Who is Annie?
"You can't always be
thinking about what you
or SHOULD'VE done.
Focus on what you're
GONNA do now."
Annie grew up on a farm in rural Northern Louisiana, where she was raised by her maternal aunt and uncle after her mother's death during childbirth. Although her childhood wasn't easy working on a farm, Annie's aunt, helped her learn that she was talented and compassionate toward people and animals alike. Annie was a voracious reader and learner but never finished her formal education. Instead, she spent the rest of her life helping her husband, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and countless others prepare for school, college, and many of life’s other challenges.
During her time at home, Annie became known throughout her family and community as a safe person to seek out in times of strife. She was never too busy to lend an ear, a cup of coffee, baked goods, a clean bed, or even money (if she could avoid her husband’s detection.) She never judged you for any bad decisions you might have made or harm those choices might have led to, because, “you can’t always be thinkin’ about what you could’ve done or should’ve done” but “focus on what you’re gonna do now.”
Even if you slipped-up again, she would be there to remind you, that “you just need to come see me and we’ll have a talk about it.” At any time, day or night, you would be welcome in Annie's kitchen. You'd find a genuinely warm, inviting, and nonjudgmental Annie with a cigarette in her right hand, a fresh pot of coffee going, some baked goods in the oven, and a warm smile on her face. She would say with a smile, “come here, Jenny,” and pat the empty table spot next to her, and implore you to, “tell me more about it.”
Annie was my grandmother. She raised me until I was 11 years old. Throughout the all too brief time Annie was in my life, we remained incredibly close. I spent many weekends and school breaks at her home. During the last weeks of her life in the hospital, I was able to spend many important moments with her.
On her passing the world lost one one of the most kind, open, and supportive people I have ever had the pleasure of loving and being loved by. She taught me how to care for those creatures, both human and animal, who need someone to listen, care a little bit for them, and might need a little bit of food in their tummies, and a lot of empathy. We, those of us who have the same instincts as Annie, have started the Greater Dallas Support Alliance, Annie’s Helpline, and more to come, to better the lives of all who need a bit of help and a lot of understanding no matter who they are or which choices they’ve made in life, whether or not they can afford the help. Even y’all who don’t like coffee.
- Jen and the Greater Dallas Support Alliance