I am from barefoot summers, running through water sprinklers and riding big wheels in the driveway while wearing Wonder Woman Underoos.
I am from my grandparents' ranch-style house on Marilyn Drive, where the grass was always cut, the garage was always open and friends and family entered through the back door, where it was okay to stop by to borrow an egg or a cup of sugar, where the sweet tea never ran empty and the orange rotary phone with a long twisty cord rang all day.
I am from the dandelions, with yellow petals as bright as the sun and seeds that whispered possibility when I blew on them.
I am from Friday nights at the Trawler and Saturdays on Folly Beach. I am from laughing when you're happy, crying when you're sad and yelling when you're mad. I am from Mema and Papa who both called me Sugar, Uncle Bobby who took me to the 7-Eleven and taught me how to ride a bike, and Debbie who challenged me to see a bigger world.
I am from hard work, clean houses and fish fries, from Elvis on 8-track and gumdrop trees. I am from "money doesn't grow on trees" and "don't talk back" and "don't cut your hair".
I am from thanking God before dinner, praying to the angels before bed and going to church on Easter in frilly dresses and patent leather shoes. I am from the Serenity Prayer and One Day at a Time.
I'm from the old St. Francis Hospital which is now called Rutledge Tower, from grandfathers who worked at the shipyard and jumped out of airplanes, from bee hive hairdos and snow days in bikinis, and from the single mom who taught me to stop looking at myself in the mirror stand on my own two feet.
I'm from vegetables cooked in fatback, white rice covered with thick brown gravy and stories about the good old days. I am from photo albums tucked inside the end table in the living room with the green shag carpet, black and white pictures in the shoe box, and 8 x 10s hanging in frames on the wall.
I am from I wish some things were different, but I wouldn't trade any of it. I am from humble. I am from flawed. I am from broken hearts of gold.