Pattie Utley of Tampa, FL

Picture of winner's bracelet.

In June 1965, a baby girl was welcomed into the world. She didn’t know it than but was number four of many more children to come. Thus begins the story of my life represented by the beautiful vintage key charm (#8410). By the time I started elementary school, we had moved so many times that our “home” was always on the go (Old Lady In Shoe #0935). There was always a blur of activity with children all over the place that I would find a closet or corner to read. One of those times; I was shocked to discover a poem representing our family which went along like this “There once was an old lady in a shoe who had so many children she didn’t know what to do…” I realized my life wasn’t as bad as those children in the story because our mother didn’t whip us. Since there were so many children in our home; I was sent to spend summers and many weekends with my Great Aunt & Uncle who lived in the country. The tractor charm (#6565) represents the best memories of being loved when I was growing up that I still treasure today. I learned about family, God, hard work and farm life. It was also the first time I was allowed to drive a tractor, which almost tipped over. I was never allowed to drive it again, but could be found sitting on it daydreaming. For unknown reasons, I had to always return back to the chaos, which meant different homes, new schools and keeping up with all the activity. It was during this time that I discovered an outside activity in which I could hit a Badminton Birdie (#3424) so hard to release frustration but it wouldn’t hurt anyone. The next charm, Caduceus Nurse Hat (#1138) represents the dream of what I always wanted to help others. It was the motivating factor which kept me on track to finish high school and eventually enlist in the military. The next charm, USA (#2358) represents my sincere belief that in America, dreams are accomplished and there is so much to be proud of. While serving in the military, I met the man of my dreams, who just happened to be carrying a Keg (#8136) of beer to the company picnic. It’s a story I love sharing with my children because they are amazed I can remember every detail of that day years ago when I cannot even remember what happened yesterday morning. Speaking of children, I went into the hospital exactly 8 years apart (#1761) expecting they would have had the same birthday. However, I found out later my daughter admitted she said a quick prayer that her sibling would not have the same day as hers, so that’s why the labor lasted pasted midnight ;-) My husband & I have poured concrete together for new driveway (Cement Truck #6531) and attended a class on concrete decorating. This is very hard work and it reminds me that we have worked side by side laying the foundation of a strong marriage so our family would always be able to stand firm even when shaky times arrive. The final charm is an Accordion (#8144) which will be the beautiful sound I hear when it is my time to pass from earth to heaven because the Father figure in my life is there now playing in the choir.

Pattie Utley
Tampa, FL
Story of Your Life
June, 2013

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