A Patchwork of Memories

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My name is Hope V. Barham, born in Stillwater, Oklahoma June 26, 1911, the oldest of four children of June and John Grubbs. I attended Oklahoma A. & M. College for 2 years. Walter E. Barham and I were married and had three children, <names withheld>. We lived in the same home at 4223 S. Madison PL since 1943. Walter died, March 30, 1978, He was the former Director of Boysí Physical Education for all Tulsa Junior and Senior High Schools.

I never had a career, except as a housewife and mother, but have done much volunteer work. My absorbing interest is Bible study and undenominational religious work, in association with the Laymenís Home Missionary Movement headquartered in Chester Springs, PA. I have led Bible studies in the Northside YMCA and Southminister Senior Center, as well as in nursing homes and in the homes of personal friends. Sometimes I am lonely, living alone for the past five years, but have found satisfying personal fulfillment in activities at home and in finding other -"kindred soulsí as it were, who share my interests.

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By Hope V. Barham

Something wonderful happened 100 years before I was born. I think that happening had a profound effect on my life, although I myself was not known to the persons who participated in that event, nor did those persons know that such a one as I am would ever exist.

A two-story house rather elegant for the time and place where it stood, was built probably in the early 1800ís near a small town in Beebe, Arkansas. It was a farm home. Great trees were already growing there, though the land was cleared around the farm house. It was fine land, producing a good living for the family who would live there for many years. A tall young man and his wife, a dainty small lady started on a journey in a wagon from a town in Illinois on their way to Arkansas. Their children, all but two of them were born in Illinois. After a while, there were six children to comfortably fill the house and contribute to the maintenance of the farm home. This was the family of Thomas and Maria Camp. Sometime not long after the first journey, another lady came to live in the house, Sarah Cannon, my great grandmother. Perhaps her brother accompanied her, for she was blind. She was given the upstairs room, with a small balcony overlooking the yard.

I am very sorry that I do not know how my great grandmother became blind, or what events in her life shaped her character. But I do know she was greatly loved by all in the family. Her room was a sort of haven, where any of the children could always go to share confidences, to be comforted in their troubles and to make up their differences in the presence of a loving, wise and caring grandmother. I'm sure someone was always ready to read to her, most certainly the Bible and other good books too. Unlike some of their neighbors, they had the advantage of an education.

Grandmother Cannon loved to be out on her balcony. Even when the weather was stormy in rain and wind, with thunder and lightning, she would stand on the balcony and appear to glory in the tumult and noise of the storm. Her delight in the sounds of nature seemed to compensate for her lack of sight.

She never complained - always exhibiting calmness and quietness of spirit, that surely emanated from a heart fully consecrated to God and submissive to His will. She never doubted the promise that all things work together for good to those who love God. Her presence in the house was truly a blessing to everyone who lived there, and no doubt to neighbors and friends who came to know her. Many a crisis arose in the lives of the family as the years went by. Family prayers and Bible reading around the table were everyday habits. God was acknowledged in that house and Jesus was the unseen Guest at every meal. But the room where Grandmother lived was the center of the house, a truly santified place. Uttered and unuttered prayers were often said there, prayers of thanksgiving as well as prayers for guidance and help in every time of need.

My mother, whose name was June Camp, was the fourth child, the second daughter, only three years old when the family migrated to the new home in Arkansas. Many years later, long after Great Grandmother Cannon and Grand Mother Maria Camp, had died, my Mother, June Grubbs, told me in a precious hour of quiet talk and meditation that she herself had heard her Grandmother pray aloud, claiming the promise that "The Lord is good, His favor is everlasting, and His faithfulness endureth to all generations." Psa. 100:5. Grandmother prayed for her childrenís childrenís children - and thatís me. Her prayers have surrounded me as a benediction and have surely profoundly affected all the happenings in my life, for which I am deeply greatful.

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