One of my favorite things to do while traveling – meeting new interesting people. I already told you about some of them, today I want to talk about Katy Mayeaux.
With Katy, we met during “My Roses Experience Tour”. She is just as I came to visit Gardens of the American Rose Center in that day. After that we found each other in Facebook and Katy offered to help me to visit her city of Shreveport. It was a great idea, so I agreed without hesitation. Unfortunately, I met Katy, just a week before my departure from the United States. But trust me, even in this short time, we had a great time with her.
Katy was very nice, cheerful and responsive. Thanks to her, I saw a new side of the city in which I spent no little time. During our walk, we met with various interesting people, visited some museums, looked through a telescope from the roof of one of them… But all of this, I’ll tell you later, and now I would like propose to become acquainted with Katy!
E.R.: Hi Katy! Tell me please your story: where you coming from? I mean, where you was born? And how did you move in Louisiana? Tell me please about your job in the Church?
Katy: I was born in Nashville, Tennessee in the USA (That City is famous for country music and the Grand Old Opry). However, my family actually lived in a small town about an hour from Nashville called McMinnville, Tennessee. When I was 9 years old, my parents unfortunately divorced, and my younger brother and I had to move with our mother to Louisiana to be nearer her brother’s family. The rest of my childhood was not very happy. Despite that, I was an excellent student, and especially enjoyed science (and science fiction literature and TV shows such as Star Trek).
I had thought I would grow up to be a doctor or medical researcher, but while in high school I met my future husband and we married during our first year in college. We could not very well afford for us both to go to medical school, so we decided that my husband would attend instead and I would support him financially until he earned his medical degree and could support the family as a doctor. Then we planned to have several children and buy some land and a house in the countryside. I worked for 10 years as a medical lab tech while we both finished college and then he attended medical school.
Unfortunately, once my husband graduated, he was unfaithful to me while I was pregnant with our first child, and he divorced me against my wishes after our son was born.
This was particularly tragic for me (and my husband knew it) because it was the second generation in my own life that was ruined by divorce and it meant that I did not get to have all the children and the family I wanted so much.
I was heart-broken and for a while did not go back to work because it was important to me to be fully present as mother to my one and only child. For several years, I was very active in his elementary school and other childhood activities. I don’t regret that at all.
During these years, I also participated in a support group for divorced people offered by a church where I was living in Shreveport, Louisiana. The leader of the group was named Ron. He and I dated for 3 years. We fell in love and discussed marriage. Ron was a DJ who owned his own sound company. I often helped him put on the “shows” with colorful lights and dance music for weddings and all types of parties. Tragically, Ron was shot and killed in 2000 while I was out of town one week visiting my mother! It was so bizarre experiencing the murder trial that following year. We still don’t know exactly what happened because there were no witnesses but the man admitted to shooting Ron during an argument, and the police presented evidence convincing the jury that it wasn’t self-defense. The man was sent to prison for life.
The church where I met Ron asked me if I would take over managing the support group for singles and divorced people, and I agreed to do it temporarily until another leader could be found. They were pleased with the way I worked and offered me a paid position. Unexpectedly, I ended up doing that for 14 years instead of going back into medical work. The church work had flexible hours and was a good fit for a single mother like myself.
I tried to lead in a neutral way that would be welcoming to everyone regardless of their own religion. Many singles throughout the years thanked me for this, and I’m still friends with many who participated in my groups.
In 2014, newer supervisors wanted me to change my programs. I resisted at first but finally told them that they should probably get someone else to carry out their new vision, and I stopped being an employee in January of 2015. However, I am still on good terms with all the church staff and clergy, and I still volunteer there often.
Although I did not make much money doing the church work, I lived very frugally and invested in the stock market so as to be able to retire comfortably. Now while temporarily retired, I own my home free and clear, and I can live on investment income while doing things I enjoy. My mother and I have been on several trips together, and I have travelled to visit friends in other states. I’ve also visited my father and brother who live in the Cayman Islands.
My son is 26 years old now and is studying computer science at the college campus very near our house.
E.R.: What do you like to do?
Katy: I enjoy working in my peaceful garden, reading, doing artwork, keeping up with world events and news, science magazines and documentaries, certain TV shows, and attending cultural events. Eventually, I will probably go back to work somewhere but right now I’m enjoying the leisure time for things like visiting the Gardens of the American Rose Center – where I can even meet fascinating new friends like Ellina Raisovna!
E.R.: Thank you, Katy. I’m really glad to meet you. And thank you very much for all our little adventures. I believe that one day we will meet again!