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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Celebrating a life well lived

Just had a much needed talk with my sister from another mother. Our conversation ended reminincing about one of the dearest people I've known her mother, Mrs. Joann Williams. We weren't able to be there in Philidelphia to celebrate her life but I wrote this tribute ... I don't think Cynthia will mind me sharing if she does oh well (she shouldn't have rushed me off of the phone to get in bed!). On a serious note I know there are all kinds of pain, on many different levels in this world today. Most of what I wrote 5 years ago is more applicable now than when I wrote it then. I realized after reading this to Cynthia that this was dedicated to Granny but could only be used by those of us who are alive. I'm taking a couple of doses of this myself and I hope you will too if you need to...

The Hart, Callihan, and Minniefield families’ tribute to our beloved
Jo-Ann Williams affectionately to us “Granny”

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not
self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Learning of Granny’s passing a few days ago was one of the hardest days for all of us.  As difficult as it was in a weird kind of way the day also caused us to rejoice. Yes, she is now free from the bondage of the dreaded disease Cancer.  The thought of no more pain, or suffering somehow provided a calm sense of unexplainable peace for us.
The Lord allowed our pathways to cross thirteen years or so ago through our children and we’ve been family from then until now. Cynthia, Jeffery and Girls we commend you all for a job well done taking care of Granny during her transition.  We wish we could be there with you now in person during what we know is a very difficult time.  Prayerfully you all feel our presence, especially now, as you are celebrating Granny’s life well lived. Family for all of us is significant, and Granny adopted us and loved us as her family almost immediately.  She was there with my mother, when Diana was born, but we really grew very close after an auto-pedestrian accident, in 2001.  Granny took care of Diana who was only six months old at the time, me, all while taking care of Alex and Ashly. She allowed me to be angry, cry, and a couple of times Granny allowed me to have a meltdown fit, but then she said like only she could “now that is enough of that you need to get yourself together and get on to something else.” It wasn’t long after that I recovered and was able to go back to work.
She invested so much into me, Joshua, and our girls lives.  We are better because of the time and energy she spent pouring wisdom, and the wealth of life long knowledge into us. Granny exhibited the grace of God, His unmerited favor, and had the ultimate respect for every human being. She was such a gracious, and proper woman who went out of her way to be kind. Granny meant so much to us. The above scripture about love describes the love Granny shared with so many people. She was like a second mother, a grandmother to my girls, a teacher, mentor, and Granny was my friend. Our world would be so much sweeter if there were more people like Mrs. Jo-Ann Williams (Granny).
The bulk of our conversations was either about God, or our family.  She was a woman of great faith, and she lived a life that so pleased God. We shared favorite foods such as taco salad, soup, beans, all things italian, and seafood. We had some beautiful meals together making life long memories. Granny was an incredible gardener too. Now make no mistake about it she was also strict on the girls (and me too) when she needed to be, “keep the main thing the main thing” she would often say, and we knew to get right back on track, she knew her job, and did it well.                                    Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderes or addicted to much wine, but teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.      
Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)
We celebrate you Mrs. JoAnn Williams, and know for sure we will see you again.                                                      A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death is better than the day of birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1 (NIV)
I’m so thankful for the opportunities we had to demonstrate how much Granny meant to us, we loved on her every time she was around.  We feel sadness, but we maximized our time when she was alive, we have no regrets.  We are positive she knew our great love for her.  Family, life is short let’s hold each other accountable to live every day to the fullest …and challenge each other to deliberately love hard with out excuse, not contigent on if it is recieved …                                                          
“Finally, my brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Philippians 4:8.” (NIV)

Important learned lesson from Granny, as a final take away, be intentional about living your life, you only have one.  Don’t waste valuable time, and energy, instead diligently work to leave a positive impact on this world.            Live well until you die!!  Go on sweet Granny take your rest.