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Grandmother established heritage of faith, loyalty and love

September 18, 2009|By LISA PREJEAN

My dearly beloved grandmother, Thelma Lorraine Bragunier, passed away last week. I have long treasured our relationship and will greatly miss her. She always took time to talk, listen and instruct. What a blessing it was to know her.

She was the type of grandmother that I hope to be someday. The heritage she established was one of faithfulness, loyalty and love.

As a tribute to her, and hopefully to inspire others, I'd like to share some highlights of the guidance she gave.

Dear Granny,

I have a lifetime of wonderful memories from the times we spent together. Whether it was a family dinner, shopping trip, cooking lesson, church play, a return trip to college, house-painting session or a heart-to-heart in your den, I always felt cherished in your presence.


You were a reverent lady who chose to exhibit the fruits of the spirit as listed in Paul's letter to the church in Galatia in practical ways:

  • Love -- I don't know how anyone could love more deeply and sincerely than you did. You seemed to know what response each child, grandchild and great-grandchild needed, and you freely gave it. I can still feel the hug you gave me three days before your death. Your parting words that night, "I love you, hon," will be with me always.
  • Joy -- Oh, what joy you expressed as each great-grandchild was born. You never seemed to tire of the little ones' boundless energy. In fact, I think their spunk energized you.
  • Peace -- So many times I heard you say, "I'm just trying to keep peace." You chose to overlook the faults in others.

  • Long-suffering -- Toward the end, I could tell you were frustrated by all the aches and pains you experienced. Yet each time you were asked how you were doing, you'd say, "I'm hanging in there."

  • Gentleness -- When my first child, my son Tristan, was a baby, you would often stop by on Fridays after going to the beauty salon. You listened to the concerns I had as a new mom and gently offered advice from your experiences. How sweet those times were for me.

  • Goodness -- Your goodness was displayed in your generosity. If a need existed, you would be quick to fill it. Your baked goods brought many a smile to those who received them over the years.

  • Faith -- You seemed to have enough faith for the entire family. You believed that things would work out when money was tight and the tensions were rising.

  • Meekness -- Once you instructed me that ladies do not actively seek the attention of others; they quietly wait to be noticed. What a precious piece of advice that is in the me-first world we live in.

  • Temperance -- I remember numerous times you shared with me that, in most cases, it's best to hold your tongue -- even if you know you are right.

    Thank you for all the life lessons, Granny. I shall never forget you or the things you taught me.

    Your loving granddaughter, Lisa

    Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at .

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