The Dart: Natchez native leans on family for support around the housePublished 12:10am Monday, November 11, 2013
Editor’s note: The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter and a photographer throw a dart at a map and find a story where it lands.
NATCHEZ — Mary Johnson remains the queen of her Daisy Street house, but now she just has a few extra — and needed — hands to help out.
The Natchez native has lived on Daisy Street for more than 20 years, and that’s where The Dart found her Wednesday.
Johnson, 71, suffers from heart problems and gout and now relies on her family members for some assistance.
Her daughter, Dina Johnson, and her granddaughter, Kennadi Johnson, are there to help her out with household duties.
“They help me wonderfully, because at one time, I couldn’t do nothing for myself,” she said. “They’ll help with getting groceries and the mopping.”
Mary said her health problems started three years ago on a day that should have been for relaxing.
“I didn’t go to work that day,” Mary said. “I was in the back yard and I was so tired and hot. I went into the house and tried to undress and started to feel faint.
“I dialed (Dina on) the phone and told her to come back and call the ambulance. Then I blacked out.”
Mary said she was in the intensive care unit for three weeks, but now she’s back on her feet and her heart problems aren’t as bad as they were.
“I’m doing much better,” she said. “I usually go walking unless I’m struggling with the gout.”
With the weather at a suitable temperature, Mary often sits outside on her porch as Kennadi plays on the swing set or does her math homework.
Kennadi was raised in her grandmother’s house where discipline precedes all, so it’s no wonder that Kennadi is on top of her classes.
Mary said the children in her house have no choice but to do what they’re told, because discipline and following instructions will take them a long way.
Mary said she doesn’t see herself ever leaving Daisy Street.
“I never thought about moving, I just don’t like to travel,” she said. “I hate to go a long way, because traveling gets me nauseous.”
Content in her spot on her porch watching young Kennadi on the swing set, Mary will continue to raise her family as long as her family continues to support her.