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People of Alabama: Meredith Stewart of Odenville

Who has been one of the biggest influences in your life?

“My maternal grandparents. They came from so little. My grandmother was one that my mom talked about – she had holes in the bottoms of her shoes or shoes that were too small. My grandfather’s family, even though it was the Depression, they would try to cook up extra food to give to their neighbors. Just having come from so little but still trying to give was just something that I always admired about them. I’ve tried to model the same. We’ve got to make sure we try to give back. They were both alive until I was 13. I got to spend time with them at their (Logan Martin) lake house after they retired and see them be the kind of people that I wanted to be.” – Meredith Stewart of Odenville.

Stewart is a Customer Service associate at Alabama Power. National Customer Service Week is Oct. 3-7.

“My favorite thing is getting to help customers, especially when I can hear that stress in their voice and I’m just able to say, ‘Let’s get this taken care of.’”

It’s that direct contact with people that Stewart likes about her work.

“Customer service is a way to help people out. Being able to work in customer service lets me reach out to people and help them every day.”

Meredith Stewart had to make a difficult decision at a young age and it taught her the fleeting nature of making plans.
(Tamika Moore / People of Alabama)

What’s one of the biggest lessons life has taught you?

“You can make all the plans you want and that’s not how it’s going to turn out, but you make the most of what happens. When I was still in college, I started feeling pains in my stomach. I went to the emergency room, and they were like, ‘It’s the biggest ovarian cyst we’ve ever seen.’ My ovary was somewhere in the cyst, and they cut me open and that one was removed. A few years later, then it was like, ‘It looks like you may have something on the other area.’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to have to deal with this anymore.’ I realize that means no kids of my own, so that was what was hard. As a little girl, I picked out names for my future kids and had all these big plans about how family life was going to be. You can make all these plans and then something crazy will happen. I did have to come to peace with it, realizing that my path is just going to be different. It’s the path that I’ve been given.”

Tyler Pettway and Meredith Stewart work in Customer Service at Alabama Power.
(Tamika Moore / People of Alabama)

She loves the small town feel of Odenville.

“I was a city girl and then my mom moved us out there to Springville. I wanted to stick close to them, but I wanted my own place. It’s still a small town – your neighbors know you, which I had to get used to. It’s still convenient to a lot of things but it feels removed a little bit. St. Clair County is kind of just this collection of cute little small towns.”

These are the faces and stories of people from all walks of life who call Alabama home. People of Alabama is a Red Clay Media and Alabama NewsCenter partnership.