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I Not Piedy!!!

The following is written by another of my friends, an amazing lady who has a heart as big as the open sky and who has helped guide me through a time of double grief. Enjoy as she shares a piece of her life!



Is the will to fight

nurture or nature?

It feels like nature to me.

But thinking back...


As a toddler, I was a source of entertainment for my mother and Auntie Bea. We were a blended family comprised of my mother, my Aunt Bea, my Grandmother "Grandma Mom", my sister Sheila, and my cousin Kathleen. During World War 2, housing was short and men were at war. We all lived in Grandma Mom's big old house just off Pico Blvd in Los Angeles. We didn’t have a radio as Grandma Mom’s nerves couldn’t take any unnecessary noise.


I can still see my Mom, and Auntie Bea, standing at the door to the bedroom where I was playing. They would point to me, and whisper to each other, quietly laughing. My mother was probably whispering “Watch this!” Then she would say to me, “Sister (my nickname), you 'fighty'! You are a 'fighty' girl.” I remember the anger rushing through me and out my mouth as I stomped my little two-year-old foot and yelled as loud as I could, “I not piedy!” Then they would laugh hysterically which made me angrier and I would keep yelling, “I not piedy!!!” Poking the little bear was funny to them.


In time, I learned both the value and the price, of what it feels like to have a built-in compulsion to fight. It would later save my children, and myself, as we would have to fight for survival in my adult life.


I have always felt compelled to fight bullies who seemed to be couched safely in the government bureaucracy. I will always feel compelled to fight bullies. It took many years, but I have learned to carefully pick each PIEDY as I age.


Of course, I didn’t listen to my mother when she repeatedly said, “You can’t fight City Hall.” I would think, “Oh yeah? Bring it on!”


In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter whether it’s nature or nurture. Like all other experiences I should ask, “Was there a lesson, and did I learn from it?”


Camille Harris


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