Peggy Wallace Kennedy
Special to CNN
Editor's note: Peggy Wallace Kennedy is the daughter of George C. Wallace and Lurleen Wallace, who both were governors of Alabama.
I heard a car door slam behind me and turned to see an elderly but spry woman heading my way.
The night before, a gang of vandals had swept through the cemetery desecrating graves, crushing headstones and stealing funereal objects.
My parents' graves, situated on a wind-swept hill overlooking the cemetery, had not been spared. A large marble urn that stood between two granite columns had been pried loose and spirited away, leaving faded silk flowers strewn on the ground.
I was holding a bouquet of them in my arms when the woman walked up and gave me a crushing hug. "Honey," she said, "you don't know me, but when I saw you standing up here on this hill, I knew that you must be one of the girls and I couldn't help myself but to drive up here and let you know how much me and my whole family loved both of your parents. They were real special people."
I thanked her for her kind words as we stood side by side gazing down at the graves of Govs. George Wallace and Lurleen Wallace.
After a few moments, the woman leaned into me and spoke almost in a conspiratorial whisper. "I never thought I would live to see the day when a black would be running for president. I know your daddy must be rolling over in his grave."
Not having the heart or the energy to respond, I gave her bony arm a slight squeeze, turned and walked away. As I put the remnants of the graveyard spray in the trunk of my car, I assumed that she had not bothered to notice the Barack Obama sticker on my bumper.
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