Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Honest and Fair

As I was preparing for our Memorial Day Weekend festivities, I found myself reflecting on the times I spent with loved ones who are no longer with us.  One of the most influential people in my life was my grandma Nancy Alta Steele Stroup Barker.  My grandma was born in 1906, and she died in 2008, just 6 weeks before her 102nd birthday.   Her passing was a significant spiritual experience for me.  I was honored to have the opportunity to deliver the eulogy at her funeral.  

My grandma lived her days as a faithful child of God.  She was selfless.  In every conversation, she never focused on herself.  Even in our last phone discussion when I could hear the strain and fatigue in her voice, she was asking about my husband and our girls.  God certainly had plans for her.  She spread His love.  Her faith was strengthened at a young age as a result of a gruesome experience she survived in 1924.  She had an appendectomy, at the age of 18, in her father's home in rural West Virginia.  Miners from the community volunteered to stand next to her bed while the doctor performed the surgery.  He worked under the glow cast by the lights mounted on top of the miners' helmets.  These men worked in shifts.  They rotated positions, taking turns going outside to relieve the nausea caused by the strong smell of formaldehyde.  She was so proud to tell this story because the ordeal not only almost ended her life, but it came close to preventing her from graduating from high school.  Her commitment and dedication to her education prevailed, and she was most proud of this achievement.  I have in my possession her high school graduation dress she kept for almost 85 years. 

I have so much more to write about my grandma's amazing life, but I will save those stories for another day.  I do feel it is important for me to mention that my grandma was a “Bingo Champion.”  She never played Bingo until she was in her late 90s because she viewed it as gambling.  She had moved into a nursing home, and the Recreation Director convinced her to give the game a try, promising there was no gambling involved.  My grandma enjoyed socializing with the other residents, but more importantly she realized she could win prizes…prizes she could pass on as gifts to her many visitors.

Our daughters love to play Bingo.  Thankfully they had one opportunity to play with my grandma.  I know they were too young and will never remember the experience, but I will treasure that memory forever.  When my first grader plays Bingo, she get so excited when she is about to win, she shakes.  When we play games with our daughters, we make sure they play by the rules.  The most important rule is to have fun.  They must also be honest and fair.

Our Daisy troop earned the light blue petal, showing they are honest and fair, by devoting an entire meeting to playing board games.  Prior to their arrival at the meeting, I had selected a few games for the girls to choose to play:  Sorry, Yahtzee Jr, Trouble, Sequence for Kids, Disney Apples To Apples, and Herd Your Horses.  The girls were asked to vote on the two games they wanted to play.  They played the three games that received the most votes.  They chose Disney Apples to Apples, Sorry, and Herd Your Horses.  We reviewed the rules of each game before splitting the troop into groups of three.  They rotated from table to table, having the opportunity to play each game for about 10-15 minutes.  The girls enjoyed playing games that were familiar to them as much as they enjoyed playing new games.  It was really nice to relax and have a "fun" meeting.

 Thanks for reading!

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