Senior Center of Greater Richmond

Creating Opportunities for Healthy Aging Through Social Engagement

Member Spotlight Lessie Reddick

By Joan Galimore

Meet Lessie Reddick. She is a “Georgia Peach”. , born and raised in the heart of Dixie in a small town called Parrott, Georgia. That’s why she makes the best peach cobbler in the whole wide world! A professional cook, she is both an expert baker and cook. Also the typical ”Southern Belle”, she is gracious, friendly and very hospitable. A very giving and selfless person, she will give you the “shirt off her back” if you ask for it. Another southern delicacy she loves is pecans. Maybe, if we are lucky, she will make her famous pecan pie. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Her childhood was less rosy. She has triumphed over many adversities, trials and tribulations. As a result, she has grown into the strong, remarkable person that she is today. Although she doesn’t see herself this way, others close to her admire and appreciate her as she is. Born the oldest of six (6) siblings in the late 1940’s, she has survived the challenges of the cultural climate as well as personal tragedies. Enduring a dysfunctional family unit and a toxic parental relationship, she became the protector of her younger siblings. However, she could not protect her sister Jacqueline, who succumbed from a chronic illness. Afterwards, Lessie became withdrawn and shut-down emotionally.  Today her distinctive giggle hides a storm of emotions that lie below the surface. Now, forever sensitive to the feelings of others, she revels in their joys and cries at their heartbreak.

Growing up with lots of extended family including grandparents, aunts and uncles, they did not offer much help,

Instead they presented challenges of a different kind. Fearing danger from within her household as well as from without, she kept to herself. Unable to share her situation with anyone and having to suppress her anger, she became more withdrawn. Even now, she is a “home body”, preferring to stay at home where she feels safe and secure.

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