Today. I've been thinking a lot about my darling grandmother. She was a woman of Class: a true Southern Belle. She raised my father to be one of the best men I've ever met. She was loving, perceptive, the life of the party, a wonderful storyteller, everyone's confidante, funny, feisty, fiery, independent, fiercely loyal, and incredibly protective. She could put you in your place faster than you could spell it. But she would turn right around and do absolutely anything for you. She was smart, a PK, and very much ADD. She was a working mother and devoted wife. She was witty, quick on her feet, and full of tact.
It made me think of days gone by: when people lived a simpler life, and knew the meaning of Class- women never cussed, men held the door open for women, no one cut their grass on Sundays. People understood the importance of family, Christian living, and a God-fearing country. Children were taught to respect authority, work, and help their neighbor. Everyone respected the building blocks of their community: school teachers, police officers, and minsters. Veterans were taken care of, respected, and loved. People understood that the true heroes of America were those who had served their country- those men and women who lived, fought, and died protecting the freedom their mothers and fathers had passed down to them.
One of those men who fought to guarantee that freedom for me, was my grandfather. He gave so much of himself to protect our nation- part of him was lost in Korea. He suffered from PTSD upon returning to the States. But overcame and was truly a great man. He taught my father what being a man meant, how to treat a woman, and how to protect a family. He was brilliant, musically inclined, and proper to a fault. He was tender-hearted, loved all animals, and could make a dog do anything he asked. He was a poet, a writer, and a musician. He taught me to love literature and poetry and classical music. I was his little darling, and he was my dear, dear Papaw.
My great-aunt and great-uncle took the place of my grandmother and grandfather when they died. They've taught me so much about academics, life, God, and loving all people. They have always been there for me with a loving word, teaching spirit, and an answer to every question. They are the epitome of Southern class, intelligence, and manners. Being brilliant people, they are always in high demand with many people from around the world- but always have had time for me.
These people taught me to love, honor, and respect all people- no matter their color, language, religion, culture, or values. These people taught me what class meant. These people taught me how to be Southern educated and not redneck. These people taught me how to be a Christian, a Girl with a Mind, a Woman with Attitude, and a Lady with Class. They taught me to be....a Southern Belle.
So here's to the Southern Genteel-Men and Belles before me.....
Joe Miller- 1924 - 2001
Suzie Miller- 1928 - 1988
Jenny Beaty- 1921 - 2015
James Beaty- 1925 -
May your Legacies live on in me, my children, my children's children, and for many generations to come.
Always in His Arms,