Mama left a legacy. My niece Misty wrote about some of it:
When I was a little girl, I would often ask my mom why we believed what we believed and what different parts of the Bible meant. I was always amazed at how she would walk me through Greek and Hebrew roots and the historical context as she walked me through it all. One day I asked her how she knew all of that and she told me that her mom helped her and always taught her to seek truth and understanding.
Today we celebrate that legacy as we mark my grandmother’s passing. Mimi’s house was an iconic feature of my childhood. My aunts and uncles would gather on the weekend and share life. It was there I learned the value of laughter, the joy of family, the power of a well-told story, and the importance of the Word of God. She took us to Awanas and paid our dues so we could learn the Bible. She taught us old time hymns when she realized our progressive church left us without that knowledge.
I conducted a series of interviews with her in college to understand how her identity was shaped in her youth. I grew proud as I listened to her share a journey that didn’t stagnate as she grew older. Even after her retirement, she engaged in a process of transformation. It was a source of pride that I always shared with my kids. One of the many legacies she gave us was her never-ending quest for personal growth and her search for truth.
As her mind deteriorated due to Alzheimer’s over the last ten years, she lost her short, then long-term memory. Sometimes when we visited it was clear that this lack of context naturally resulted in a level of fear. Even as her mental capacity failed her, she would quote the Bible and ask us to pray with her. Even as her mind and body declined, her spirit held strong. Of all of the legacies she gave us, that spiritual strength is the one I cherish most. I’m so grateful for her life, her love, her joy, her strength, and her faith.