Tucker pens book of encouragement
Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 27, 2015
Betty Tucker put her heart and her soul into the writing of her first book titled, “Don’t Worry About the Mule Going Blind.”
The title came from her friend and mentor, the late Johnnie Mae Warren of Troy.
“When I was a child, my family lived close to Mrs. Johnnie Mae, and later in my life she became a good friend,” Tucker said. “Whenever something was troubling me, she would say, ‘Don’t worry about the mule going blind, just know that everything is going to work out for the best.’”
Many times in Tucker’s life, she has found encouragement in Warren’s words. Other times, she was not certain that everything was going to work out for the best. She “worried about the mule going blind.”
Reasons to worry came early in Tucker’s life. For a while, life was as good as anything she could imagine based on circumstances. Her dad had a stable job at a Troy sawmill making a dollar an hour and dug graves to supplement his income.
“We were a happy family,” Tucker said. “Then, the mill burned down, and we were soon eating out of the garbage cans behind restaurants.”
Tucker vividly remembers the day she and her six siblings, her mom and dad climbed into the trailer of a transfer truck bound for Utica, N.Y., where they would work in the bean fields.
“Everything we owned we carried in pillow cases,” Tucker said. “We were packed so tight in the trailer that we had to sit Indian fashion. It took five days to get to New York, and we didn’t have hardly anything to eat.”
For the next few years, the family worked the bean fields from Utica to Belle Grade, Fla. and back as migrant workers.
Belle Grade became homebase for Tucker and her family. There she endured poverty and abuse. She contributed to her dire circumstances by becoming an unwed teen mom and then the mother of twin girls.
“Before the twins were born, I went to New York to stay with a cousin and ended up in a home for unwed mothers,” Tucker said. “I couldn’t care for the twins, so I gave them up for adoption. That was in 1967. I had to find a better life for myself. I had to stop worrying about the mule going blind.”
Tucker moved to California and attended the University of San Francisco and earned a degree in behavioral science. She worked for 20 years as a teacher for the San Francisco Unified School District.
During all that time, she never forgot about the two little girls she had “given away.”
“For a time, I thought I would never be able to find them no matter how hard I looked,” she said. “But, then came the Internet and all its possibilities, and I had hope again.”
Even with the Internet and even having paid agencies to find her girls, Tucker came up empty time after time.”
“Then I found an agency that was reputable and they found my twins in three weeks,” Tucker said. “I had been searching for 20 years, and they found them in three weeks. But I had prayed to the Lord that, if I could have nothing else on this earth, to please let me find my kids. Through that agency, God answered my prayers.”
In 2009, Tucker made contact with her daughter, who was able to forgive. Tonya was not.
“Tonya could not accept the fact that I had given her away,” Tucker said. “The reason for my book is to show others that not matter what your circumstances are in life, you have to keep moving ahead. Don’t look back. You must never give up on your dreams no matter how hopeless it seems. You don’t know how close you might be to that dream. It could be within your reach when you turn away. How sad that would be.”