Judith R. Lewis

by

Shaliena Lewis

 

6th Grade 1995, Tri-County School, Karlstad,MN

 

She was born in a small town named Price in Utah on March29, 1940. She was the first born of 7 children. She had 4 sisters, Winanne,Sue, Elsa, and Nona. She had 2 brothers, Johnny and Andy. Her family wasvery religious. She remembers that they couldn't spend any time with theirfriends unless they went to church. Sunday was considered a day of worship,not labor, so they were not to spend money and cook. Their entertainmentwas to sit around the radio and listen.

She grew up helping with all the household duties, includingbaking 3 loaves of homemade bread every day after school. Her father wasa math and algebra teacher and sold Electrolux vacuums on the side. Hermother stayed home with the children. Her mother would have trouble withstress and would pass out at times. This made her help with the house andchildren even more necessary.

They didn't have much for clothes, 2 blouses and 2 skirtsfor each girl and 2 pants and 2 shirts for the boys. When she was in herearly teens, she moved to Bountiful, Utah. She didn't want to go and leavebehind her friends but she had no choice. It was in Bountiful they gottheir first T.V. It was a black and white T.V. This was very exciting. She still missed Price. She decided to run away and go back to Price. She walked along the railroad and was going to sneak on a train. Thisis when she saw her first black man, he was a hobo. He asked where shewas going. She was very scared. She asked him what was wrong with him,his skin didn't look right to her. He was very nice and tried to explainto her that he was just a different race and that his skin was fine, justa different color. This scared her enough that she decided Bountiful wasn'tthat bad after all. She went back home.

She made new friends in Bountiful and would spend timewatching T.V. at their house if her work was done. She started dating whenshe was 16 with very strict rules on behavior and curfews. They would hangout at the Drive-In or go to the movies.

Elvis was the heart throb of her days. Punishment in herdays was not fun either. She had to go in the yard and pick a willow fromthe tree and get whipped with it or the belt. She learned fast skinny willowsfor they would sting and hurt the most. They were not to waste any food,no matter how long it took them to eat it. When she was 21, she got pregnant,the father was only 15. They were forced into being married before anyonecould tell. She was married for 7 years and she had 3 daughters, Monica,LaNae, and Jana. She took care of 5 foster children for about 5 years duringtheir marriage. The marriage laster a long time but when someone gets marriedat 15 years there is too much they haven't had time to experience yet.

Marriage isn't the right time to start experimenting eventhough he was an excellent provider from day one. They went their separateways, he set them up in a house with a payment of $100.00 a month and 3children to support. She had to work 2 jobs, the child support stoppedshortly after the divorce. She always had headaches but now they were gettingworse. Sometimes it would feel like needles were stabbing in her eyes andshe would get dizzy spells and sometimes some of her body would go numb. She went to the doctors and was told that she had migraines but no highblood pressure or anything. She was told to try to take something for thembefore they would get bad. About 5 years later she met her second husband. He ended up being an alcoholic and abusive at times. She remembers differentbars calling her and asking her to pick him up. One fight they got in wasa nasty one, she remembers his fists going through the wall. She bit hishand at one time, somehow she got in her room to hide but the door camedown on top of her. She woke up in the hospital and had a major stroke. Come to find out she had been having minor strokes that pout her in bedon and off for years. Now, she was paralyzed and could not move or talk. They taught her how to talk again and her right side got better after monthsin the hospital. She went home in a wheelchair. She used the wheelchairfor a few more months and then learned how to use a cane and the musclesin her left ankle were destroyed. When she started using her cane was thesame time her brace was ready. Her life was totally turned upside down. Now she had to rely on everyone for everything. She needed help with everything,getting to the toilet, cooking and cleaning and tying her shoes. She neededher children and husband for everything. Since her left side wasn't workingright anymore. Her husband decided to turn to one of her daughters forsex, he told her that she wasn't able to anymore. Thank God she told meand that was the end of that marriage. After about 1 year she was capableof most household duties and drive a car, but she will always be paralyzedon her left side. She ended up getting married 3 more times and none ofthem worked out.

During her marriages, she lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. Now she lives in Bountiful again. She lives in an apartment for elderlyor handicapped. She's 55 years old. If anything happens where she needsan ambulance or anything of that nature, she has emergency pull stringson the walls in different rooms. The pull strings automatically call anambulance. Her children are all raised now and she has 11 grandchildren. Her favorite thing to do in life is to spend time with her children andgrandchildren.

I got my information from my mom and grandmandchildren.

I got my information from my mom and grandma