When she moved in with my husband and me after she collapsed that early fall in 1994, she asked one thing. “Please, don’t put me on a pedestal!” She had a realistic view of who she was and what she was capable of. She did not like the word ‘No’, for “Yes” had more challenges, more adventures and more blessings. And those blessings had a spill-over effect to everyone who knew her.
Her challenges were in the realms of writing, music, art, homemaking, sewing, gardening and teaching. From the overflow of her study of God’s Word came His wisdom. Just yesterday a verse in my own study, blazoned across my heart as I remember Mom quoting it and living it – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart - and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
As I opened the notebook of memories, I found Who Is Anna Daisy” – begun 9/15, 1993, at 7 am, 40 degrees.
Who Is Anna Daisy?
You have called me Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Grandma Daisy, and a few other choice names. You even named a Jersey cow after me – Daisy. (Note: Because of the soft brown eyes reminded us of Mom)
But who is Anna Daisy? I was the farmer’s daughter who loved the great outdoors, following my Dad, creating music on any instrument with reach – a saw from the tool shop, or a comb with a piece of paper. I devoured storybooks. I was a misfit in the kitchen as I was in my sister, Alma’s, shadow! She loved everything about the kitchen and I preferred the open fields. Mr. Seibel told my Dad, “Your Anna, she rides horses, plows fields, mows the alfalfa, plays the piano, but my son, she won’t marry!”
I liked all boys better than girls as friends – girls only talked of dresses, hairdos and boy friends. I preferred boys who talked of fishing, baseball, farming and general topics I enjoyed.
Music had an impact in my life. That began as a child when Papa learned new songs, tilted back against the wall in a kitchen chair “do, re, me”ing his way through new songs. He was not averse to changing a tune or harmony to his liking. Mama delighted in teaching us songs to surprise Pap. She discovered I had the best ear for harmony, so Alma sang soprano and I learned the alto part. Papa beamed when we sang for him. Singing was a part of all our family celebrations.
In thinking back, I must have learned a lot in 2 years of piano lessons. I started at 11 and soon played the organ for school singing in the 6th grade for Miss Foote who also played. I played for 7th and 8th grade school singing for my favorite teacher Miss Sarah. When I was 13, Papa allowed me to go through each new sheaf of choir music that was sent several times a year from several companies. Finally when I was 16, I played for my Papa’s precious choir.
In his last months our sweet Papa (my Dad) often thanked God for his accomplishments of the day whether it was getting dressed or taking a garden walk. He was thankful for everything he could do in the limited strength left to him. I wondered about my accomplishments in life? Worldly pedigrees to me are like Paul said, “worthless”. He would rather have Christ than the honors this world bestows. Why should I list my accomplishments for my family? To show them what the Lord can do with a girl – sun-burned, tousled hair, a Kansas farmer’s daughter without a college degree. So like our sweet Papa, I thank the Lord for what He gave to me – the blessings and accomplishments. Three children who call me Mom and grew up to make their way in this world, choosing their mates and providing for their needs. Their children and grandchildren go into the same category. They are God’s gifts to me.
How many weddings and funerals did I play for? And were they accomplishments? Only God knows. I played for friends, church members and family. Music was a great part of my life. Harmonizing was beauty and words brought that beauty to life.
In 1960 after breast surgery and illness, words poured out of my brain. I couldn’t find the OFF button. As I grew stronger, Papa fixed a clipboard and as I became stronger I wrote them down. I started writing. I began submitting poems and articles, and the rejections kept coming back. It sent me to my knees to pray, “Lord, let me write something that will be used to your glory.” God answered in his own way. The elderly people felt cut off from church life, so
For 13 years, I wrote the Watonga Christian Church newsletter through three ministries. A comment from one of the leaders, “When I can’t understand the sermon on Sunday, I wait to read it on Wednesday.” Was that an accomplishment? Poetry writing began to plague me, usually at night, losing hours of sleep
Do I believe in prayer? Does the wind ever blow? Do birds fly? I still think the angel picture in my room helped to shape my belief that God does send angels (sometimes people) to answer my prayers. I have had many prayers answered. I have also seen what God has accomplished in my life when others prayed for me. Sometimes those who prayed for me were not god’s perfect saints.
I have seen bad things turn into blessings. I have felt god’s moving spirit” with a coming change to prepare me for a bend in my road. I had sensed His Presence in my darkest hours of sorrow and pain. I have had a ‘tiptoed-peek’ into heaven. I have had gifts and privileges given to me that I would not have dared to ask for – yet god gave them to me. That brought a deeper meaning to Delight thyself also in the Lord and He will give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalms 37:4
My faith holds me in God’s care. I pray that I can remain faithful until it turns to ˆsight' on the ‘other side’. That should not be too long. My prayer is that Papa and I may tell God, “Here are our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren and beyond. They all love and obey You.