This past Thursday (12/11/08) my wife's grandfather passed away. We spent Friday figuring out whether to drive or fly to Cotter, AR. We flew there on Saturday for the service on Sunday and back last nignt (Monday).
"For many, many years," Jerry Morris said, "Marilyn's grandfather, Clarence Hopkins, gave the same blessing. Now, we ask various members of the family if they can
remember it, and many of them can still recite it."
Morris believes that telling stories about the character of grandparents and, as his
family calls them, "greats," encourages support of one another and results in a
"There's so much value," he said, "in simple human interaction."
I'll leave you with a poem he wrote and gave us copies of last Christmas that at the time was about his parents but now means so much more.
Maude and Jim Morris
They gave us a good name
Our mama and dad,
That's a fine garment in which to be clad
We had no idea what wealth we had
That good name from mama and dad
They worked as farmers in the Ozark hills
Toiling and tilling the land for its yield
Feeding their children with the food from the field
Loving and laughing and teaching
As bells of time pealed
They raised twelve children with their work and
And never complained that any of us heard
We had lots of warmth, even when it was cold
And ate great food, all bountiful and bold
They sent us to school, all scrubbed and clean
And told us to remember our name
'cause that was the best path to fame
A good name, our dad always said,
Was the best possession anyone ever had
And truth was the way to be trusted and revered
And we were to speak it whatever occured
They died, as all people do
But they left us their good name
And that is most true
by Jerry Morris
The Twelfth Child
Here is my wife and I leaving our wedding as Pa (far right) looked on......