Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Most Amazing Woman

If you don't know my grandma Josie, then you have missed out on knowing the most Amazing woman. She is truly one of the most influential people in my life. I can't even begin to tell you all of the things that make her so Amazing, but I think at least a post is in order.
She grew up in the Muldrow bottoms during the depression. She walked to school, wore home made clothes and hand me down shoes. She worked hard all her life. She met my grandfather, who grew up just down the road from her, in her childhood years and they married young. She got her first job as a switchboard operator at Holt Krock Clinic. She would get a ride to the bottom of the Arkansas Bridge (Garrison Ave.) and walk the rest of the way to the clinic from there.
My grandfather (oh the things I could say about him!) was a watchmaker/jeweler who was starting out with a small shop. She would help him at night and on the weekends.
She had problems conceiving a child. She had a daughter who died a few days after her berth. And finally, in 1959, along came my dad. Grandma never stopped working. In fact, my grandfather took care of my dad, taking him to work w/him.
She worked her way up at Holt Krock, even putting herself through school while taking care of her family. Things around the Decker house were NEVER easy (like I said, short post!), but they were always interesting. My grandma comes from a long line of strong women. When the going gets tough you deal w/it. She worked more hours at that clinic than any doctor ever dreamed of working. She served on more boards, volunteered for more committees, raised more funds and organized more events than a girl scout could ever dream of doing.
Over the years, she hired most of the doctors in this town. Became their friend, their advisor, and in many cases, their mentor. This is because she had worked her way from the switchboard operator to the Head Sr. Administrative Advisor of Sparks Medical Foundation. She worked for 50 years for Holt Krock/Sparks.
She became a vital member of society as well as the absolute cornerstone of my family. This past Wednesday I had the honor of attending the dedication ceremony of the new Donald W. Reynolds Crisis Center facility. My grandma served on their board of directors for many years.She was instrumental in starting and seeing many of their programs and projects through. She no longer serves on the board....but she was given an award Wednesday for her service to the foundation. This award was a surprise to her, and I am so thankful I was there. My 2nd cousin, her nephew, now serves on the board and he called me to let me know.
My grandma Josie is someone I look up to without question. She is the embodiment of grace, honesty, beauty, humility, compassion, and drive. I owe so much of who I am to this Amazing Lady. I only hope that in my life I can accomplish half of what she has set before me. She has taught me many lessons.....and I think one of the most important is to let those around you know how much you love them. I could go on for days about my grandma and all she has taught me, she truly is on of my best friends, but I will leave you w/this......"Never let someone tell you that you can't. You can. Life isn't fair, so deal w/it. Pray w/out ceasing, and love your family and friends. And dance when you can".

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