Writings of Sheri Hooper

Sheri Hooper – "Momma Belle" – A-List Celebrities – American Families – Beauty Pageants – Cancer Slayers – Cannabis – Legalization – Decriminalization – Child Abuse Survivors – Christianity – Epilepsy – Fashion – Homeschooling – Ketogenic Lifestyle – Models – Politics – Photography – Photo Contests – Signs of The Times – Talent Events – The Scepter Awards

They’ve Known Me Longer


Many people talk about what they are most thankful for around Thanksgiving. This month I am going to focus solely on one group. My Crew. They’ve known me the longest. They have been in my life for more time than anyone else besides GOD. This special group of folks has sheltered me longer than birth family / genetic relations.

38+ years (1982) is a long time. I am blessed to have known this group as they feel like family, or what family is supposed to feel like. Losing Lisabug in January 2020, was/is rough. She knew every detail about me. Now she is a spirit about us. Lisa Marie may be gone from the Earth but she is around. She’ll never leave me. I know that.

What about people who knew me before 1982? Where are they? What are they up to? I don’t know for the most part. They are not in my life. It is what it is. I believe this is GOD’s plan though I do not understand why. One day I will know and fully comprehend why things turned out the way they did.

My special folks from 1982 on are loved profoundly. They’ve gathered around me and held on tight for decades. Is this article all about them? Yeah, you feel me. Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

I may hurt a few feelings, though that is not the intention with my honesty. Everything is truthful. No arguments. These are the cards I was dealt. My Crew are my loved ones on this planet. They have never abandoned nor shunned me. I am Loved and so are they.

In 1982 I left the State of Illinois moving to Tennessee. Introduced to friends instantly, I was amazed at how kind folks were compared to where I had come from. They are sweeter here. Just the facts. These rockin’ individuals include my husband who I met in school, 1984. Want to guess who brought us harmoniously together as one? Lisa Carillon-McKinley of course, my Lisabug! GOD used her for that, placing us as a couple. I’ll never believe anything else.

These dear ones, my CREW, I hear from frequently, even daily. Not when they want or need something or an opportunity to gossip about people who are related to me. These people are the real deal. They know who they are and the importance in my life. I LOVE them and tell them often.

Wish for a few facts? Not one of these people is blood-related. One, my husband Rick of 34 and a half years. The others upon my pedestal? Curious? Intrigued? What, no biological family? No. I cannot explain that except it is GOD’s plan.

I will wait for the answers to my many questions later. No birth family? My, that is a very long story. (yawn) I am not in the mood to discuss that today. Let’s look towards the positive and who is in my reality as I type this today. The last day of November 2020.

GOD sends what I sometimes refer to as, “pillows” that catch you. I am never alone children, not for a moment. The aforementioned souls who have been here for 38+ years are all important to me. They share parallels that are amusing as I know this is all part of GOD’s work.

The bond with these wonderful folks is incredibly strong. LOVE coming from these souls has proven unconditional. A first in a “Genesis” of truths. Surely you have heard that quote, “Keep two friends. One is Silver, the other Gold.” (nods in agreement) This is spot on.

My colorful bunch arranges to alert me on other friend’s deaths because I do not handle it well. I have never attended a funeral and I am 52 years old. Who would want to? That remains my argument.

I usually know what is coming when I am politely asked, “Sheri, are you seated right now, sweetheart?” This year I have begun an immediate sit when asked and make a statement of, “WHO DIED?”. This is generally the next words out of my mouth.

Kimberly Kimball-Crocker (Riverview Sibling) has a way with me that is soothing. She is often the one nominated to call me. She’s a doll who happened to be the first person to acknowledge the “new girl” on the bus in Autumn 1982. She looked up at me and smiled. I’ll always love her for that.

I have been presented with this question of “am I seated” more times in 2020 than in any other year. One must follow the patterns. My Crew does, they are an intelligent accumulation of a marvelous order. I do not know what I would do without them. Why do these people go out of their way for me? Because I do not like the subject matter of death and they know it. They do this for me because – They’ve Known Me Longer.

I fuss over my friends from Thurman Francis and Smyrna High School. Those in Beauty Pageant Events, Modeling, Photography, Music, Acting etc… knowing all too well that I am a Mother Hen. I worry about their health, emotions, name it. I have been doing this forever and a day, even before Pageant Mom, Roxann Dressel penned me as, “Momma Belle” around 2005. Mothering is part of my personality and folks from 9th Grade on know that well because – They’ve Known Me Longer.

Of the clan I schooled with – those who were in the Band and Vocal Music room are especially close with me. My husband was also in that room. A Trumpet player. To think my future husband was also in that room says to me that GOD has a great sense of humor.

Though I was not in the band I was in the Smyrna Gold Singers. I was also in two casts of Odyssey Plus (Select Choir/Dance Group) and the members are hidden deep in my heart. Having a sing-a-long with Terrie Cumberland-Sensing (Sunshine), Jamie Palmer-Hicks (Left Hip) and Lisa Rooker-Kennedy would be idyllic. How about Joey McDuffee and Phillip Rutledge backing us up? Ah, now this would be grand! The Jazz Band backed up Odyssey Plus. They are all exceptional, this musical community that I will never let go of.

My Crew understands when I begin acting strangely online or on the telephone, exactly what is going on. They figure it out in seconds, “Sheri is having a seizure!” while the newbies scream, ‘What is wrong with this chick?” My oldest and dearest always catch me. Family, as it turns out, is not about bloodlines. It is not genetics. That is just another cross to bear and to answer, it’s easy, you see, They’ve Known Me Longer.

My CREW teaches me new skills all the time. Recently I purchased a new cell phone with all the bells and whistles, more than one camera, and it was challenging. At one point photographs from Facebook were popping up. My exceptional friends sent me messages and cleverly brought in other ways to force me to learn the new cell. This may sound cruel, it is not. They mean well and I learned fast. This is recognized because – They’ve Known Me Longer.

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