30, 50, 80

From the diary of my great-grandmother Jennie Neel Linker  August 28, 1933

The Lord sent us a new little granddaughter. She doesn’t have a name and weighs 7 1/2 pounds.   Dr. Templeton was the Dr., and Alma and Mary Bill were assistants, and Bob is all smiles.  May she be an honor to her parents, her Maker, and her country.  

Barbara Linker Edmiston age 30

They would name her Barbara Ann years before the Beach Boys song.

Mom would have been 80 today.  On August 28, 1963 we were celebrating her 30th birthday when, in the middle of enjoying a cake she probably baked herself, I remember the news showing a special speech that had been delivered that day by a young pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr.  We stopped at her request, turned up the television, and watched.

Check out the 1960s hair and lipstick.  This is the only photo I can find when Mom was 30, but little did we know that she had already lived more than half the years she’d be given.  And little did we know that the 34 year old preacher on TV would be gone in less than four years.

And little did we know that 50 years later many things would be different and many things would not be so different.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver famously asks.  On this particular summer day, I am grateful for that 34 year old preacher and for my 30 year old mom who asked us to watch and listen between bites of cake.

Both of their lives were too short from our perspective, but they spent those lives quietly honoring their parents, their Maker, and their country. Thanks be to God.

Note: We had technical difficulties with correcting dates all day, so sorry if you read this post before corrections were finally correct.  


2 responses to “30, 50, 80

  1. Beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady, Jan. We are all so blessed to have had her in our lives… just as Grandma Linker prayed 80 years ago.

  2. Tears in my eyes as I read this, Jan. What a special lady your mom was! What a special man Dr. King was!

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