Virginia Gilstrap Tweedy Durr, Born December 19, 1930, went home to her Lord May 14, 2014.
Some called her Sister Tweedy. Some called her Sister Durr. Some called her Mom. I called her Grandma. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t know and love her – my memories of her extend back to when I was a tiny tot.
I can still hear her gentle and genuine laughter as my brother and I tumbled across the floor in wrestle-play. She would say, “Well, goodness, doesn’t that hurt, honey?” then shake her head and laugh again when I went back for more. Her legacy of laughter is my rich heritage.
I can still see her soft and radiant face full of reverent affection as she opened her heart to Jesus in loving worship and confident petition. I would keep my eyes open and watch in fascination as she spoke to God like she was talking to a friend. Her legacy of prayer is my rich heritage.
I can still envision her small and slender frame as she walked next to the love of her life, her soft hand tucked into his strong arm. Her deep joy, abiding love, and genuine respect for Grandpa were evident in all she did. Her legacy of holy matrimony is my rich heritage.
Grandma was a unique blend and balance of all the finest character traits and qualities, which found their roots in her soul day by day as she followed her Savior. A story told by author Elizabeth George finds its personification in my grandmother:
Elizabeth relates the content of an article she once read, titled The Bell Sheep. The piece explained that when a shepherd noticed a certain sheep that willingly followed and stayed near him, he hung a bell around the neck of that sheep. The flock would then follow the “bell sheep”, and thus they stayed near the shepherd.
Grandma loved the Lord her God with all her heart, soul, and strength. The words which He commanded her were in her heart, and she taught them diligently to her children, grandchildren, and everyone around her. She talked about them when she sat in her house, when she walked by the way, when she lay down, and when she rose up (Deut. 6:5-7). She was, indeed, a bell sheep. Her legacy of following the Shepherd is my rich heritage.
Not long after we had our first child, my husband and I took her to meet my grandma. Our baby girl was only six months old, but I wanted her to know the woman who was weaving a godly legacy that is now her rich heritage.
The classiest of ladies, she was the epitome of dignity and grace. She had the boldness of a lion, the gentleness of a dove, and the face of an angel. I will endeavor always by the grace of God to honor her legacy. Some called her Sister Tweedy. Some called her Sister Durr. Some called her Mom. But I was blessed to call her Grandma.