Hi, I'm Gretchen. First Birthday is my nonfiction debut. It's about an event that took place less than a month after my moms’ passing. My mother, Mrs. Addie T. Williams, passed away July 7, 2009 and was the true inspiration for the book. I originally kept this story private for nearly four years, only sharing it with family and a couple of close friends. But the experience stayed on my mind. Consequently, I felt it needed to be shared to help bring comfort and hope to others who are grieving a loved one. It is an unfortunate reality that we all will experience a loss of someone very dear to us but it is my hope that you find some comfort in the memories and know that a part of that person will forever be yours. I sincerely thank you and appreciate your purchase of First Birthday.
My first book wasThe Excel Speaking Program,originally copyrighted in 1991 and revised in 2013. It is a speech training tool that compares dialectal speech patterns. Learn more here. I guess I should mention that I graduated from The University of Miami (BA) and Barry University (MA).
I am currently a retired educator from Miami-Dade County Public Schools with 31 years of service. The professional positions I held there included Administrative Director, Elementary School Principal, Assistant Principal and Speech/Language Pathologist. When I began my principalship, I inherited one of the lowest “F” graded schools in the State of Florida. Within six years, along with a terrific staff, we led the school to superior excellence of only 5 points to an “A” grade, which I am extremely proud of. But what I miss most are the kids and their uncanny ways they use to make my day.
I am a mother of two adult children and have one sister. I live in Florida and have a variety of retirement pastimes that include watching sports; riding my bicycle; going to the week's top movie opening; gardening in the backyard and writing movie reviews. My favorite snack is buttered popcorn and favorite vegetable is broccoli. I have a committed faith in God and believe balance is the key to happiness. Giving brings me strength and I embrace life as a celebration.
My Mother, Mrs. Addie T Williams:
Many readers of First Birthday want to know more about my beloved mother. I can honestly tell you that she was an amazing mother whom I give credit for all that I am. My mother was my biggest fan. No matter what I did (good or not so good), she would always find a positive spin on it. She would tell my sister and me that there was nothing we couldn't achieve. A high school graduate, licensed beautician, widowed with two small girls, avid reader, successful beauty salon owner and born again Christian, my mother was the wisest woman I know. She could speak to any subject, and most of the time she did. I am reminded of when I was about 25 years old, I gave my mother a Father's Day card that read: Happy Father's Day to my mother, father, beautician, counselor, therapist, nutritionist, doctor, spiritual adviser and friend. Of course, my mother was not perfect, but she did her best. She was a kind and giving woman who will be remembered in the hearts of all who knew her.