Written by Pamela K. Orgeron, M.A., Ed.S., BCCC, ACLC, Author
This past week the Lord called me to return to my hometown to say good-bye to an old family friend Golden Douglas Sloan and to check on my mother’s status in the nursing home. While there I felt impressed to show my husband Milton around my old stomping grounds to see how things have changed.
Honestly, I didn’t need to visit my old stomping grounds to trigger a trip down memory lane. Long time friend and father-figure in my life Doug Sloan’s passing was enough to trigger that. Our families have been friends in the church since the early 1960’s. He and my late father Harry Marvin Owens also both worked at ARMCO Steel Mill in Ashland, KY. Additionally, both men served God together as ordained preachers in the United Baptist Church.
Doug’s oldest daughter Vickie was only a couple of years older than me so we naturally became good friends. Vickie’s little sisters Rhonda, Susan, and Peggy were all like “little sisters I never had”. The matriarch of their family, Jessie McCarty Sloan, was like a second mother to me. Our families have been through a lot of good and bad times together, which only made the friendships stronger in the end. I will always cherish the memories I have of Doug and Jessie Sloan, and their four daughters. I would like to ask those reading this blog to please say a prayer for Jessie Sloan and her daughters in their loss of Doug.
Moving along on my trip down memory lane: after Doug’s funeral this past Friday and visiting with Mom at the nursing home Friday evening, Saturday morning/afternoon was when I took Milton on a tour of my old stomping grounds. Some things hadn’t changed much (e.g. the house we lived in when I attended Fairview Schools, Ashland, KY). Other changes I was quite surprised to see. For example, Pine Acres Elementary School has a new addition to the building, and a new name, Fairview Elementary! My high school too had additional sections added to that building.
What did God show me from my trip down memory lane? He reminded me of a lot of good times but more importantly He showed me how much I have healed from the bad. For example, when I returned to the neighborhood where I was raped at the age of 3 years old, I felt no pain or anger about what happened back then. The memories of what happened were there but without bitterness, which I attribute to God’s healing mercy. I realize what happened was for God’s greater purposes, and that He has used and will continue to use the circumstances of what happened and its aftermath to minister to others in similar situations.
When have you looked into the roots of your upbringing? Have you ever? If not, I encourage you to do so. You might be surprised by what you learn.