My Grandmother Inspired Me

She Inspired Me

This is my grandmother, She was 99 years old when this picture was taken. She inspired me.
This is my grandmother, She was 99 years old when this picture was taken. She inspired me. | Source

She Inspired Me

This is my grandmother, Nova Berry. This picture was taken just after she turned 99 years old and just before she passed away. When I was little I just knew she was a wonderful grandma who made the world's best chocolate pies. It wasn't until I was much older that I learned how special she really was.

My grandmother and her family were a lot like mine was when I was little. They moved around a lot. It wasn't until she was in her early thirties that her family got there first car, so most of their moving was done with a team of horses and a wagon.

When she was fourteen she took a teacher's test. She taught for a few years - some of the students were older than she was. I saw the test she took - I can't believe what it took to become a teacher back then! When she taught, the rule was that if you were female you could not be married, so when she became engaged to my grandfather, she gave up teaching to become a farm wife.

The story she told about how she met my grandfather was really kind of funny. She and her father were going somewhere with the horse and wagon. The came to a gate and had to stop to open it. About that same time, a tall, lanky young man with a big black cowboy hat came up to the gate. He quietly helped them with the gate and rode off - as my grandma said - into the sunset. My grandma turned to her dad and said "There goes the man I am going to marry!" Her dad asked "What if he is already married?" She answered, "Well then, she better watch out and get out of the way, because I am going to marry that man!" As luck would have it, there was a dance at the church that next weekend and both of them attended. Grandma found out that he was not taken and they began dating. Less than a year later they were married.

After being married for a few months, Grandma gave birth to their first child - Maxine Nova. A year later, their first son Eugene Clayton was born. When Maxine was two, she and Eugene came down with scarlet fever. The fever got so high that she was rushed into the doctor. The doctor wanted her to cool off, so he immersed her into a tub of ice. Unfortunately, the ice brought the temperature down too quickly and she died.

After grieving for awhile, their third child, another son, was born. David Lee. Soon Oscar Jefferson came. OJ, as he was known, was born prematurely. This left him with brain damage. Later in life, he would be institutionalized. Several years later, Jerry Wayne was born. Grandma thought she was done having children, but two years later she gave birth to her sixth child, a daughter, my mom.

When my mom was six years old, my grandfather passed away. He was working out in the field and collapsed. It was thought that he had a heart attack, but he died before they could find out for sure. So at the age of 48, my grandmother had five children to raise alone. That year, she and the children brought in the cotton crop that my grandfather had put in. It was tough, but with the help of some men from town, they got it done. Of course, the money from the crop didn't last long. Grandma couldn't afford to keep everyone together, so she sent her youngest two children to live with her sister and brother-in-law and sent OJ to live in a mental institution. The older two boys had joined the army and were on their own.

Grandma went to work in a dress factory to make some money for her family. After a few years, she was able to get her two younger children back. They soon moved to Kansas to be with her older sons. They had settled there working at the aircraft plants. Her youngest son, Jerry Wayne was drafted into the army and went off to Vietnam. Her daughter met and married a man and moved away. Grandma was on her own for the first time in her life.

Through all of her ordeals, Grandma had a strong belief in God. She always felt that everything happened for a reason, and God knew that reason. She felt that if she believed, things would go her way. Nothing could take that faith away.

After many years, Grandma was no longer able to live on her own. Although she was very healthy, she began forgetting things. It never got real bad, but one day she forgot that she had a pie cooking in the oven. It started a small fire and it scared her and my mom. My mom moved Grandma in with her. Soon, Jerry Wayne moved in, as well. He was beginning to have early signs of COPD. My mom took care of both of them.

My grandmother lived with my mom for more than ten years. The year she approached her 99th birthday, she began feeling lonely. All of her friends, and four of her children had passed away. She was the only one left of her siblings. She was ready to join them. One morning, she called my mom into her room. She told my mom she was ready to go "home." She raised her arms toward Heaven and died. Peacefully, closed her eyes and died.

My grandmother was my inspiration. She made it through more than 50 years of life on her own. Raised five children successfully. Worked in a time when women didn't work. She was a teacher. She was an awesome lady, and I want to be just like her!


More by this Author


Comments 13 comments

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Wow, what a beautifully written tribute to a wonderful lady. I love how you told this. So she died just like that? The will is so strong--it's amazing, huh? How sad to outlive so many of your kids. One of my grandmothers did that. Out of 9 kids, she outlived five of them. So sad. And about three husbands. I'm sure she was ready to go. I should write about her. A teacher, too! She would surely be proud of you! What's this picture a day in May? Many votes on this hub. I love it. Touches my heart so much.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

My grandmother truly was wonderful - and you definitely write about your grandmother! The photo a day May is a challenge I saw somewhere - can't remember if it was here on Hubpages or somewhere else - there was a list that I copied from somewhere that tells you what you should take a picture of - then you write about it and share...if you would like I could copy the list and send it to you!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Yeah, send it to me. I might do some of the days! thanks!


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi justateacher ... what an inspiring lady your grandmother was. I can see why you would be attracted to her. The spirit and heartfelt tribute speaks volumes of who you have become. Thank you for sharing her with us. Look into the mirror and I'm certain you will see her in your reflection. Very well written and you have a new fan.

Hugs from Canada


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Rolly - thank you so much for your kind comments! Thanks for reading and becoming a fan!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

I'm going to try to leave the list for Photo A Day May topics here - not sure if it will get dinged for duplicate copy - if it does, just let me know if you want it and I can share!

Here it is:

1. peace {something peaceful, a peace sign etc}

2. skyline {where the sky meets land, can be buildings, the beach, forest, whatever!}

3. something you wore today {while you're wearing it or not}

4. fun! {something you do for fun - big or small}

5. bird {a bird in the sky, an ornament, a picture, a pet etc}

6. you {a self-portrait, a picture of a picture of you, your reflection in the mirror}

7. someone that inspires you {could be someone in real life, someone well-known}

8. a smell you adore {perfume, a food, flowers, anything!}

9. something you do everyday {share something from your daily routine}

10. a favourite word {a word that you love to say, write or read}

11. kitchen {can be a picture of your kitchen, something from a kitchen or a cafe kitchen etc}

12. something that makes you happy {a person, a thing, etc}

13. mum {a picture of your mum, the word mum, a mum, mother's day celebrations etc}

14. grass {the green stuff that grows on the ground etc}

15. love {something that represents love, something or someone you love}

16. what you're reading {a book, a newspaper, a blog, a sign, a note etc}

17. snack {something you're eating as a snack}

18. something you made {food, craft, a child, anything!}

19. a favourite place {a place you love being in}

20. something you can't live without {something you'd rather not go without in your life}

21. where you stand {take a photo of where you're standing}

22. pink {something pink}

23. technology {something that uses technology}

24. something new {what's something new in your life?}

25. unusual {share something a little odd or weird}

26. 12 o'clock {take a photo at noon or midnight, whatever you're doing}

27. something sweet {a candy/lolly, a cake, a person, something cute ... anything!}

28. the weather today {is it sunny, rainy, cloudy today? Shoot it!}

29. a number

30. your personality {show us your personality in a photo, a word etc}

31. something beautiful {share something beautiful in your life}


Kathleen Kerswig 4 years ago

Beautiful hub! Thank you for sharing this with us. My Nana inspired me too just by loving me. Voted up!


noenhulk profile image

noenhulk 4 years ago

I remember my granma... we are close to each other because I am the eldest in both sides, my father and mother side. Thanks for sharing your hub about them! That's wonderful!


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 4 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Oh this was a very lovely way to share your sweet grandma with us all. I enjoyed it very much your grandma was really a nice and a wonderful woman. My granny also is a very nice woman also. I do hope God continues to give her health and strenght, she got a stroke last year and has been improving.

The end of your hub brought tears to my eyes but am sure your grandma is HAPPY with the LORD.

God bless you

~~~Shalom~~~


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Wow, this should be a movie because it is such a great true story of inspiration. your grandmother was a strong, Godly example of how to live life with determination and hope. Thanks for sharing this story, Remarkable! Your photo a day list is making me look forward to the posts... Blessings. Voted way up!


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

What a touching hub. She truly was a remarkable woman. I can't wait for your hub each day! Great writing.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Thank you all for your wonderful comments!


Mari Ellingson 4 years ago

What a great tribute to a great lady. Beautifully told. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I too loved my grandmother dearly and she died when I was nine.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working