My Granny

By the time you read this, I will have gathered with extended family in Birmingham, AL to celebrate the 100th birthday of my grandmother, Clara Kyzer Stoker. She actually turned 100 on June 12th but the 24th was the best day to gather our family together. I’ve always known her as “Granny”.

My grandmother is as southern as they come. She has always spoken with a slow and pronounced southern accent. Hers was a very difficult life but it’s a life marked by her vibrant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

She was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, AL. She actually had a class her senior year of high school with the legendary football coach of the University of Alabama, Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. He was forced to take a remedial course his freshman year of college at the University at Tuscaloosa High where my grandmother was a student. She remarked that he was a handsome young man in those days.

She eventually married Lee Taylor and had three children and then lost her husband, my grandfather, when my mother was three years old. She remarried, had her fourth child, and then was widowed again when my mother was 16. She went to school, became a nurse, and raised four children on her own until remarrying for a third time only to be widowed for a third time years later. Throughout all of her hardships she remained faithful to Christ and pointed her children to Him.

My Granny has always been one of my biggest encouragers. If I was in a school performance she told me I was the best. She made sure I understood I was the best looking boy in my class. Of course, deep down, I knew this was “grandmother talk” but it was nonetheless music to my adolescent ears in particular. Even today, when I see her, she remarks on how handsome I am and she spreads those compliments to my boys as well.

I want to share my love for her and my gratitude to God for her. Having a spiritual legacy is something to be deeply treasured. God has been very good and gracious to give me my Granny. I’m glad I can share her with you in this way.