A dear and warm hearted woman set out one day to make a life on her
own working at a restaurant that required her to skate out to the cars of customers and take their meal orders and then skate
back into the restaurant and let the cook know what their drive-up customer ordered. Once the order was filled and put on
a plate & large tray, she would skate back outside to the customer and with the hooks attached to the large tray, she
would hang the tray into their driver’s side window. While they ate their meal, she would skate to the next car and
again repeat the sequence, and when the customer had finished their meal, they would either flash their headlights or honk
their horn letting her know they were done and ready to pay for their meal. She would then skate back to the same customer
and receive their money, give them their change and retrieve the large tray from their car window, and the customer would
Days would turn into weeks and weeks into months until one day a
man who often ate there began to fall in love with this dear woman and began asking her for a date, but for a while she refused.
After this went on for several weeks or even months, the man who fell in love with her was beginning to lose hope that she
would accept his offer for a date and told her he wouldn't ask her anymore if she said no this time and would search elsewhere
for a date. After she asked him if she could think it over for a while, he said, “That's my final offer,” and
he began to leave after completing his meal there to return to work at the Pepsi Cola plant in Virginia.
She asked him to wait and thought for a few seconds and decided to give the gentleman his request for a date later that night.
That date must have been just right because after a while, they decided
to get married, and her job at the skating restaurant ended soon after. They met a preacher at his home where their vows of
marriage were exchanged and were officially married becoming man & wife that December 19th day in 1957. Nearly a year
later, they would become parents for their very first time.
Bringing into the world was born unto them a son who they would name
after the gentleman, Donald Ross Mattingly, but with Junior added to the side of the last name of course. Unexpectedly, they
were told their son had Cerebral Palsy and would have limitations the rest of his life. After their tears went away from this
distraughtful news, they began the life-long task in raising this child who also would undergo many challenges in the years
Year after year, they would overcome each obstacle and/or barrier
that got in their way. The struggles were many with even more to come and like before, they beat the odds with amazing success.
Raising a child with special needs that usually accompany a child with Cerebral Palsy is a lot more difficult than raising
a healthy born child, which affect the emotions of all those in the family.
The child is on his own now and thinks highly of those who raised
and help him pull through each ordeal with stunning success each step of the way. You see folks I am that child, and today
marks a very special time for Mom and me because she has once again reached another birthday—her 67th to be exact! I'm
so pleased knowing that she has overcome the hurdles that she too underwent through the years gone by.
She has defeated the odds in her own life's crisis’s as well
as helping me through mine, and I take Great PRIDE in all that she has done for me as I grew to become the man I am today.