My Everyday Hero

I think everyone’s got one–a role model–or a person who shapes who they are. Most people have more than one, but I bet you can name one person who made you who you are.

For me it’s my grandmama, Millie Lorena Franklin. She taught through example. At 88 years old, she tended a garden, raked leaves, mowed acres and acres of tall Texas grass, and set aside the first Sunday of every month to have Family Home Evenings with her children and all 25 grandchildren.

I have vivid memories of Grandmama with her ten-gauge shot gun, shooting the tar out of the water moccasins that sneaked into our play yard. We lived next door, and when I was ten or so, I decided to visit her everyday.

I loved her stories the most.

She told about times before cars or electricity–when they used cisterns for water and outhouses for toilets. It fascinated me to hear about those times so different from my own.

One thing that was unchanging was her undeniable belief in Jesus Christ. On every visit she never hesitated to share her testimony with me. I never felt as if she preached. I never felt as though she would disown me if I believed differently. I feel she wanted to share something precious with me–something that gave her life meaning.

Her last year was tough. She moved in with us because she could no longer take care of herself. I know she suffered. She tried hard not to let us see it, but I knew it all the same. She was ready to go to the other side–as she called it. When her time came, she went peacefully in her sleep. I remember seeing her body after she died. I had the distinct thought that she wasn’t there. Whoever my grandmama was, it wasn’t in that body anymore.

I think about her every day. I try to remember her voice, the way her hands felt so soft when she hugged me. If anything, I want to live my life so she would be proud. When I see her again, I intend to let her know how much her life shaped my own.

With that thought–who shaped your life? I’m certain I’m not the only person to have been lucky enough to have a grandmama. Who’s yours?

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