She was my Grandmother, my confidant, my best friend.
She was our matriarch, the queen of our castle, the caller of the shots.
She was my link to our past, my purpose in our present and my hope for our future.
She was a quiet strength and calm in any storm.
She loved a long dinner with her special friends.
She loved to play bridge, and she really loved winning the pot.
She loved fine classical music.
She loved to read good books.
She loved to learn.
She read the newspaper cover to cover everyday.
She never took for granted her right to vote and she never missed voting in an election, local or national.
She loved a good manicure with clear nail polish, because one should never call too much attention to themselves.
She loved a glass of wine in the afternoon.
She loved cheese biscuits.
She loved Hershey’s chocolate nuggets.
She loved coffee ice cream with caramel sauce on top.
She loved homegrown tomato sandwiches with mayo on thin white bread.
She loved salmon colored geraniums on her porch in the summer.
She loved to laugh until she cried.
She told you what she thought, yes indeed, she always told you what she thought.
Sometimes she didn’t tell you, she just groaned her opinion, and that was all it took.
She believed a lady should always be prepared to host guests.
She believed in the value of the past and the power of the future.
She believed tomorrow would always be better than today.
She taught by example.
She taught me the importance of a proper handshake.
She taught my boys how to properly make up a bed with hospital corners.
She taught my boys to pull out a chair and assist women as they are seated.
She taught them the manners of waiting to sit until all the women were seated.
She taught them never to eat until she had raised her fork at the dinner table.
She taught me to look past the outside and peer into the more valuable inside.
She taught me to speak less and listen more.
Her selflessness was limitless.
Her determination was unstoppable.
Her strength was constant.
Her grace and kindness had power that she never understood.
She said she was just herself, yet everyone else saw so much more.
Her eyes and her emotions told stories words could not tell.
She loved her family with every ounce of herself and then some.
My life, and the lives of all who knew her are forever better having known her.
She was exceptional, though she didn’t think so.
She was just herself, nothing more and nothing less.
Plain and simple and absolutely exceptional.
Our love extends beyond the grave.
We miss her every single day.
Our eyes still fill with tears when we talk about her, but the tears flow more from laughter rather than pain.
She is with her groom, her mama (whom she brought into her own home and cared for almost until her passing) a brother who died too early for her to know and her Lord.
She would not come back if she could.
Copyright © Gatewood Campbell, January 2014