I want to talk a little about my everyday hero today, Colleen “Cokie”, my grandma. She lived a long, beautiful, but heart-wrenching life. Colleen was born September 20, 1928, and died July 21, 2015, at the age of 86. She married Charles “Joe” Dixon September 10, 1951. She lost her husband, Joe, to a heart attack in 1977, when he was only 49 years old.
They lost their 1st born daughter Denise at 3 years old from leukemia. Their next child is Joey, then they had Johnny. Johnny was in a car accident when he was 18 years old, right before he graduated high school. He had severe head trauma and was in a nursing home for the most part since her husband passed away she wasn’t able to take care of him at home. She used to walk from her house to the nursing home every day, probably about 2 miles each way. Johnny passed away in 2013. Then they had my Mom. Robert, her last son, was in a bad accident. He was hit by a bus while walking down the side of the road. He passed away in 2003 at the young age of 39. Then she had Joanne her last daughter, who passed away this past December at the age of 49.
She has 4 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. She never got to meet Prestyn, but she always loved seeing Dustyn and Carsyn. As you can see she led a beautiful but rough life. Cokie was such a strong and amazing woman. She always had a smile on her face. When I was younger I loved going over to her house and watch cartoons. She used to give me money for good report cards. Unfortunately, she had Alzheimers there at the end, it was hard but also fascinating to hear her talk about her parents, thinking they were still alive. She also fell and broke her hip then had surgery, but she never quite recovered from it. I assumed that she would heal and I would have more time with her. I never got to say goodbye and I still regret not going to see her in the hospital.
Share your everyday women hero on Instagram with the #ShareYourHero for a chance to win meet Annie Leibovitz. In 1999, Leibovitz published Women, a book of portraits made in collaboration with Susan Sontag. The popular series of photographs was accompanied by an exhibition that opened to great acclaim at the Corocan Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Launched in London in January 2016, the UBS x Leibovitz collaboration continues to explore the changes in the roles of women today while bringing to life one of the greatest art exhibitions of the 21st century. The tour will travel to ten host cities over the course of twelve months.
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