Saturday, December 21, 2013

Welcome Visit by Charlie’s cousin, Bill Odom Dec. 7, 2013

This morning early they called me to the visiting park. My cousin, Bill Odom, drove from Nashville to visit for the day. I hadn’t seen him since 2000, and it was a great day to be reunited after so much time. Although we come from similar backgrounds – Bill’s late mother, Ruthie Jean, and my mother were sisters — in the summer of my twelfth year, in Sulphur Springs, Texas, we both played on the little league baseball team that Bill’s father, John Odom, managed and coached, our paths diverged, and we led entirely different lives.

While I was serving a life sentence, Bill embarked on a career as a court reporter, married and raised three children, worked for the Speaker of the House in the U.S. Capitol, met presidents, and recently retired from the federal government. Now he is taking time to travel the country and reconnect with relatives. All the things I lot, or never had, Bill was blessed to have, through faith and diligent work. We had a lot to talk about.

The time raced by too quickly, and it seemed that we’d barely eaten our canteen hamburgers and taken the above photo before it was time to go. We shared prayers of thanks and faith, that God protect us both, hugged, and Bill was gone. He’ll spend a few days visiting other relatives, my mother, and my aunt in Tampa, before returning to Nashville, where he now lives.

Below is a photo of my mother and Bill’s mother in Texarkana, sometime around 1948, before either of us was born. Bill said he had never seen it. My mother, Lucille Walker, at left, and Bill’s mother, Ruthie Jean Walker, were carefree teens who had no idea what the future would bring. It is one of my favorite photos. I’ve asked my mother what she was thinking, what they were doing, and who took the photo, but she couldn’t remember.

Bill promised he would stay in touch, and not let so much time pass between visits, and  I’m looking forward to seeing him again. After enjoying a visit with my mother and Phil in October, four days of visits with Libby over Thanksgiving, following up with my cousin’s visit, I’ve had a multitude of blessings.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holy MOLEY, what a pair of LOOKERS. They appear to be walking in the photo.. at first I thought they were dancing in place but then realized they would look like that while taking steps...

it's easy to see where you boys got your looks, at least in part !! And that beautiful smile. On you all.