She’s got spunk, Cora Kitson does. She had to be tough to deal with everything she’s dealt with in her 88 years. She’s old enough to remember what it’s like not to have a lot, and blessed enough to appreciate what she has. I went to see Miss Cora, not because of what all she’s been through, but rather because she’s still alive and thinks it’s a miracle that she is.
Miss Cora lives on property her family just calls the farm. Her husband bought the acreage years ago, and one by one, family members built homes on the property. Today, there are 13 separate family members living on the property. It’s how families used to do it. Instead of growing up and moving away, Miss Cora’s family is right close, where she can see them when she wants to. She has 11 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. She has a sweet face and sparkling green eyes. Miss Cora lost her husband back in 1968.
The usually cheerful woman faced a new demon not long ago. She had a bad cut on her foot. It got infected and she had all kinds of problems. It got so bad that doctors told her they’d have to amputate her right leg just below the knee. She thought she handled that news as well as one could, but something happened after surgery and Miss Cora sunk into a dark place of depression, something she’d hadn’t known could happen. Her family says it got so bad that they were convinced that this bright, cheerful and giving person had simply given up.
Miss Cora told me that she prayed that God would either heal her or take her on home. She was hurting and admits that she just didn’t want to go on. Then it happened: Her son didn’t want Miss Cora to know how her suffering was affecting the entire family and certainly didn’t want her to see him cry. But he brought his newborn grandson to visit Miss Cora in the hospital. They tell me it was like someone flipped a switch inside her. Her eyes began to sparkle, her smile came back, and she’ll tell you that seeing that new great-grandson made her want to live like never before.
Miss Cora is back home now with her brand-new friend Reggie. Reggie is her artificial leg that she now walks with. She named it after the nice man who made it for her. While I was there, Miss Cora walked from her living room outside to her swing where we could visit. She and Reggie are getting used to each other, but it appears that they’ll do just fine.
Some family members say they have their Mother back. Others say they’ve seen a miracle in her recovery and her renewed will to live. I’m glad I got to meet Cora Kitson. She inspires me to always look for ways to brighten someone’s day. I think you’ll enjoy meeting her too. She’ll be featured in my Spirit of Alabama report tonight on NBC13 HD News at 10 p.m.