My Grandma Barty was a remarkable and selfless woman…remarkable in many ways, including how she could thread a worm on a fishing hook with remarkable precision. And selfless in many ways, including how she didn’t mind celebrating many of her birthdays with me, the youngest of her grandchildren (and, I’ve been told, the most spoiled)…as her birthday was the day after mine.
The Grandma-With-Cracks-In-Her-Face (as my older sister Melissa called her) authored a life of hard work, a story her physical appearance told well. The years spent in the sun, picking cotton and tending her impressive home garden were worn into her wrinkles and into her soul. She carried the lines of concern on her precious face, as she spent a lifetime praying for her husband, children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren…carrying a mother’s burden with unwavering faith. The cracks in her face and the commitment they represented were, to me, what made her truly physically beautiful.
There are many things she accomplished in her life that she could have been proud of. She could have been proud of her award winning enchiladas, her ability to can and preserve every fruit or vegetable she nurtured into perfection, or her very large and impressive collection of polyester clothing in her basement closet. The world’s standards of success, like material gain and education, were not even on her radar. She had more important things to accomplish.
For anyone who was at a family function with Grandma in her last few years, we all knew she loved to brag about two things. It was guaranteed…she would look around and announce with such pride, “I’m the oldest one here. And I did all this!”
The Lord allowed her to live just short of 96 years…almost 35,000 days. I’m confident she hit the mark for her life, that she lived those 35,000 days with a desire to accomplish something significant. And her greatest accomplishments, the ones she bragged about when she says, “I did all this!” just happen to include me and my family.
Grandma, we’ll miss you greatly, but we’re determined to carry on your legacy…to know life’s greatest successes and our most significant accomplishments will be in our committed, remarkable, selfless love for our family.