The first Bama coed I ever knew has a birthday today.
When she was at UA as an undergrad student, the football team was bad on an epic level. I quote her remembering those days: "We never really thought we'd win; we just wanted to score every now & then to keep it interesting." (This would change in a couple of years when a former player named "Bryant" was hired as HC. But that's another story for another day) She still watches & enjoys UA games to this day.
She skipped her college graduation ceremony. Because she was all busy getting married back home in Enterprise, AL to this handsome young man from the hills & woods of central Alabama. Shortly after, they moved to Anchorage, AK (taking that "leave" thing in Genesis 2 to a whole new level!). She taught school, & he worked on the local newspaper. One son later, they moved back to Alabama. Montgomery, to be precise. A couple of years & another son later, these two adventurers sacked up & moved south. Ft. Walton Beach, FL, which was then a small fishing village surrounded by swamps, snakes, & alligators. And some of the most beautiful white sand beaches anywhere on the globe. She still lives there, & still loves the area.
She was the elementary school librarian, and still loves books & reading. She reads big, long books, preferring historical fiction these days. In her 40s...in her 40s!...she spent some more time at UA pursuing & receiving a Master's degree.
She also helped the handsome husband start his new business in 1960. She spent a lot of time in the small print shop helping him get it going.
As people who took their faith seriously, they joined & became deeply involved with First Baptist Church. As givers, they served. (All of us of that faith are supposed to...but all too many of us seem to view our "ministry" as that of griping & complaining & sitting in the sanctuary daring the preacher to bless us--when we show up at all. That too is another topic for another day.) They served mostly in the preschool ministry. Behind the scenes doing stuff most don't want to do. They helped prepare Communion . Behind the scenes doing stuff most don't want to do. She still serves at that church, although age has made her ministry change a bit. Now she serves mostly by visiting shut-ins & encouraging them. Behind the scenes doing stuff most don't want to do. She is still faithful to her Lord, her faith, and her church.
The handsome husband departed this world suddenly leaving her a young single mother of two high-school age sons. And still she was faithful. She still is even now. She is a relatively new bride again by the way. She has had an enormous impact on the lives of so many. One of the great encouragers around. An incalculable impact on her sons and their children.
I cannot even begin to fathom all of the many ways her life & love & faith have impacted my own. You see, I am son #2.
Happy Birthday, Mom! "Thanks" doesn't come close...but thanks!
I love you.