Throughout Emily’s nine decades of living, she has lived life with a freed slave (Her grandmother), experienced the weight of The Great Depression, heard the manic of WW II bomb sirens and felt the darkness of city wide blackouts. She mourned the tragic loss of her father and brother, and witnessed the burden her mother had to bear as head of the household. But the love story between a privileged little black girl and a poor country black boy is why she wrote the book.
In this book, you will find great highs along with Emily’s secret reality behind closed doors. But most importantly, you will find God in the midst of everything from beginning to end.
You are the daughter of one of the 1st female entrepreneurs and first female taxi drivers in Gary, Indiana. Tell us about your background and the values that your mother instilled in you.
I am the youngest of three children, born in 1931 in the heart of the depression. My father passed away when I was only 7, so my mother became the main breadwinner for the family. She was very successful, in that she made sure that we did not suffer or have financial disadvantages as children. Watching her, I developed the core value of perseverance to succeed regardless of life’s circumstances.
How did you meet your husband, Theodore? What was it about his character that caught your eye?
The first time I saw Theodore, he was the main speaker for youth day at my church. And I thought WOW! He was very elegant,articulate, immaculate, and he commanded the room. He had everything. He was well groomed and God-fearing. But I did not personally know him. It would not be until three years later when we would meet face to face, and he would offer to walk me home.
One day I was walking home from my grandmother’s house, and he spotted me from across the street. He rushed to my side, determined that he was going to walk me home. I told my mother, and she suggested that I invite him to a local play. Digging through the phone book, I called the first Coopwood number I saw. And it was Theodore that answered the phone.
Who is your best friend?
Harriet Brazi was my childhood friend. We did everything together; church events, high school, and adult life. Our friendship was truly rare. We remained friends until the day God took her home
Why did you decide to write Emily’s Story?
Ninety years of wisdom is useless if it can not be shared to grow and encourage others. Emily’s Story was written to encourage people to do a deep evaluation of their potential mate.
Life is not a game, and who you choose to partner with has life-long consequences, good or bad. That is why we need to be observant of people’s personalities, their differences, and study their background. Even in our due diligence there will be storms, but we can overcome difficulties in marriage and life if we trust God in the process.
What should someone look for in a potential partner?
Love is not dominating or selfish. You want a person that will allow and encourage you to reach your full potential. Someone who is compassionate and has integrity. Pay attention to how they treat you around their family and friends. Is it the same in secret? Are you included or are you silenced? You want someone with integrity, who communicates truthfully regardless of the subject.
Share your philosophy about life and how you see Emily’s Story inspiring others.
Trust and faith in God never fails. We are all on this one-time journey that is filled with good times and roller coasters. So focus on the good and don’t sweat the small stuff. There is always something to gain and to be poured out. The blessing is that everything has seasons and it’s time. Everything has a beginning and an end. Take the time to enjoy the beauty each season has to offer, even in difficult times.
As you were writing this 9 decades of wisdom, what did you come to realize about yourself?
I realize my life was consumed with worrying. I wasted a lot of time on things I couldn’t change. I had to learn that each day has its own agenda, and to relax and enjoy the simple beauty in living.
What surprises you the most about our generation? What are your words of wisdom?
This generation is mostly about themselves. They have very little compassion. Personal communication has almost become obsolete, due to texting and the electronic age. This is sad because people are meant to forge interpersonal connections through communication. They need to know how to show love. Love is an action. I fear that fervent devotional love will simply become transactional.
Where can we find your book?
Yes, my book can be found at www.emilyjcoopwood.com