As I have shared a little of my life story, some of you have asked who took care of me after my mother died. The short answer is Bertha! The long answer is much more than a name or a face.
It was at Bertha's apron strings that I first heard the words to Amazing Grace and it was at her loving hands that I first felt them.
I can honestly say that Bertie was the glue that held our family together after my mother died. She was certainly the most stabilizing person in my life. She was truly the kindest person I ever knew. She never said an unkind word to us as children and always carried the joy of the Lord in her heart.
I loved everything about Bertha. She had an infectious smile, an easy laugh, and a big heart. She loved our family with a fierce and protective love, especially me because I was the baby. Just ask my siblings...all I had to do was hide under her apron and they knew they'd have to get past Bertie to get to me as she would say, "You better leave my baby 'lone"!
My happiest childhood memories were during the summer when Bertie would take her daughter and me fishing at a nearby farm pond. We would dig our own worms, put them in a can of dirt and head off with our cane poles! Nothing was more thrilling than seeing that cork go under the surface of the water and yelling "I got one"! The three of us also played many a game of Candy Land and Uncle Wiggly. I still love playing those games today with my grandchildren because it brings back such happy memories.
Bertha stuck with our family through a lot of hard times and heartaches. She cried as much as we did when our father died. At her funeral, she was mourned by many "children" who were not her own. She lived her faith by welcoming any child she ever met into her heart and home. While our family did not have a corner on the market of feeling loved by Bertha, I thank God every day that we were! Without her love and devotion, I don't see how we would have survived.
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