The Dart: Natchez woman stays busy to keep her mind occupied

Published 7:30 am Sunday, March 27, 2022

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NATCHEZ – Under the shade of a tree, Sarah Thorpe used a broom to sweep leaves and dirt into a pile on a sidewalk at 300 South Pearl Street. She had a smile on her face and her hair in a bun as she paused her sweeping. 

A Natchezian, she went to Natchez High School and had three kids by the time she was 21, she said. She works with her father in landscaping. 

Natchez is home but it has changed a lot from when she was younger. 

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“It used to be peaceful until the past five years or so,” Thorpe said. “There wasn’t anything to do here, but we didn’t have big city problems. I like Natchez. It’s home. I have left before, but I came back.” 

One of her sons lives in Washington and is in the army. She lived with him in Tacoma for three years and spent time with her grandsons. Her other son is in the Army and is stationed in Georgia. 

At first, she didn’t want them to join the military because she was scared and didn’t know anything about it. Now, she is proud of her sons. “I’m glad they have careers now,” she said.

Coming back home

Thorpe said in Tacoma she often was asked where she was from because of her manners. Her grandsons would say thank you to the cashiers and the locals found it odd, she said. They did not have the friendly charm people in the south did. 

“I’ve come back here to Natchez because of my mom. I don’t want to leave her. My mom and my dad. My boys are grown and gone,” Thorpe said. “I don’t know what it is about Natchez. People leave here but even if they are gone 10 to 20 years they just come back for some reason. I guess because it’s home. You are familiar with everything.” 

In her spare time, she takes care of her grandchildren and helps her mom who has been sick. She loves to cook and try to make new dishes. Yard care is something she enjoys helping her dad with. She likes to see the progress they make from before and after they start a job. 

“I’m one of those weird people who likes to clean,” she said, sweeping leaves and dirt back into a neat pile. 

“It’s to keep my mind occupied,” she added. 

Forever 21

Thorpe was with her daughter Destiney Brealyn Kennedy when her life changed forever on Dec. 30, 2016. Shots rang out as they sat next to each other in a car. Four days later, Kennedy died after being taken off of life support. Her mom stayed by her side the whole time.

She would have been 27 this year. 

“It changed my life. It changed everything in my life. I’ll never knew her past 21,” Thorpe said. “The only thing that is getting me through the trauma was my sons and my grandsons. My few immediate family, my mom, my daughter-in-law. It’s the only thing that got me through it. I don’t allow myself to stop long enough. I feel like I have to be strong and I have to be strong for my sons and her sons.”