Lupus Changed My Life, but These Children Helped Create My Purpose Within It!

Left to right: Jordan, Jessie, Thomas and Chris. Mid-90’s Photo: Sherri Bellamy

Mama and I, upon reinventing ourselves after our disabilities occurred, became unlikely surrogates as “grandma and auntie” to some of the most adorable and inspiring children we were blessed to know. I think now of how they have become such great persons, they are kind, well-mannered professionals and good students.  I pray that a little bit of our caring helped make them that way, aside from their wonderful parents.

Jordan and Jordan today with his gorgeous daughter Neveah, and me.

Our first child was family of course; our Cousin Doris Randall’s son Brian came to us as a toddler, bringing with him energy and athletic abilities as a runner, keeping me and Mama on our toes. Imagine that, we forgot we had disabilities… we had Brian!  I guessed we passed God’s test because after that they came, and they came, and they still come to this day. The testimony in this is … All the kids we have kept/keeping, the parents would say, “If Mrs. Queenie and Sherri can’t watch them, they (the parents) would have to.”

My kids circa early 90's
“My children” mid-1990’s   Photo: Sherri Bellamy

So, here are my babies that I had in my own way, in no particular order just honoring them by giving them a shout out for changing my life, and their wonderful parents too. My apologies if I have left anyone off, but this is just so exhilarating remembering all of you, and the spaces you’ve created in my heart and Mama’s too.

Ardrian, LaMetrius, Kentell, AJ, Ashmere, Samantha, Sheenia, Nichole, Contressa, Trell, Arnell, Melanie, Xavier, Keith, Deanna, Denisha, Devon, Tyrus, Will, Truly, Jada, Chris, Jessie, Thomas, Jordan, Derrick, Natalie, Blake, Quentin, Quincy, Colton, Dalton, Jeff, Sharice, Jessica, Elisha, Elijah, Ingrid, Rain, Anthony, Gavin, Talbert, Brioni, Courtney, Alexandria and her brother Chris.  Shout out also to Charlene Woodard and her kids, La’Neat, Mitchell Jr., Tyler, Tre, Nathan, Sharon and Michelle Jones.

Quotes, from some of our parents, which I will keep to my heart forever:

Mila Stevenson “Yes, they were the best baby sitters I remember going to visit before I had Sharice. When I left the visit I knew when she arrived she was going to be IN very good hands. They fed Sharice noodles and she still eats them today, 27 years later. We love both of them so much!”  My always beautiful Sharice below:

Herb and Angela Livingston “We never had to worry when we dropped our kids off, we both were able to go to work believing they were in good hands with Mrs. Queenie and  Sherri.”

Herb and Angela's family
From Left to right: Elisha, mom Angela, Melanie, dad Herb, Elijah and Xavier. All my current “babies” Photo: Melanie Childs

Sylvia Vereen, “ Mrs. Queen Ethel and Sherri were by far, the sweetest  and most caring day care providers that ever provided care for our son Jeff Larry Bellamy. Always professional, they provided an environment that seemed to be divinely unique. We always felt as if we were leaving our son within the loving care of Grandmother Queen and Aunt Sherri. As a family we sincerely appreciate the service they provided.  RIP Mrs. Queen Ethel and may God continue to bless you Ms. Sherri.

Evon Bellamy, “I knew when I was carrying my daughter Arnell that I wanted “Grandma Queenie” and Sherri to care for her.  We only wanted them and it was the best decision because we are all family and that was the right type of place we wanted our child to be in.” Arnell with her cousin Derrick who was also one of “my babies and Arnell now – Isn’t she lovely!

Stay tuned and stay blessed!

Sherri Lynne from Sandridge Road


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