I’m dedicating my Good Friday to my awesome mom. We lost her one year ago today. Today, I’m posting her amazing obituary written by my talented brother Jimmy Granberry. At the end, I’ve added tributes I read at her funeral from me and my sons. I miss her everyday, but am so thankful that I am reminded of her everywhere I look.
Dauris Ann Jackson Granberry “flew away to heaven” March 9, 2011. Her giggling, girlish sense of humor was present with each conscious breath. She told each attending nurse or aid how handsome or pretty and wonderful they were, for a Southern Lady is always gracious. She taught her children that even when you have been slighted it is far better “to heap coals of kindness” upon the heads of those who irritated or vexed you than to berate them, or be rude. “Besides,” she would say with an impish smile and wicked little twinkle in her eye, “ it works better!” Dauris Ann was a strong, independent woman. A wonderful photographer, a knowledgeable rancher, and a great lover of birds and wildflowers, a catcher of frogs, tolerant of snakes, and was a lover of all the outdoors. She was more at home in a sea kayak that a Cadillac, scuba gear than a cocktail dress, or a pair of jeans and a chambray work shirt holding the nasty, manure laden tail of a calf about to be branded than at a ladies luncheon. All her cows were named, in a code that she and her soul mate Bill had contrived together. They could trace the lineage of a heifer back generations just by hearing the name. Bill, having a day job, left the day to day ranching operations to her. If the phone rang during supper, and it was someone calling about an ad for young bulls for sale, Bill would say ” Hang on, let me get the expert on the phone”, and he would hand the phone to Dauris Ann.
She gave her children and grandchildren humor, a love of literature, and a strong streak of rebelliousness. She had her picture taken in front of the White House while standing on her head. It wasn’t political, it was just fun! She taught that you did things because they were right, not popular, you were polite, not because someone one earned or deserved it, but because you had to look in the mirror sooner or later, and you owed it to yourself, to treat the world, the way you wanted to be treated. If they didn’t deserve it, well, see coals of kindness above. She was a Cub Scout den-mother, and an (almost) tireless chauffer to gymnastics, little league, and football practices. Once we could drive, and turn on the stove without burning down the house she announced that she was resigning as a short-order cook, and she would fix what she and Bill wanted and if we wanted something else, we could rustle for ourselves. She ensured that we learned to cook by fixing brussel sprouts, green beans and a host of other “healthy” stuff no self-respecting teenager could stomach. Sometimes we felt a little sorry for Dad and snuck him something good!
She taught all the neighborhood kids how to ride their bicycles. She put on puppet shows, put up tents in the backyard, served gallons of Kool-aid to all the galloping hordes in the neighborhood. (Real cokes were reserved for trips to the ranch—limit two per day!) Bad grammar cost you a quarter. She did not give much of an allowance, but she and Bill paid anyone willing to work minimum wage. A lot of bicycles, air rifles, and movies were paid for by money earned working cows or cleaning fence lines or hauling, stacking, or feeding hay, building fence, shredding pastures, or any of the other numerous chores that stack up on a place.
She leaves behind to celebrate and tell her stories her loving family (edited)…
Our little bird has flown and her soul has joined the spring migration.
Granny was and is a nice lady. She talked to people when they were down. She was the best picture taker and loved birds. Now that she is gone, I will always remember her.
I have so many memories of Granny that it would be impossible to pick one as my favorite. But one of the best was of us sitting in Granny and Papa’s living room watching the Texas A&M vs Texas game last year. We would say, “Give us a Gig’Em Granny!” And she would just put her horns up and smile and laugh. She was a joy to be around and even when she got a little lost, she was always bright and cheerful. I think that’s why I like this memory so much. It showed me that even though she wasn’t always there, she never, never forgot how to be happy and love life.
You taught me to notice birds, bugs, flowers and animals that most people never even see.
…that creativity is a gift that most people value, but few people are lucky enough to posess.
…that being goofy (marching throught the living room with your baton) is fun, especially if it embarrasses your teenager!
…that there really is a sliver lining even around the darkest clouds.
…to be kind, especially when indifference is easier.
…to hold my head high and persevere through trying times, and to pity mean people. But to NEVER stoop to their level, no matter how hard they try to bring you down.
…to respect others and value their unique contributions to this world, even if you don’t quite understand them.
…that getting dirty is way more fun than wearing a dress and being prissy.
…that rolling up your sleeves and giving something a try is a good first step.
…that enthusiasm can be better than skill sometimes.
…that people don’t necessarily remember what you wore, as much as they remember what you were.
…that being outside is the best place to be.
…to be true to myself and to be generous to others.
You even told me once that you and I were blessed with the “happy gene.” That we were lucky. We see our glasses half full most all the time. You were right mom, just like always. Thanks for everything,