Edward Jay Harbison was born May 12, 1969, to Magnolia and Boyd Harbison. Magnolia was a loving mother to Ed, spoiling him and spending as much time with him as she could.
Boyd, Ed's father, was a farmer and worked hard for a living. When Ed was old enough, Boyd wanted him to learn about farming and started to teach him his trade. Ed did what his father asked, but he didn't have any desire to become a farmer.
In high school, Ed started to work for a carpenter and found he was as good at it. He helped his father as much as he could around the farm, but he preferred his work as a carpenter on the weekends and during summer vacations.
Ed was an average student and had no interest in going to college. He wanted to start his own business as a carpenter. During his junior year, he met the girl of his dreams. Julie Webb was a transfer student from Huntsville, Alabama.
For Ed, it was love at first sight, and he asked Julie for a date, even though he knew his mother wouldn't approve. Magnolia didn't think any of the girls Ed had dated were good enough for him, and she told him so.
Ed and Julie dated for two years, despite his mother's feelings. Julie knew Magnolia didn't like her and she tried her best to win her over, but Magnolia only saw her as the person that was trying to steal her son.
In 1989, Julie and Ed were married in a small ceremony. Ed found a small house that was perfect for him and Julie. He was working steady and was happy to be out of his mother's house.
Ed and Julie have two sons—Justin, born in 1989, and Tyler, born in 1991—and a daughter, Kayla, born in 1994. Throughout the time the kids were growing up, their small house was noisy, chaotic and full of love.
In 2008, Ed's father died of a sudden heart attack. They were installing carpet at Ed's house when Boyd fell to floor. An ambulance rushed him to the hospital but it was too late. Both Ed and Magnolia were devastated.
A few months after Boyd passed away, Magnolia was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Ed knew she needed his help and felt he had no choice but to move back into his parents' house to take care of his mother. By that time, Justin was out on his own and Tyler was in college, so Ed, Julie and Kayla somewhat reluctantly moved out to the farm with Magnolia.
As time went by, Magnolia got more dependent on Ed for help because she was in pain and could barely walk. Ed and Julie both worked, so Ed hired a series of caretakers to stay with his mother during the day. But Magnolia didn't like any of them, and she let them know it. They quit faster than Ed could find someone to take their place.
Finally, Ed realized he couldn't afford to hire another caretaker and made the decision to move his mother into the Yoknapatawpha Acres nursing home, even though it was against her wishes.
Ed visits his mother often, and whenever he does, Magnolia never misses the opportunity to remind him that he threw her out of her own house and "dumped her in this place" because he doesn't love her.
Even though his relationship with his mother is strained now, Ed's home life with Julie has been a lot more peaceful since Magnolia moved.