A Southern Lady full of Grace

I used to say that I lived on the best block in America to have a heart attack.  Of the four homes on my block, two were owned by doctors and one was owned by a dentist.  The house across the street to the west belonged to a doctor and the house to the north had a kid grow up to be a doctor.  They were wonderful neighbors all.
Diagonally across the intersection, another house belonged to the widow of a doctor that passed away before our arrival to town.  She was my neighbor for almost 33 years and was one of the most remarkable women I have ever known.
Agnes Moseley, known to many as “Aggie”, was almost too good to be true.   She was a friend to everyone she met.  She was always dressed for the occasion, even if that was just walking around the block.  Her smile was genuine and conveyed the message of how glad she was to see you long before she said the words.
Aggie was one of the few people who could call you “Darling” and it seemed natural.  She doted on my children and bragged on them every time she saw me, long after they were grown.  In fact, I don’t know that many ladies short of my wife, mother and grandmother that have ever given me so much encouragement and praise.
She was the proud parent of two children, Brown and Mary.  Mary was taken away much too early in life.   I later had the same disease that took Mary’s life.  Agnes would come to visit, bringing a pie that she had made during Mary’s illness, telling me it was one of the few things Mary could eat.  I was able to eat it too, not so much because of the ingredients, but because it was made with so much love.
Our Christmas present from Aggie was usually a tray of homemade rolls.  For years, they were part of our holiday dinner.  I wish I had that recipe to see if they were as good as I remember.
Aggie always came to our annual Christmas party, (“Honey, I wouldn’t miss it for the world”), where she would hold court in the den in front of the fireplace.  When she could no longer drive, she had a friend pick her up.   Later, we chauffeured her over in a golf cart.  We finally put up a railing on the steps to our front door to make it easier for Aggie, and her many friends, to make their way to our home during the holidays.
She was a teacher, who taught far beyond the boundaries of the school building.   She was a faithful member of her church, who loved visiting other churches.  She loved this community, her children, grandchildren, and as far as I know, almost everyone she knew in this place she called home.
Mary Lou and I could not attend the celebration of Agnes’ life, but our children both were there.  It says something about “Miss Agnes”, as they called her, that she could reach across generations to touch the lives of two girls more than 60 years younger than she.
I am not sure how you can define the life of Agnes Moseley.  A friend to all who never flinched during adversity.  A smile and a kind word for friend and stranger alike.  A good neighbor and friend.  It is hard to write about her without using the word friend in the highest sense of the word.
Perhaps I should just say that she was a Southern lady full of grace, and leave it at that.  Thanks, Agnes, for all the ways you touched our family and everyone around you.   Your example of seeing the best in everyone is a lesson we should all embrace.  You were the best!
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Dan Ponder can be reached at [email protected]

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