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Sat, Aug 23, 2014 01:31 PM
Issue of August 20, 2014

A hope note
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A hope note
Dr. Wayne Willis reflects on life and hope.

Grace

January 15, 2014 | 10:01 AM

Grace died at 89, her mind as clear and heart as loving as ever.

She grew up poor, even by Great Depression standards. Her only Christmas memory from childhood was having her little doll bed repossessed because her family could not pay for it. She never had more than two dresses at any time, one to wear while the other one was being washed.

Grace married Charlie, her one true love, and soon birthed, according to the song, "a boy for you; a girl for me." She never missed a game played by her son, who became an athletic superstar. She relished every success of her daughter, who became an academic superstar. Grace never once bragged, and she indoctrinated her children to be humble: "Just let your deeds speak for you"; "Don't ever get too big for your britches." Both children took those sayings, embodied by their mother, to heart.

Once, when their daughter took a busload of Latin students from Louisville to Nashville, Tenn., for a Greek Festival at the Parthenon, Grace and Charlie greeted the teacher and 50 teenagers, as they stepped off the bus, with cases of iced-down sodas, 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and tons of cupcakes.

Grace always championed the underdog. Whenever she heard someone being spoken of disparagingly, she interjected: "Well, honey, you just never know what other people may be going through."

The word grace has a beautiful meaning. It's the word for something wonderful that happens to us that we did not earn. Grace is pure, a gift, an unmerited, unsought, undeserved freebie, like the unearned gift that Grace's children got in a mother and her grandchildren got in a grandmother, the 50 teenagers from Louisville got when they stepped off the bus and I got for a mother-in-law.

Dr. Wayne Willis


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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email