So how did I transform from a blossoming twelve-year-old girl who was filled with dreams and aspirations into a perplexed, struggling eighteen-year-old who was burdened down with heavy weights suitable for an adult? What could possibly have happened in a six year span between twelve and eighteen that would change my life forever? At sixty-three I know that having the right people in your life can inspire and motivate you to achieve heights that you never imagined, but the entry of the wrong person into your circle of friends can change things forever. That is what happened to me. This individual influenced me in a negative way such that I made decisions which took me to depths that I never thought I would ever experience. I had become a single mother of five boys by the age of eighteen. All my youthful dreams and aspirations were gone. They were replaced with hardships, oppression, poverty, sorrow, and disappointments.
At eighteen I found myself having to deflect the darts being thrown my way from people around me. What some people spoke and did to me was meant to hurt me–and it did–but the good Lord turned it around and used it for my good. People assessed my situation and predicted a life of misery and shame for me and my boys. We would never amount to anything if these individuals had their way. I encouraged my boys and I taught them to stick together no matter what. I had a dream of becoming well-educated when I was twelve and I ingrained that same dream into the young minds of all five of them. All they heard from day one was that they were going to college. I even put it into a little song and I would sing it to them over and over again. “We’re going to college! We’re going to college!” My dreams and aspirations were no longer those of Lindsey Mae Foster but those of five young boys growing into successful men.
Even though responsibility for their well-being fell on my shoulders, I did not have to go at it alone. The good Lord did place people in our lives who provided a spark and assisted with moving the entire family in the right direction despite the views from others. A retired Navy gentleman who ran the local Boys and Girls Club was making a difference in the community, and he became a lifesaver for both me and my boys. He taught them how to play various team sports along with swimming. Most importantly he gave them of his time which kept them off the streets where trouble was ready and waiting. For me I was blessed to work under an educated British woman who encouraged me to purchase my first home and demonstrated to me how a woman could compete in our society. Then there was a pastor who taught me and my boys about the truth. The truth was what made us free from the curse and helped us all to grow.