I Get Up with a Willin’ Mind
Part One – I Was a Home Person
I grew up in Houston, Texas. I was born in San Antonio, Texas. We came to Houston when I was like three or four. It was a big family, there was nine of us. One passed away due to a fire. She got burned in the fire. My mom had to work two jobs so we barely did see her. My older sister always did take care of us. We kind of struggled… kind of struggled but we made it through though.
I wasn’t the type to, like, run the streets. I was a home person. I had my first child at nineteen. So after I had her I went back to work doin’ little jobs. My mom had started getting sick so I started watching her. That’s pretty much my growin’ up stage until I got grown. I got grown, hung out with the wrong peoples, started doin’ wrong things – drugs, alcohol, mistreatin’ my kids, leavin’. Took ‘em to they dad and just pretty much just went wild. Livin’ here and there with kinfolks, pillar to pole. When I do get a place, I stay there, like, three months. Start spendin’ the rent money, comin’ up short. Lights get cut off. Just up and walk off from everything. I mean I used to just walk the street and just cry, literally fall down on my knees and ask God, God please. And soon as one of my friends come by, there I go. And one day I said, “Lord, I can’t do it no more.”
Part Two – I Get Up with a Willin’ Mind
I had my stroke three years ago. Before I had my stroke I was slowin’ down on the drugs. I was tryin’ to do it myself, goin’ to the places on my own and prayin’. And when I had my stroke I kept prayin’ to God that I wanted to stop. “Please help me.” After I had my stroke, I had no desire for no beer, no cigarettes, no drugs. I wanted to live again. I wanted to live a clean life. Start doin’ the right things to get where I want to be. I get up with a willin’ mind. Lord what I’m gonna do? Where I’m gonna go from here? Okay, I can’t walk. I need to start walkin’. And when I start walkin’ I need to get back to what I want to be in life. My journey, what I want to accomplish. And I realize I won’t accomplish nothin’ out there on the streets.
Part Three – God Gave me the Answer
I was stayin’ with my daughter, and so one day I told her, I said, “I’m gonna get me an apartment. I need an apartment.” I said, “God gave me the answer.” I kept asking, “Do he think I be safe?” And it’s still on my mind to get somewhere to stay. So we looked at all the apartment things, like low income stuff like that. They had a waitin’ list, a long waitin’ list. So we drove over here and I asked them about the application stuff and they was real nice. So I filled the application out and stuff, and so I said, “Okay, well you all have a nice day.” And I said, “Make sure you call me.”
And she said “We will, Miss Baskin.”
And so one day the phone rung, and my daughter she come screaming, “Mom! Mom! They say ‘Come! You got the place! Come!’” So we came on over here and I said, “Girl, are you kidding?” And she said, “I’m serious, the lady said that.” So, Miss Vanessa asked me questions, and instead of me answering, my daughter answered. I was so excited I couldn’t even talk! I put the key in the door, it felt good. I mean, I must have cried that day I got in here! I just imagined this was a palace to me! Lookin’ around just cryin’ “Thank you Lord for what I have!” Got my own place. Got my health and strength. No alcohol, no drugs. And I look back from where I was to where I’m at now… one hundred per cent better. I wouldn’t change this life for nothin’.