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Elsie Kelley Roberts
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When I think of Elsie Roberts, known to us as Ms. Elsie, Aunt Elsie, Mama, Granny and HER all time favorite, Elsie Belle, so many of her attributes and memories come to mind. She was tough. She was tough as nails-she grew up surrounded by (in her own words), Five VERY ROWDY brothers…and being the only girl, she had no choice but to be tough! Later she would speak of how she was lucky to have five brothers because she gained five sisters. But for as tough as she was, she surely had a soft side. Growing up, she used to let me lay in bed with her when I was afraid at night, and she would sing nursery rhymes from when she was a little girl. Maybe you can recognize: "Bears eat oats and does eat oat and little lambs eat ivy, a kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?" She was a strong ally to have on your team, she would argue FOR you until the other person reluctantly, but wisely, withdrew from the argument. I don't recall my Grandmother ever being the type to talk out of turn, use cuss words or engage in chatty neighborhood gossip, but rather she would listen and when SHE deemed it necessary, she would stand up for what she believed to be right and true. And people respected her for it, even if they didn't share the same opinion. She was proud of her family, even in our weakest moments and no matter how angry she became with one of us, she was guaranteed to pardon us later—because that's what Matriarchs do, and if I had to use only one word to describe my Grandmother, that would be it-Matriarch. She held the holiday parties that everyone came from out of town to attend-Christmas was a HUGE celebration with all of the trimmings. Then she would turn around and do it all over again after church on Christmas day! She brought the family together, year after year, holiday after holiday, and she was the glue that held our family together when it seemed like even the most industrial strength krazy glue could not do the trick. I'm sure that we all have our favorite qualities about her that we loved, and some of my favorites were how she exercised her selective hearing in her oh-so-subtle way, "Granny. Granny! Granny!! Man, she is deaf." "I heard that!" Or when she really didn't want to hear you, she would try to act like she just plain couldn't-"huh?" And my all time favorite of her quirks was when you'd say something that she considered absolutely absurd (jerks head back, sarcastically says Yeeeeeeaaahhhh, crosses arms and looks away). If she was upset, she'd replace the yeah to let you know that she meant business (jerks head back, looks at you in disgust, looks the other way while clickingher tongue against teeth), and she'd throw in a "You're real cute" for good measure. But alas, like us, she was not immortal; nor would she want to be. She was a devout Christian, an ardent Methodist, and she loved her bible-she was always one step ahead and she was definitely the reason me, Summer or Chris will never get a tattoo. "Your body is the tabernacle of the Lord," she would say, "and you should not deface HIS property." And then she'd go on to talk about the tattoo that our Grandfather regretted getting of two blue birds on his forearm when he was in the service. Although some of us may argue that 80 years still wasn't long enough, I'd suffice to say that she would counter that argument, as she was prone to do, and remind us that was never OUR choice. God gave us free will, but he has the power to exercise his will, exercise his will he did-and God is good. Granny had the strongest faith of anyone I've ever known-it was her faith that she passed down to her children, grand children and great-grandchildren, and for that I say God is Good. Granny no longer suffers, she breaths the purest of air, she is reunited with her husband and two children, walking hand-in-hand with the Lord her/OUR savior…God is Good.
- Kristen Repp
 Added: Aug. 23, 2010
This page is sponsored by: Kristen Repp

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