I am Decatur #17

Veronica, Cassie, and WIllie Mae

Veronica Edwards moved to Decatur in 1966 when she was five-years-old. She has seen her community in Oakhurst undergo several transformations. As a young girl she witnessed white flight when a large percentage of white neighbors left the city for the suburbs. “During this transition period, we knew as a community that we had to stick together and make sure that everyone in the neighborhood was taken care of. Whatever the need was, we made sure they had it. The village raised the kids and I learned to be an advocate and caretaker at a young age.”

“In 2014, I moved back into my childhood home to care for my mother who is now 92 and my grandmother who is 109-years-old. They really needed someone to assist them since my sister, who had been caring for them, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. I saw the need and had the desire. In my heart, I felt I was the chosen one. The joy comes from being around them, getting their wisdom, and hearing the stories they share with me.” The challenges come from working a full-time job and being the primary caregiver for two aged individuals in a house that is not handicap accessible. In addition, Veronica has had to manage grief of her own.

“I lost my son and only child to a homicide in 2014. The person who pulled the trigger took my son and his best friend. That was the most difficult time in my life. People told me I never had a chance to grieve. I couldn’t sit down and grieve because the needs of my mother and grandmother did not stop. It has to be the grace of God that gives me the strength and endurance to continue to care for them. They did that for me. I’m just giving back.”

  1. Janet Hastings said:

    I love this picture story-such love and devotion. Thank you, my friend

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thanks Janet for your comment. I too was inspired by the love and care I witnessed first hand when in the presence of these three amazing ladies. When I first interviewed Willie Mae and met Veronica for the first time I knew that I would have to return to tell Veronica’s story. Veronica’s story is about compassion and love and all the things that binds “family” together.

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