Terry Jones-Brady was born in Richmond, Virginia, but spent most of her childhood in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her family moved to California when she was fourteen and she went to high school near San Diego, and then to the University of California, Berkeley. A love of acting started in high school where she was an active member of the drama club. At Berkeley, she majored in Dramatic Arts and minored in English Literature. She appeared in several plays on the Berkeley campus and at the same time conformed to the stringent academic requirements of the university. Following graduation she moved to New York City to pursue a career in theater. There, she met and married a director, Tim Jones. Together, the couple had two daughters. Both girls were diagnosed with the life-threatening genetic disease, cystic fibrosis, and Terry’s primary interest was diverted from acting to the care of her beloved daughters. For many years, she was the primary caregiver as well as cheerleader for Heather and Holly. When their older daughter, Heather, died at the age of twelve, and with Tim’s encouragement, Terry enrolled in a graduate program in special education, taking classes offered jointly by the Departments of Education at Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University. She earned a Master’s degree and began teaching students with learning disabilities when her surviving daughter, Holly, was in elementary school. She taught English as a Second Language to the wives of Saudi Arabian Naval personnel stationed at the local naval base for training, and taught in the Education Department of a local psychiatric hospital. She became an instructional support counselor for a regional cooperative educational program for special students sponsored and funded by eight local school systems. Two years following her retirement, she was asked by the organization to return to teach a class of high-functioning autistic middle schoolers, which she did for a year. Terry is a graduate of the Tidewater Writing Project at Old Dominion University. She is also a certified spiritual director, having completed the two-year course required for certification at the Virginia Institute of Spiritual Direction, and is a master gardener affiliated with Western Tidewater Master Gardeners. In addition, she taught drama for Norfolk’s Hurrah Players. Terry is a mosaic artist and her work has been displayed in the Suffolk Art League’s members show at the Suffolk Museum. Her poetry has been published in Seabury in Memoriam, and her non-fiction articles have appeared in The Smithfield Times and Suffolk Happening. Among her writing instructors are Kathleen Brehony, PhD, author of Awakening at Midlife, Ordinary Grace, After the Darkest Hour, and Living a Connected Life; Janine Latus, author of If I am Missing or Dead, and Lisa Hartz, poet and co-director of The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Terry was awarded the William Brenner Prize for First Place in Non-Fiction at the 2010 Hampton Roads Writers Conference. She and her husband live in Virginia with an English bulldog and a cockatiel.
Gardens and Grief, 10 Jan 2012