Frances Sterry Jeannette (May 4, 1923 – December 5, 2020)
Maw Maw lived 97 years. I got to know her for the last 25 or so (after marrying her granddaughter). I’m glad I did too, this woman was a treasure! I’m so thankful that I have adult children (her great-grandchildren) that got to know her and see her example for so many years.
My favorite Maw Maw story involves a time when she was babysitting Max at our house. She was always game to come over to play with a great-grandchild. Max was about 5 and had started playing video games. I had the Grand Theft Auto 3 game (Rated M for Mature). The cover had cartoon-like artwork and I guess this made Max want to play it. Of course, the answer was always no. We came in the door from being away and Max was in his normal spot on the couch with a game controller in his hand. Maw Maw was sitting on the couch with him. She was focused on him and less on what was going on in the game on the screen. As I walked in his eyes darted in my direction and he very slowly and calmly stopped playing and laid the controller in his lap. I looked on the screen (gasp). I looked at him. He looked at me. I looked at Maw Maw. I looked back at Max. Max looked down. I then went over and turned the screen off. Maw Maw never knew that little Max had taken advantage of his sweet great-grandmother and had been rolling around town, stealing cars, running over people, gunning people down, dealing drugs, and probably picking up ladies of the night. In the span of a few hours, he had turned into a street thug. I would imagine this would have conflicted greatly with her devout Christianity.
In my life, I always try to learn a lesson from anyone I meet. Maw Maw provided some great examples to learn from. I always admired her willingness to put on a smiling face to greet a stranger. I always thought it was interesting how she would find joy in simple things that most might take for granted. I loved to hear her laugh out loud when talking with friends and family. I also know where my wife got her love for children because Maw Maw always seemed to gravitate towards the little ones. One thing my wife didn’t learn that I admire is Maw Maw’s ability to control a thermostat to keep her utility bill low (actually basically non-existent). Maw Maw was a headstrong woman and she knew what she wanted to do and wouldn’t let much stand in her way of getting it done. I admire many of the qualities that she exhibited. If I can successfully work some of those into my own life, I know it’ll make my days on this rock better. We can all use a little Maw Maw in our lives each day! I’ll keep little pieces and when I catch myself doing something Maw Maw would have done, I’ll remember her. I’m sure many others will as well!
This video contains a lot of memories from my family over the years. It also contains memories of others that were sent to me over the past few weeks. Even if your memory is not included in it, I hope it will help you to remember what made Maw Maw the person she was.
RIP Maw Maw!