Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
My middle name is after two of my mother's friends. I've long wanted a double frame with their pictures, and mom has gotten me one step closer to that by sending me a photo of one of the Annes along with a little card that tells both of their stories:
Annie Winham (January 31, 1893 - May 10, 1967) was a quiet, sweet woman who suffered from depression. (Her husband, Charlie, was an alcoholic.) We became close when they had a "camp" near out house when he was helping Dad with logging. After that I often spent time at their home, which is now the Alstead P.E. on High Street. D.J. [my oldest brother] remembers playing three. During college I often stayed overnight there. I always went to visit whenever I went to N.H. after moving to Md. Annie died while I was pregnant with you.
Anne Purcell [I'll have to ask for the dates] was my supervisor for about my first five years with the Recreation Department in Baltimore, starting in 1951. She was always very professional and helpful. At that time her mother lived with her. I visited at her apartment and she at mine. After five years I was moved from her district and had Fadre for a spervisor and then on to teaching, but we always remained friends and she took much interest in my children. Anne was present with you and Gloria with David when you both were dedicated at University Baptist Church.
The funny thing is that Fadre, whose middle name was Valera, always believed I was named after her. My mother has often told me very firmly that I was not. Fadre, I am told, was the sort of hostess who would practically have the plate out from under your food before you could finish eating. Couldn't waste a second in cleaning up. Nope...I'm not named after her and I certainly don't take after her!
I knew Anne Purcell as Aunt Anne. Though I was a preteen when she died of cancer, and I have a very skimpy memory of my childhood, I do remember her. I have a little figurine -- a squirrel in a mailbox -- that we bought for her at the hospital gift shop. I guess Mom asked for it back as a keepsake when Aunt Anne died. Her favorite color was pink. I think I also still have a pink afghan Mom made for her. I remember one particular luncheon outing with her for my 9th or 10th birthday. We went to a department store restaurant -- Hecht's or Hutzler's, I think -- and I remember it being oh so very fancy and delicious, though I haven't the slightest idea what I ate.
Aunt Anne has no surviving relatives that we're aware of. Her one brother married and had two children, but they both died young -- in their teens or twenties, if I recall correctly. His wife's maiden name was Burdick -- a family that was also involved in the Baltimore City recreation department. I live up the street from Burdick Park. When the park was renovated in the late '70s or early '80s, Mom was upset that the city didn't contact the Burdick family for the reopening ceremony. That's the trouble with memorials...no one bothers to remember who they're for.
I'm like Anne Purcell in that I've never married. I'm like Annie Winham in the tendency toward depression. And I'm different from them both in lots of ways. I'm grateful to them both for loving the shy, awkward girl who was to become my mother. God's penchant for using broken people to serve broken people is just one way He draws straight with crooked lines. It gives me hope that He could use me, the crookedest line of all, to draw something as lovely as these ladies' lives.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 1:13 AM
On July 7, 2009 11:20 PMSheilawrote... Interesting comment about memorials; Robert has noticed that about a church in this area not mentioning that his father was the founding pastor because it was started as a mission work, not a church.
My middle name is JoAnne, is that why I lean towards a bit of depression now and then, too?
God has used you in many ways, I am certain. Your skills with writing and with a needle, your quick whit, your intelligence, your patience. . . you are great, Valerie. We miss seeing you!