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Joy Joy was my mother. I remember enough to write a book, which I'm not going to do, but there are a few things I want to share.

Mom was married when she was 15. Grandpa said she was hell on wheels. I was born when she was 16. She lost a little girl baby when she was 17. I had Polio when she was 19. She was never really a teenager.

Right after I had Polio, Mom became a legend at Warm Springs. The doctors from there had come to Atlanta to see me. They told her that I would never walk again and probably would never sit up unassisted. This small teenager calmly told them, 'No, you're wrong. My boy will walk.' She was right. They were wrong and the doctors remembered that discussion for the next 15 years.

I was never strong enough to peddle a bicycle but before I was 16 I wanted a motorcycle more than anything in the world. It was crazy for me to ride motorcycles but Mom helped me to get one and helped me to learn to ride. I was riding on a rainy day and had an accident. It knocked me out cold and put me into the hospital with my face all torn up. When I woke up, Mom was there. I told her, 'I guess that ends my motorcycling days.' She said, 'No, when you get out of here you are going to get right back on one again.' I did and had several years of wonderful riding before I grew out of that phase.

I went to a secondary high school. In fact my graduating class was only 39 students. I was very interested in college even in the 9th grade but voiced how difficult it would be for me to get into a good college coming from such a small country school. Mom told me, 'You will be able to go to any school you want to attend.' She was right. I apply to three schools, IIT, MIT, Georgia Tech, and was accepted by all three.

When I was diagnosed with MS I went to tell my parents. It took the wind out of their sails and things were quite for a while. Then Mom said, 'Well, we'll get through this too. So what needs to be done?'

For a lot of years I did not have a high opinion of my mother. She never seemed rational and I didn't think she really got the point of things. Mom seemed frail and weak compared to others who where in my circle. She appeared almost always to be unhappy and was alone in our small town. My respect for her did not mature until I was out of college and on my own. Only then could I see what she gave to me without asking for anything in return.

She was the one person in that critical time of my life that would not let me give up. She could not see any limits for me. Mom taught me to never to say can't and that nothing was impossible. She did this for me at a great cost to her.

Mom smoked all her life. Cancer resulted and led from tumor to tumor. Her death was slow over a number of years.

Due to Polio my spine is curved. As I got older and the bones settled, my backbone began to pinch the nerves at the curve making it painful to walk. For years I had put off a spinal fusion that would stop the pain. Mom would ask me about it every six months or so. Finally I decided to take a medical leave from work and do the surgery. I told Mom she was right again and I was going ahead with the surgery. She said, 'I'm so happy. I know you will be OK now.' Before the surgery, only 10 days later, she died.

Jim James Henry (Jim) was the fourth child of Marvin and Jewel born in 1929. He grew up during the Depression but you couldn't tell it from his picture. In 1950 at the age of 21 he married Joy, who was only 15 at the time. Jim started work at the Haralson County Bank. He then took a job as a State Bank Examiner. After I had Polio, he returned to the Haralson County Bank so that he would be with his wife and son every day.

Jim stayed with the Bank for the remainder of his career. He worked his way up through all positions, starting as a teller, to become President of the Bank and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Even more significate was his continuous effort to help the city and county grow.

A few years after my mother died, Jim found a lady and re-married. At the age of 68 he had his second son. Austin is a lucky little brother to have a proven father as good as my dad.

Sandra was born in 1952, a year after me. She died just days later so I never knew her. However, I have always felt that I had a sister and sometimes I even went to her grave to talk. That may sound strange but I was never normal. When Sandra was born there were complications. My mother had surgery at her birth and was not able to have any more children. If Sandra had lived, I am certain we would have been a pair to deal with in Haralson County.

Rise Howard This is Rise and Howard. They are also 'MY FAMILY'.

William Author Wood was born in 1948. After high school he joined the Nave and made it his career. He married Gaye Davenport. they had three children; Todd, Tim and Tracy. Bill retired from the Navy in 1996 and ended his marriage to Gaye in 1998.

I could write a book about my relationship to Bill. As I grew up, Bill was my brother. We shared the love and the fussing that is between all brothers and I looked up to him just the same as do all little brothers. Yet, over time we grew apart. I still do not know why and feel it was a loss to both of us. He is a mystery i n many ways. Bill has gifts that he never learned to use and love given to him that he would not accept. I miss him.

By the way, his ex-wife Gaye was and is one very fine person.