By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Navigating a motorized vehicle at the intersection of Highway 51 North and Cuba-Millington can be a challenge.
Just imagine trying to get to school early in the morning by crossing the busy road. The pavement being crushed by cars, trucks and 18-wheelers. But there is a saving grace for the students of Millington Middle School and Millington Central High School.
Armed with her bright jacket, whistle, smile and energy, 56-year-old Linda Brown is there to make sure each and every student along her route reaches his and her destination safely.
“I’ve been a crossing guard for 10 years now for Millington Middle School and Millington Central,” Brown noted. “They are all my babies. They mean a lot to me. They’re just like my own children. The respect and I will listen to them if they have anything to say or any problems. I just try to cheer them up.”
The Memphis native has made the intersection her home from August to May. Motorists honk their horns when they see Brown dancing or flash her bright smile.
Those same drivers also now when she steps into the road on the five-lane highway and the whistle echoes, it’s time to stop for the children.
Once she gets them across the road safely, Brown will give some of her babies a quick word of encouragement.
“Ms. Linda is important to me personally and as a crossing guard,” MCHS junior Megan Todd said. “She’s just so happy. She’s a good person that brightens up my day. I could be down, but as soon as I see her dancing I just smile.”
Brown is grateful to share her smile after almost losing her life.
“I do the Lord’s work,” she said. “Back in 2012 I almost died. My husband and sister-in-law rushed me down to the MED. The doctors, every last one of them came into the emergency room and said, ‘I don’t even know how you are still living.’ I looked up and said, ‘The Lord still had me here.’ They said that was the only reason.
“I was likely to die,” Brown continued. “I thank you Jesus. I stayed in the hospital for a whole week and need a blood transfusion. I took about 30 units of blood and they told me that wasn’t enough. Praise the Lord. I cherish every second. I don’t take any of them for granted.”
Todd is glad “The Guardian Angel of 51” has been a guide for several children in Millington for a decade.
“She’s a great woman,” she said. “It’s hard to find the right word. She’s just a good woman from the heart. She’s a happy person. She’s always dancing, happy and cheerful ready to give me those encouraging words for the day.”
Brown usual encouraging word for her babies and drivers is, “Y’all have a blessed day.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.