She never shirked from hard work. As a child, she worked on her family’s farm while keeping up with her schoolwork. The jobs I know she held as an adult include a sewing factory seamstress, an insurance agent’s secretary, and managing billing and accounts for a successful neurologist.
She learned the names of every county and county seat in her home state in the eighth grade – and still knows them to this day.
She can bake a mean coconut pie and an eight-layer chocolate cake that would make you weep. She knows the favorite dish of each of her kids and grandkids, and usually manages to have it on hand when they come to visit. (Mine is the potato salad. My brother’s is that cake.)
Her faith is like a beautiful cloak. It’s woven from her life experiences, her study of God’s word, her involvement in her church community. She wears it every day, unmarred by doubt or discouragement; it wraps around her and everyone she touches. It insulates her from the cares of the world, and people around her are drawn to its simple beauty and warmth.
She raised five children – two boys, three girls – to be amazing men and women. They in turn have raised (or are raising) seventeen children of their own. Four of us are now raising five members of the next generation, and we hope that we can be as good to our kids as she was to hers.
On her seventh birthday, America experienced a national tragedy. She couldn’t have known it at the time, but her future husband fought in that war (and recieved a Bronze Star for his valor). When she was sixteen and he was thirty, they were married. Now, fifty-six years later, they are a testament to the strength of love, conviction, and committment through all of life’s ups and downs.
Happy Birthday, Grandmama.