View More Images

I don’t feel old. I never thought of myself as being 57, 60. I didn’t think that far, you know. I feel young at heart. I like to have fun. I don’t know, just being happy.

They didn’t expect me to pull through. I was really sick. They gave me last rites. But I survived. And here I am…Which I’m glad.

I don’t know the exact date that I got it, but I would say about 20 years ago. I think I got it from my husband. I’m pretty sure, pretty sure.

He dropped me off, ‘cause I was sick, and they kept me. He came the first three days that I was here. I haven’t seen him since then. I guess he got scared.

I don’t know if he’s doing too well right now, I think he is doing drugs, from what I hear. That’s one thing I’ll never go back to. I don’t want no part of it. I wish him luck, it’s all I can do.

I was married twice. If I had to do it over again, I would have children. But maybe it was God’s way, being that I’m sick, children didn’t come into my life. I have my nieces and nephew. I don’t see them very often. But I can understand them not wanting to bring the kids here, you know. Although I would like to see them.

I was born in Belleville. It’s a “town” town—has one high school, everybody knows each other… nice. It’s a good place to grow up. I was pretty good in school. I was a cheerleader, I think. I didn’t go to college. Financially, it was hard for my parents at that time. I was a book keeper’s secretary. I liked working.

When I started getting sick, I went on disability, and everything happened from there. I lost a lot of things when I was unconscious—a lot of paperwork, most of my clothes, all my jewelry. Everything I lost. It’s gone. It’s gone.

I’m glad I came here. I’m happy right now. They don’t look down at you here, they treat you like a human being. It’s a nice place.

I really didn’t think I’d live this long, you know. I wasn’t seeing anyone for the virus, I was just taking it day by day. And I always said to myself: I wonder if I’m gonna get sick. And sure enough the day came. I guess I didn’t want to deal with it, you know what I mean? But reality struck.

It’s amazing, the things that I have forgotten. But thank God, I’m hopefully back to normal. I was much worse, boy, I couldn’t walk, I was in a wheelchair. So, I’ve come a long way. I knew so many people who have died. So sad. I thank God I’m still alive, really.