Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Three Grandmothers

Pictured first is Mary Daniel with my grandfather Charlie Daniel and 3 of their sons. Mary is the only grandmother I met in person. Since she lived in Georgia and we lived in Texas the visits were rare. Mary Graf, shown above holding my sister, died before I was born and Mattie Daniel shown with her husband Charlie died when I was 11. The three women have stayed alive in my memory by pictures, stories from those who knew them and letters they have written. I have felt most close to my Grandmother Graf. I always felt her presence at my grandfather's house where we went atleast once a month growing up.

Mary Graf was a first born child. She was a leader, active in her church, taught her children scripture and always looked out for others. I have felt her presence my entire life by reading stories written by her sisters and brothers, and from stories my mother would tell. I remember getting together with my Uncle Charles before my grandfather's funeral and all the stories that were told of both my grandmother and grandfather. There was a lot of love and I feel that still today.

Mattie Daniel was a little more of a mystery. My Uncle Gary tells me he knew her as a wonderful woman. I have talked through email with several of her cousins, aunts, and uncles. Just like my Grandmother Graf, my grandmother Daniel is alive to me through the pictures I have seen of her.

I knew my grandfather's second wife better, Mary Daniel. I corresponded with Mary Daniel through letter writing from elementary school until her death in 1998 and met her several times. Mary Daniel was a sweet, happy person that I enjoyed being around.

All of these ladies have influenced my life even though they were never able to attend a single function of my childhood. I've always felt part of something bigger. In Max Lucado's book Outlive your Life, he begins with a fable. The moral of the fable is to live your life so that you make a mark that does not end when you die. The three grandmothers I have did just that. They outlived their lives.

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