Evelyn Lawrence’s grandmother, Sallie, was a girl with a special connection to trees. In the 1840s, when she was just five years old, Sallie’s family was owned by a local man who needed money. In order to get it, he sold her mother and father to a landowner from Lynchburg, more than 150 miles away. Left alone, Sallie had the job of being the body servant for the man’s chronically ill wife. Sallie had no family member to go to for refuge and solace, so instead, she adopted a young oak tree as her family. She would go each day to the tree — to talk to it, to cry, to pray and to hug it in times of need.
Like the tree, Sallie had to weather many storms, and yet, she stood strong. She was determined that if she ever got her freedom and had children of her own that she would make sure they got an education, especially since it was against the law to teach a slave how to read or write. When freedom finally came and she later got married, she had 10 children of her own and sent two of them to college.comments