Johnnie Faye

She always told us that she didn't really know her birthday or how old she really was since her birth certificate burned down with the courthouse and she was left with no proof of identity. We celebrated her birthday on June 9th every year anyways and today we celebrate her life one more time.

As I was thinking about how to encapsulate all that she meant to me in mere words it was brought to mind the unique pattern of beginnings and endings Grandma always escorted me through. I was her first grand baby and she my last grandparent to pass. My own granddaughter, her first great, great grandchild, came to us this year that grandma left us. She was there with me when I was introduced to my first sister and there when my parents divorced and we came to live with her and Papa for awhile. She told me then that one day all the terrible and difficult things that I had to go through would one day be a great witness to others for God's glory. She prayed for me daily and I knew it. She wrote to me, old fashioned handwriting on note paper, that I still cherish today. Every summer my sister and I and our cousins would turn her house upside down for 2 whole weeks. I don't know how she survived that. She taught me how to pray and how to serve in church and how to have faith no matter what. She loved people like nobody's business.

When I got pregnant in high school and thought my life was over, she told me that this baby boy was gonna be the cutest thing she had ever seen and she was right. When my parents announced that we were going to move from the West Coast to the East Coast uprooting me from everything I had ever known or clung to in my short 18 years, she let me in on the knowledge that the Lord had orchestrated it and the move was especially for me and would change my life completely, and she was right. When I found myself here in Fayetteville and not sure of my future she told me that the Lord was going to bring me a man who would love me, but more importantly, to me anyway, he was gonna love my little boy so much. She was so right.

She held every one of my babies, rocking them, singing to them, sharing her love and compassion to the next generation of her lineage. She was there through every one of my hardships, praying over my household and my marriage and my babies and I will be eternally grateful for her. She gave me a high standard to live and love by and most importantly she pointed me to Jesus. Now I know that she is there in the cloud of witnesses rooting us all on to our own glorious finish. Her ending with us here is a magnificent beginning to her eternal rest with her Lord.


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