This is a creative essay that was written by the most peaceful, wonderful, talented, and graceful wife any one could ever have. I read her class assignment and decided to share with y’all but I am not sure she knows I’m doing this. So if you see here, try to act surprised. It will be spread out over the next couple of days. The story is fictional, but some of the places and event took place. It was based on those events ….
Treasures of a Grace-Full Legacy
An ordinary day in which daily chores were on the list. Little did we know that within a few short hours, lives would be forever changed. The tornado hit Evergreen, Virginia, three years ago. There was devastation of the homes of so many families. Only one person from this precious community lost his life. The day was traumatic for many people, including me. It was a disaster, and it was a blessing—a blessed disaster. One special piece contained memories that are precious. Without it, much of our family history would be lost—maybe forever. That blessed disastrous day was grace-full because of what transpired in the days that followed.
Before I share the story, let me introduce myself. My name is Sarah Grace. The name, Grace, has passed down throughout the generations. My grandmother is Alice Grace, my mother is Caroline Grace, my daughter is Victoria Grace, and my granddaughter is Bella Grace. Every time a daughter was born, it quickly became tradition that Grace was part of her name. One day I asked Grandmother Alice why Grace was such the chosen name. She told me, “Sarah, we have something we do not deserve—Grace. No matter what the family endures, grace is the lifeline and an ever-present reminder to generations that whatever we receive, we do not deserve.” Though I did not understand as a youngster, I look back and understand. Everything I have is undeserved. Even in the midst of pain or sorrow, God extends His sufficient grace. Throughout my 81 years of this grace-full life, I have seen countless avenues of grace. Within this small community of Evergreen, it was grace that permeated the families of this community. We have built a legacy of undeserved grace.
My grandmother told me stories when I was young about how this rural, sleepy town of Evergreen, Virginia, began in 1854. She was keen on history, and I loved hearing her stories. She had a unique, dramatic giftedness when she told stories. Grandmother Alice explained how the effects of the Civil War remained evident in the area. Yet, the residents had a spirit in them that would not let them give into the fears all around them. Today, when I slowly walk these streets, I remember what Grandmother Alice told me.
Families in Evergreen have been here for generations. Our family walked to the Baptist church at the end of the street to worship. The walks were enjoyable because we met the neighbors on their way to church. The Baptist church and the Methodist church are within steps of each other. The ladies in their fine dresses, the men in their tailored suits, the girls in their fancy petticoats, and the boys with their nice shirts and trousers with suspenders.
Spring was especially enjoyable because the birds serenaded us with their praises to the Lord, and the cows and donkeys soon followed in the chorus. Even though I am now more mature in age, I still walk the area and reminisce about playing with the other children or swinging on the tree swing by the Methodist church.
People of Evergreen were primarily farmers, merchants, or owned their own business. Fathers and mothers worked side by side on their farms and with local businesses. During the war, there were women who worked outside the home as teachers, nurses, or led organizations by promoting community and helping those in need. Families relied on the profits of the harvest or sold cattle as their primary sources of income, and they learned to rely on God to provide for their needs. Since farming is hard labor, some families hired people to help work the farm. My parents grew tobacco and raised cattle for income. During harvest time, we worked day and night to get the produce to the local markets and distributed to our church members who needed food. Pipe making was a good business in Evergreen, and we partnered with tobacco companies and merchants. Plus, we had a large community garden that the families shared providing fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Missing Piece
Now, back to the blessed disaster. My home had minor damage compared to others. Windows and a portion of the house were destroyed. As I scanned the remnants, as much an 81-year-old woman could, I discovered a special large piece was missing. I became distraught because it was priceless …
((Continue reading tomorrow … if my wife doesn’t catch me using here essay … lol))
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