeling, West Virginia where I was a speech clinician with the Easter Seal Society when your mother was about 8 and 1/2 months pregnant driving in our 1954 un- air conditioned, green and white Chevrolet. We planned a stop in Newport, Arkansas where Joan, Joe and Anne were living. They had air conditioning which they ran very sparingly. After that we headed for Baton Rouge but encountered car trouble in some small lakeside town. We arrived in Baton Rouge and found our second floor apartment on Rittner Drive.

            On August 22nd we had a late night snack of chili and tamales. When your mother began to feel some discomfort, we were unsure whether it was the snack or labor pains. We decided that it was labor pains. She drove us to the Baptist Hospital. In those days I was not allowed to stay with her. She was very sick in the preparation room and threw up chili and tamales on everyone. The nurses were not happy.

            It was a very long night for me in the waiting room as father after father was called by the nurses. I heard when one new baby or mother or both did not make it. Early on August 23rd I started calling family and friends to let them know that Elizabeth Suzanne Carnell had arrived safe and healthy.  Pop and mama were overjoyed because you were the first granddaughter. Liz stayed in the hospital a couple of days. I wanted her to stay longer, but when the doctor asked her if she felt like going home she said, “Yes.”

            Joan had been scheduled to come help us, but Anne got sick and Joan could not come. In desperation I asked the visiting nurse to check on us. She did a couple of times and assured us that we were doing everything fine, except we were putting too many clothes and covers on the baby. “Let her sleep nude and uncovered.” She also felt that she would burp too if anyone patted her on the back the way I burped you.

            We had many wonderful friends on the staff at the Cerebral Palsy Center and everyone started visiting especially Sally Copperthwaite and June Smyth. The staff even gave me a surprise baby shower. You spent many happy days with “Miss Sally” and at the Smyths. We had a wonderful backyard on Rittner drive and you loved being outside in your mesh playpen.

            You and I took many walks around our neighborhood. At the big curve there was a fierce dog behind the fence named Beelzebub. When you learned to ride your tricycle, I often came home carrying both you and the tricycle.

            We arrived in Charleston two days before your fourth birthday.

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Thankful Thursday – Suzanne Smith

            Today on this Thankful Thursday and every day I am thankful for my daughter, Suzanne. She has a birthday on Monday. I can still see us coming back from our walks which started out as tricycle rides on Rittner Drive in Baton Rouge. As we returned home I was carrying both Suzanne and the tricycle. Beelzebub, a ferocious dog, who lived around the corner, had driven us away with his fierce barking. We arrived in Charleston the day before her birthday and on her birthday we followed up an ad to get her a new kitten. Of course, there was the day that she and her mother picked up our brand new car from the dealership and Suzanne came to get me at work. She wrecked the car at Wesley drive. Thankfully she was not hurt. The car was a different story. She discovered her calling at USC in the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Program and is having a wonderful career first with Holiday Inns and now with the Marriott at Vanderbilt in Nashville. We have had wonderful trips to Ireland, the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, the Norman Rockwell Museum, etc. She is also the mother of my first grandson, Christopher. I know that every father is proud of his daughter and I am no exception. I have a daughter who picks out the scrawniest Christmas tree because,”Daddy, no one else will buy it and it will be left here.” She has a heart that reaches out to everyone and I would not have it any other way. Happy birthday, Suzanne. Your Dad.

            Thankful Thursday is a day to celebrate the contributions that someone has made to your life. Let her or him know how thankful you are. Send a card, make a telephone call or send an E-mail. Don’t let the day go by without doing it. You will be glad that you said thank you.

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