Leigh's life falls apart in a moment. Is there a reason to go on?
I have shared pieces of my story many times over the years. The winds of time have blown, and like the fallen leaves of an autumn tree, fragments of my life are scattered throughout this town. However, my story has never been told like this. When I was approached about having my biography written, I was skeptical. I’m not famous. I may be pretty well known in this little town, but beyond its borders few people have ever heard my name. I’ve been through some hard times, but who hasn’t? Is it really worth writing a book about? Nevertheless, my kids were excited, and at their insistence, I relented. My kids are my weakness. Oh, how I love them so!
Today we begin. I sit in my gazebo in the cool of the day. The gazebo sits on a bluff, and from this vantage point I can see the waters of Union River Bay to the south and the roofs of Town Square to the west. We are in the last days of spring. The air is still warm, but a light breeze stirs the flowers that border the gazebo. Across from me sits one of my children, Thomas. He is an author, and this biography was his idea. A tape recorder sits on the table between us, and an open notebook waits in front of Thomas. Smiling, he tells me to just start from the beginning.
At the risk of going too far to the beginning, you can’t understand who I am unless you know who I was. So, I guess the beginning would involve where I came from.
I have lived in this town all of my life. Growing up, life was uneventful enough. I was the only child of Beth Young. I don’t remember my father. Mama said his name was Morgan, and that he died from a heart attack when I was three. My grandparents helped raise me. I was spoiled, of course, but Mama also taught me how to work hard and love others. She also tried to instill in me a love for God, but I didn’t want anything to do with a God that let me grow up without a Daddy. We were never rich, but Mama worked hard to give me a good life. That means I didn’t see her much.
Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher. I loved being around young children and helping them learn how to think for themselves. To watch a young child master a skill or come to a correct conclusion on their own is beautiful. I went to college and received a bachelor’s degree in special education. After graduating, I began working in Pine Bluff’s elementary school. While working, I went on to receive my master’s degree.
At the age of 29, I met Nathan Brewer. He was the town pediatrician. We dated for a year and a half, then married. Oh, he was my everything! How I loved that man. He came from a family of doctors. His father was an oncologist, and his younger brother, Lance, was an optometrist. His mother didn’t work outside of the home; most women didn’t back then.
I loved his family, and they took me in immediately. I became very close to them. That doesn’t happen so much these days.
So there you have it. You now know where I came from. Now I guess my story can begin.