About The Author
Jimmie Lou Watson holds three
education degrees from Arizona State University, including an
Education Specialist Degree in Language Arts. In addition to a
graduate thesis, she has written educational research and
curriculum. Jimmie Lou is recently retired from teaching for the
past 40 years in the Scottsdale School District. She and her
husband, Jesse, reside in Phoenix, Arizona, have two grown
children and two grandchildren.
Jimmie Lou is recording this anecdotal history not only for
family members but for future generations and historians. Her
passion is to share her appreciation for the determination,
faith, and love demonstrated in the lives of her grandmother
Karolina, and her mother Helen, that helped make America a great
I will never forget my
grandmother Karolina and her spirit of determination, faith, and
love that lived on in my mother, Helen. I feel so blessed to
have known these two extraordinary women, and I want to share
their story. The generations who did not know them will now know
how it all began—where we came from. They will know how the
spirit of determination, love, and faith lived in Karolina and
her children and lives on in us today.
I feel happy when I think of my
grandmother and mother. I remember their love and their calm,
gentle manner. Even though we seem insignificant when compared
to God’s universe, they understood that we each have unique
souls, cherished by Him.
Two events in my life triggered
my writing of this book. The first was a card my cousin Linda
gave me when Mom passed on into eternity. It states, “She gives
us life and teaches us how to live it. Her love will always be a
part of all we are. It must be hard to say good-bye to one who
meant so much, but just remember that all of your mother’s best
qualities live on in you—yours to treasure and share through all
the years to come.” This card made me happy to think about the
truth of these statements.
The second event was during a
conversation with my son. When I said “I wasn’t raised that
way,” he looked at me and said, “I have no idea how you were
raised.” I was shocked to realize that our lives had been that
busy—too busy for me to have shared with my children the
wonderful memories I have of my grandmother and mother.
In my research for this book I
enjoyed reconnecting with my aunts and uncles, brothers and
sisters, our children, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends who
knew my grandmother and/or my mother. In talking with them, I
felt the warm sense of family unity—the way Karolina and Helen
did. I now share what I learned from my interviews, from photos,
from my memory, and from the stories Mom told me over the years.
I share the past and the present.
I want to continue sharing in the future. The most important
thing I can share is the spirit of love and faith my grandmother
Karolina shared with us. I’m thankful that her spirit lives on
in us today.