This is one story my son Kent and I remember exactly the same.
It was a beautiful spring day, and we were just coming home from his baseball practice. The baby, Risé, was 3 months old and was not very happy because it was time for her to eat. Beth, 6, and Jonna, 5, went into the house with me as I took Risé inside in her baby seat. This was before the days of car seats and all the safety concerns.
I told Kent to watch Gractia, who was 2 and standing up in the middle of the front seat.
I had turned off the engine and put the car in park. Our driveway was on an incline, with the house at the top of a hill. Gractia had managed to grab the shift on the steering column and put the car in neutral.
Steve, our neighbor's son and Kent's buddy, had come running across the street when he saw us drive up. As I came to get Gractia, I realized the car was backing down the driveway heading for the street that would take it to the bottom of the hill where a small bridge crossed a creek. Kent and Steve had gotten behind the car and were trying with all their 8-year-old strength to stop it, but it was gaining momentum.
Our porch had four steps, and one of the children had left their bike parked right in front of the bottom step. I flew over the steps and bike. The car was moving faster and faster, but, fortunately, the door was open. I didn't have time to even turn to get into the seat, so I went in backward and searched for the brake. The car stopped.
As I said a silent “thank you, Lord,” I began to cry and shake holding on to the steering wheel. Our next door neighbor, Joe Freeman, had watched as everything began to unfold. He was there to comfort me and make sure we were all OK.
Kent told him: “I think my Momma has the holy fever!” Kent had watched a movie on TV where an Egyptian had an attack of shaking and the people had described it as the “holy fever.”
Later that night, we were all still trying to calm down. We were talking about how thankful we were everyone was all right, and it had not ended in a tragedy.
“Momma," Kent said, "when you jumped over the steps and the bike, I thought you were (Olympic gold medalist) Wilma Rudolph!”
— Parsons lives in St. Francisville
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