“Mama Bearcat: A Tribute to a Great Lady

It has been about a year since my Aunt Laura passed away, yet her impact and influence upon my life is timeless.She was known as “Mama Bearcat” in my hometown in North Carolina.. She acquired that title for her love and support for the kids that went to our local High School, where we were known as the Hendersonville Bearcats. She loved kids and loved sports, so she attended all the games. She help raise me and scores of other children at her home and at the preschool ministry of First Baptist Church. She also ran the local miniature golf park for the city recreation department. In fact, they ended up naming the park in her honor.
When I think of the amazing impact of her life, I am drawn to how she lived her daily life to the upmost. She was never seemed to be in a hurry but yet got so many things done and still always still had time to talk and share with you. Abraham Lincoln said: ” And in the end, it is not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years.” Laura accomplished both.
She really knew how to enjoy life and make the most of each day. She knew how to have fun along the way. I remember one time in particular, when she went to the beach with my family. The family was tired except for Laura, who went for a late night walk down on the beach. After a while, my mom and brother got concerned for Laura and went looking for her. It was very dark and hard to see much. They heard this noise..Ooooooh…They looked up and it was her, sitting in a lifeguard stand making the scary noise! She could have fun anywhere or anytime.
She and I had a special bond with our love for people and having fun each day. There are many life lessons I learned from her that have greatly influenced my life. I would to share two in particular:
PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS
She put a higher priority on people rather than accumulating things. She loved people. She took time to talk with you and when she did, you had her undivided attention. It was if you were the most important person to her at that moment. She would remember specific things about you and ask questions because she really cared about you as an individual. She thought material things were to be used as little gifts for other people. She had that special knack to give the perfect gift or card that was unique for you. In a world that is growing more and more selfish…she was so unselfish. This world would be a better place if we could learn from her life that people are more important than things.
DON’T LET YOUR DISAPPOINTMENTS CONFINE YOU OR DEFINE WHO YOU ARE
Laura, my Mom and my Uncle Kenneth grew up during the Great Depression and even had to live in an orphanage for some time, while my grandmother who was a single mom went to find a job up North. Aunt Laura faced a lot of disappointments and health issues during her life, yet she refused To let it change who she was as a person…Most people would have given into discouragement or despair but not her. She always somehow adapted and kept going inspite of the circumstances.
She was a great person that God used in a special way in my life. I am sure you have people like her in your life too. Maybe they are no longer here like my Aunt, but we can be thankful that their impact and influence lives on in our hearts today…

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