Leaving a Legacy Like Granny: Part 4


legacyThis is part four and the final installment of the Women’s History Month legacy series on Bertha “Granny” Mabry. I have enjoyed telling this story of a special needs pioneer who planted a seed in my community and left such a beautiful legacy in her personal life and work. Part 3 and the beginning of the series can be found here .

granny quote 1When Granny learned that her youngest son Sanford was born with a disability, she became an advocate not only for her son but other special needs children. Her advocacy meant countless hours learning, researching, and serving to make a difference. I recently spoke with Granny’s daughter Martha because I wanted to know what it was like seeing these things unfold, and what impact it has had on her today. Martha told me that she feels that she and her brother have more compassion because of the life they lived; that she is so actively involved in many things because this is the life she saw her mother live. She says that this “good stuff” has rubbed off on her husband and her own kids. Isn’t that beautiful?

In all the time I spent talking to Martha and learning about their lives, what has stayedpurple words with me most is what happened after Granny died. At the time of her death in April 2013, Sanford still lived at home with Granny. When she died, Martha and her husband moved into Granny’s home so that Sanford could continue to live in a place that is comfortable for him. Martha proudly told me, “I knew forever that’s what I would do. Take care of Sanford.” With all I have learned about Granny’s work in the community—perhaps the biggest influence she made was within her own family tree. Now that’s a legacy!

Some people have a focus and ability that seem to drive them to do so much and then do even more on top of that. Their actions seem almost effortless. I’m not sure I have that kind of drive. But there is a part of me that believes there is a little bit of Granny in all of us. It is what prompted me to want to tell this story. So that we can all have something nudging at us to not only do for others, but be reminded that when we make a difference in our own families, we are making a difference all around us.

granny quote 2I am so motivated and inspired by this woman that I never knew. While I may never help open a school or travel abroad as a special needs advocate, I am conscious of little things I do each day to be the best wife, mom, sister and friend. Truly, the things that I do impact and leave an imprint on others. This is true for all of us whether we are aware of it or not.

As you move from day to day is there purpose and intent in the things you do? What will you continue doing or start doing now to leave a legacy like Granny?

 

Comments

  1. Looking for Blue Sky
    • June 15, 2014
    • 2:45 pm
    • Reply

    Granny Mabry sounds like a wonderful woman xx

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • June 16, 2014
      • 7:56 pm
      • Reply

      I agree. She sets the bar high and I know I can’t come close to filling her shoes. But, it helps put my thoughts to Juliana’s future at ease. I don’t know how it will all go, but I know she will be just fine. You have to believe the same for Smiley. I think the more we believe this, the truer it will become.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll keep checking in to see what you guys are up to.

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • June 16, 2014
      • 8:38 pm
      • Reply

      Jane,

      I’m glad you stopped by and so glad you liked the post. Like you, my husband and I will prepare a life plan–I’ve already enlisted a team of younger relatives who will help to make sure Juliana is okay. After learning about Granny, and seeing that her now 60 year old son is okay, it gave me true peace and I know in my heart of hearts that Juliana will be just fine when I am gone.

  2. Truman Chastain
    • April 4, 2014
    • 10:18 pm
    • Reply

    I very much loved reading this story about my Aunt Bertha. I have known she was
    a special woman most of my life, from listening to my Mom and Dad speak about her. But until I had two special needs Grandsons who have Autism, I didn’t really know what it was all about. Not only is it a full time job being a parent, it is more so
    being the parent of a special needs child, and that is were family comes into play.
    It is important that family can stick together and help out the parents of special needs children, and it brings us all closer together. After learning even more about Aunt Bertha, I have even more love for her and I will always miss her.
    Sincerely
    T.C. Chastain

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • May 11, 2014
      • 10:31 am
      • Reply

      Truman,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to come by and read the post. I feel like I knew your aunt. She was a very special lady and it has been my pleasure telling her story.

  3. LJ
    • March 28, 2014
    • 4:56 pm
    • Reply

    I have thoroughly enjoyed(Bertha’s story) and looked forward to each of these posts. What a story! This story was encouraging and should make any of us who are raising a child with special needs proud. Thanks for sharing.

    AVIDRNR

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • March 30, 2014
      • 8:22 am
      • Reply

      Thank you LJ,

      It has been a pleasure doing this series. Please stop by again.

  4. Martha Ray
    • March 28, 2014
    • 3:34 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you so much for the wonderful post about my mother and brother. I read them and cry. I hope mother’s writings will give you hope to face the future with your special needs child.

    Sincerely,
    Martha

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • March 30, 2014
      • 8:25 am
      • Reply

      Martha,

      I am so glad you came by to check out the series. Your mom has truly been an inspiration to me and I hope her story and Sanford’s will be an encouragement for other special needs parents.

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