Grandmothers are very special people, and this weekend, we were able to celebrate the most beautiful 80-year-old woman on the planet….my Granny.
Wilma Jean Story was born on October 23, 1935, in Charlotte, TN. She met and married my ‘Ol Dad, Jerry Gilliam, on October 25, 1953. I wish with all of my heart that he could have been at her birthday party this weekend, and on Sunday, they could have celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary! This picture of my Granny and Weston was taken this past Christmas Eve, and we didn’t realize it until we uploaded the pictures, but ‘Ol Dad made it into the picture too!!! A portrait of him in his Colonial Bread uniform is hanging on the wall behind them. Just like ‘Ol Dad, Granny loves her grandchildren and great-grandchildren more than anything. She worked for years as a nurse, for a short time at a nursing home, but later making a home for herself at Dothan Pediatric Clinic. Just as her occupation suggests, she cares for people, and she is always willing to help anyone in need. I love to hear the stories she tells of the trouble she and her sisters got into, and the timeless stories of how much she loved ‘Ol Dad and all the years of their marriage. The trials that they overcame, and how their love stood the test of time. Nicholas Sparks doesn’t have anything on Jerry and Jean’s love story!
In 80 years, she has cared for three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Each and every one of us know that if we need anything, we can always go to Granny. She loves with her whole heart, unconditionally. We, as her family, love her more than any number of words in a blog could ever say. Her friends adore her. Her sisters are her best friends. Weston says it best, “I wuv Granny!” For me, personally, she was there for me in my darkest hour. I was 20 years old, the same age as she was when she had her first child, and had just given birth to a little baby boy named Banks, and she spent the night with me at the hospital, not because I needed help, but so I wouldn’t be alone. I can always count on her. I know that during the cold winter months, she will call for me to come pick up a warm pot of her amazing vegetable soup. Valentine’s Day we will be required to make room in our freezer for a heart-shaped ice cream cake. Every summer she asks me to make a scrapbook for her outgoing officers in the Pilot Club. In December, she will take me and my mom to lunch to celebrate our birthdays, and then we will go Christmas shopping together. There are three things you can count on at her house every Christmas Eve…1.) We won’t open gifts until it’s dark, 2.) There will be Momma Story Punch in a real crystal bowl that only she and I will drink, and 3.) Everyone will gets socks and an orange in their stocking! I giggled as I typed that last sentence, because for all of us, Christmas Eve is our favorite! It wouldn’t mean as much without Granny. You can’t help but smile when you think about her.
I hope that my children and grandchildren will look up to me and adore me as I do my Granny. The photograph above features all of us girls and baby Weston. It’s one of my favorites, because you can truly see the resemblances among my granny, my mom, and myself. My sister looks much more like my dad’s family, and Weston is certainly a replica of Adam, but for me to be able to have a glimpse of what I will look like at both 59 and 80 by just looking at my mom and granny is a treasure to me. Granny will never fully know how much she means to me and my family, because no blog could ever be enough to share my feelings, but to put it simply, she’s lovely, amazing, inspiring, caring, absolutely beautiful, sassy, funny, wise, and most importantly, loving. So, HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY to the most beautiful Granny in the world!!!!! I love you forever and always!