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Berdine's Corner

A Wonderful Sister...A Wonderful Example Whose Shoes Will Never Be Filled

by Rosa Dillard Hatten

berdine dennard
Berdine Dillard Dennard

Life Lessons from a Matriarch

It has been 10 months since my sister's death; it still hurts as if were yesterday. I'm so thankful for the life lessons she taught me. She was such an inspiration in my life. The biggest lesson I learned from her was that love is giving of one’s self.

Berdine was always first to help someone. Whenever she saw the need, she would lend a hand. It seems as if she could sense your pain and understand just what was needed at that particular time to alleviate it. She was always busy doing more than others expected, always working on getting something done, and yet she would still find time to offer encouragement, listen to events that may have happen for the day in your life, or simply calling family or friends to say "how are you." She had so many rare qualities that she didn't realize she had and was totally unaware that she was blessed with them. What a blessing she was to all that came in contact with her.

One of her many talents that she did effortlessly was investing in others. She sincerely cared for us, and she took the time to show us the right path to take. There have been times in my life that I was at my wits end; I don't know how I would have made it through if not for her, just the quiet support and confidence she demonstrated in me meant so much. She would never forget my birthday or any day that was pertinent in my life. If I called her at 1:00 a.m., she was up, ready to counsel me, never scolding or disgruntled because the call was late. She seemed happy to listen. She had this quiet strength about her. She was never in your face, telling you about what she thought about your situation, she would just demonstrate life lessons in her actions with how she handled every situation. I have attempted to incorporate her examples in the way I live my life.

One of the things that I miss most about her is how much she gave to others. Sometimes she gave monetarily if that was needed in those situations, but most of all, she gave of herself. She was there with support, always excited about the thing you were excited about, whatever the accomplishment was. Whether it was big or small, she was always your biggest cheerleader. Her belief in you and her expectation of you always motivated you to strive for more and reach a higher level. Even though I am  just a few years younger than she, I found myself wanting to please her and wanting  her approval and desiring for her to be proud of  the person  I am.

She taught me through her actions that it's always better to give than receive, and if you give you will receive a lot more than you've given. Berdine's philosophy was what can I do to help, and she did in so many ways. Whether it was just listening with an encouraging word or just sending up a little prayer, you knew she was there for you. Sometimes it was just by her cooking one of her very delicious dinners with that beautiful smile, or watching a basketball game with her and seeing her cheer, or by watching her dancing to the electric slide afterward. When you left her home, your spirits were always higher than when you arrived.

We had a large family; she was the oldest sister, and she was an awesome example for the remainder of us to follow. We grew up in the rural part of Macon and the values we learned from the entire community, as well as our mother and grandmother were immeasurable. We had a very close relationship with one another. We didn't have a lot financially, but we had a ton of love, we grew to be each other’s keeper, and we had fun.

I know Berdine is an Angel now because she was one right here on earth. She was such a Godly person; you could see Christ in her based on how she conducted her life. I am so blessed to have had her in my life for so many years. She left us with high standards. These are standards I try to live my life by as well.

Oh, how I miss my sister and my best friend. We shared such a strong bond, but I can move on because the example she demonstrated lives with me forever and her spirit dwells in me...I know I will see her in heaven again someday...

Berdine Dillard Dennard 
Aug. 1944 - Oct. 2008

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berdine dancing
Berdine Dillard Denanrd and Rosa Dillard Hatten