As a young girl living in Decatur, Veronica Edwards witnessed white flight. “During this transition period, we knew as a community that we had to stick together and make sure that everyone in the neighborhood was taken care of. I learned to be an advocate and caretaker at a young age.”
Veronica Edwards moved to Decatur in 1966 when she was five-years-old. As a young girl she witnessed white flight when many white neighbors left the city for the suburbs. “During this transition period, we knew as a community that we had to stick together and make sure that everyone in the neighborhood was taken care of. Whatever the need was, we made sure they had it. The village raised the kids and I learned to be an advocate and caretaker at a young age.”
“In 2014, I moved back into my childhood home to care for my mother who is now 92 and my grandmother who is 109-years-old. My sister, who had been caring for them, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. I saw the need and had the desire. In my heart, I felt I was the chosen one. The joy comes from being around them, getting their wisdom, and hearing the stories they share with me.” The challenges come from working a full-time job and being the primary caregiver for two aged individuals in a house that is not handicapped accessible. In addition, Veronica has had to manage grief of her own.
“I lost my son and only child to a homicide in 2014. The person who pulled the trigger took my son and his best friend. That was the most difficult time in my life. People told me I never had a chance to grieve. I couldn’t sit down and grieve because the needs of my mother and grandmother did not stop. It has to be the grace of God that gives me the strength and endurance to continue to care for them. They did that for me. I’m just giving back.”
Photo from left to right, Willie Mae Harding, Veronica Edwards, and Cassie Edwards