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By Brent Davis, editor of The Saline Courier
A gentle smile and a friendly "My, me! Come see me!" Eyes that invited you to sit a spell. A soul lit from within that shared its glow with all who came into contact with it. A heart as big as all outdoors. A love of people that drew no distinction between family or friend. A faith that never waivered or doubted.
A wife. A sister. An aunt. A mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Words fail to adequately describe my mother, Roberta Davis.
She was born in her family's home in Tull on June 9, 1928. Alma and Robert Crowson had already welcomed Joan and Jean, my mother's older sisters. In the years that followed, Carolyn, Dolph and Paul would round out the family.
Music was an important part of the Crowson home. Robert, or Pawpaw as his grandchildren knew him, loved to sing gospel music. "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" was his favorite tune.
Pawpaw tended a field on the Saline River bottoms. From time to time, he would take one of his children with him and ride a mule to the land. After a morning of plowing, lunch was held picnic style under a nearby tree. On one of my mother's trips to the bottoms, Pawpaw set out a row of rocks on the ground and taught my mother what he knew about playing the piano. This simple gift of time and encouragement enriched the lives of many in the years between lesson and eternity.
Mom passed away late in the evening on Good Friday.
But just like that simple rock lesson near the banks of the Saline River long ago, the simple lessons Mom taught have spread beyond her original intent.
She had a strong belief that every person was good. There were no bad people in the world. Whenever someone strayed beyond their inherent kindness, the best solution to bringing them back to their true foundation was to love them just a little bit more. She had a forgiving nature and expected her children to be the same.
Her love of playing the piano drove her to pass along her knowledge to youngster who felt the same stir of creativity. She taught lessons to neighborhood kids and some of my classmates. Every new skill learned was met with patience, enthusiasm and encouragement. I can still see the smiles on her students faces.
She woke my brother, sister and me up each morning by playing the piano and singing "It's time to get up, It's time to get up, It's time to get up in the morning." In all honesty, I can't say it was always a pleasant experience, but I would trade anything for one more day with that special alarm clock.