The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Decribe Henrietta's parenting skills. Chapter 5

how are her parenting skills

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Henrietta was great with her kids and loved being a mother. She was tough and rarely got angry, but when she did it was something..... the switch would swing. Henrietta kept her illness a secret for as long as she could, and when the doctor told her she'd never have anymore children, she told him that she wouldn't have had the surgery had she known....

Before Henrietta got sick, she took Elsie down to Clover every time she went. Elsie would sit on the stoop of the home-house, staring into the hills and watching the sunrise as Henrietta worked in the garden. She was beautiful, delicate and feminine like Henrietta, who dressed her in homemade outfits with bows and spent hours braiding her long brown curls. Elsie never talked, she just cawed and chirped like a bird as she waved her hands inches from her face. She had wide chestnut eyes that everyone stared into, trying to understand what went on in that pretty head. But she just stared back, unflinching, her eyes haunted with fear and sadness that only softened when Henrietta rocked her back and forth.

Henrietta’s cousins always said a bit of Henrietta died the day they sent Elsie away, that losing her was worse than anything else that happened to her.

Henrietta had a way with children—they were always good and quiet when she was around.

“Ooooh Lord,” Sadie said once, “Hennie went down there with a switch. Yes Lord. She pitched a boogie like I never seen.” But those were the only times anyone could ever remember seeing Henrietta mad. “She was tough,” Sadie said. “Nothin scared Hennie.”

“Told she could not have any more children. Says if she had been told so before, she would not have gone through with treatment.”


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks