I was born on a cold morning, January 1, 1954 in Franklin, KY, Simpson County. Both of my mothers were there. One gave me birth. One gave me life. There was no sign of a father with the exception of my Uncle Joe who later became my precious earthly father. My mother already had four children and the last thing she needed was another mouth to feed. One son was married. She still had four children at home under the age of 10 with little to no financial support. My mother ironed clothes for the Dr. to pay for my birth. I lived on Cherry Street in Franklin, KY until the age of 3. By then I had a kindly step-father and we moved to Indianapolis where he had family.
Life continued in Indiana until sadly my mother passed away from cancer on September 3, 1963. She was just 49. She left five children. Two were married, but three were still young and at home. We young children were then separated. It was hard. My brother, Buddy, went to live in AZ with my married brother. He was a junior in high school. My sister was married with four of her own children. That left 11 year old Bobby and 9 year old me. I came to live in Tennessee in September of 1963 with my Aunt Donnie and Uncle Joe, who had no children of their own. My brother Bobby was to come to Tennessee and live with my uncle. However, at the last minute, my uncle would not take him. He lived in and out of orphanages until he graduated high school and joined the Navy. He passed away in 1996. I didn’t find this out until I was on Ancestry in 2012 and found out that he had passed away. Isn’t it sad to find out that your brother passed away by reading it on the computer.
There are only two of the original five children left, my brother Buddy and me. Buddy and I are close. I settled right in, here in Tennessee. I was enrolled in public school and Sunday School. I was baptized in 1965/66 during a meeting held by Bro. Willard Collins. I loved my new home. I never really missed my home in Indiana because my new family filled that emptiness in my soul. My new parents were good to me, and I loved them. I was officially adopted in the fall of 1965 and became Theresa Marie Levatino. During my childhood, I enjoyed all the pleasures that a child could have. I graduated from PHS in 1972 and from WKY in 1976 with a BS and a MA in 1976 plus 30 hours in Administration. I was a teacher principal for 36 years with Sumner County. Gradually my parents began to age. Such is the nature of life. My sweet father passed away March 18, 2002. That just left my mother and me. We had some good years together and grew very close during this time. My mother’s health began to fail.
I was blessed to be able to retire in 2012 to stay home and help with her care. She passed away October 27, 2015. I was broken. Timmy and Bro. Randy came to me. They comforted me. They had visited many times previously. Now it’s just me. Mama once said that she didn’t know why she was even born. I said to Mama, “You were born out of love to older parents who perhaps weren’t expecting another baby at their age. ” “I, however was born out of lust to a precious mother who did not need me.” “Mama, you see, the Lord knew that in time I would need you to take care of me and in time He knew that you would need me to take care of you. So you see it’s all part of the Lord’s plan.”
So now it’s just me. I love my church family. You have helped me in many ways all through the years. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, you rallied around me and still do to this day. I love you. I don’t know how my life will play out. There were rough times, yet joyous times. I continue to be blessed beyond belief. I trust through Christ’s love, mercy and grace that I will have lived a life so that I can inherit a home with my Lord in Heaven. I hope to be reunited with my loved ones that I so deeply miss.