The Best Part Of Me…

Anne Sally and Grannie picture

Three generations: June 1996…

I tell my daughters that they come from a long line of strong women. 

There are many types of strength, but I think that a quiet and compassionate strength is likely the most beautiful.  It is this type of strength that allows for universal greatness. A person of quiet and compassionate strength spends her life as a people builder — inspiring others to greatness.

I was blessed to grow up down the street from my grandparents.  I learned so much from each of them individually, as well as from watching them as a couple.  My beloved Grannie was the quiet strength that held the family together.  Her unconditional devotion to both her husband of 70+ years as well as to her children and grandchildren defined her as a truly remarkable woman.

Today, there are very few people willing to sacrifice personal accolades in order to enhance the lives of those that they love —

Irma Winter McCall was that type of person.


She was driven by a commitment to compassionate empathy — devoted to nurturing those around her.

While I cannot even begin to describe all that my Grannie taught me, the following lessons are those that I hold closest to my heart:

  • Marriage is a sacred commitment. Honor it by cherishing your husband.
  • Family is the epicenter of life’s true joy.  Be a devoted nurturer.
  • True beauty exists when love is given unconditionally.  Love without judgement.
  • Real strength lies in your ability to support and inspire others to greatness.  Success is defined by how many people you quietly mentor.
  • Empathy requires an open mind, and the realization that others have something meaningful to give.  Look outside of yourself so that you can be a student of the world.


It was one of my greatest joys to share my children with my grandparents.  They routinely visited Nebraska — my grandfather to bird watch, and Grannie to play with her great-grandchildren.  My girls will make their life journey realizing the same lessons that I learned from this very special lady.  They will understand that although I falter at times in my own journey, that Grannie is truly “the best part of me”.

Our family will gather to honor her on Saturday.

January 2009 032

She will be there — her spirit holding us all together — smiling down from heaven while holding my grandfather’s hand.


Filed under Family, General

14 responses to “The Best Part Of Me…

  1. Sue Fan Ferguson

    She was a very special woman, Anne, and she was so proud of you. She will be missed. Thinking of you all and looking forward to seeing you Saturday.

    • We look forward to seeing you as well, Sue Fan. Thank you for your kind words — Grannie was the quiet presence of strength and kindness. She and I had so many wonderful times together; and the pride that she held for her family was tremendous.


  2. theranchwifechronicles

    Prayers of healing and safe travels to you and your family, Anne. Your Grannie sounds like a wonderful lady. Thank You for sharing some of her wisdom with us this morning. It’s a special gift for us to have close relationships with our Grandparents and awesome to have the chance to know a Great-Grandparent.

    • I agree, Robyn. My daughters are truly blessed to have known my grandparents — and they both enjoyed each other so very much. My grandparents traveled extensively until about the time that they turned 90. They were an amazing couple, devoted to each other as well as being devoted to embracing life with a positive passion. They remind me to look for my blessings each and every day; and have been the single largest mentor for Matt and I as we have made our marriage journey together.

      Thank you for your prayers.
      All the best to you,

  3. Katheryn

    You and your family continue to bless others in ways you can not even imagine with your strength, compassion and wisdom.
    Grandma Irma was and will be a constant reminder to you of what is good and true in this world.

    • Yes, Katheryn. Grannie’s dedication to her family and her beautiful values have always been a beacon of light for me. Some would term her “old fashioned”, but I look upon her traditional nature as a tremendous strength which builds a strong family. I am not sure that she really ever realized how much of a mentor she was, but I am so proud to have called her “Grannie”.

      I so appreciate your kind words.

  4. vasco

    Beautiful! My kids will grow up away from grand father and grand mother.. long distance back home.. ! Vasco

    • Thank you, Vasco. Hopefully your children will still be able to know their grandparents even though they are geographically far away. It is a joyous relationship!


  5. Ann,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your granmother sounds like a truly wonderful soul. We will keep your family in our prayers. Heaven has recieved a great angel. Your blog shows your family tradition of beauty and quiet compassionate strength.

    • Thank you, Kim. I appreciate your prayers and your kind words. Grannie lived a beautiful life — always giving to others and sharing of herself. She was a very special person, and all that knew her were better for her love and friendship.

      She and my grandfather traveled many roads together — they celebrated their 70th birthdays by walking across England. They made the most out of life every single day, and loved their outdoor adventures. When they retired, they became passionate bird watchers and they literally traveled the world enjoying God’s winged creatures. I have a picture on my fridge of my grandfather standing at the Arctic Circle wearing his Cozad, Nebraska t-shirt — I think that was a picture that Grannie definitely enjoyed taking 🙂


  6. Carol

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re doing a great job of emulating the things you learned from your Grannie and in that she’s with you each and every day.

    • Thank you, Carol. That means so very much. I apologize that I am so slow to respond. Between traveling to the funeral and then finishing up weaning calves at the feed yard, the last 14 days have completely gotten away from me.

      I hope that you and Jim are well. Have you gotten any snow?!


  7. Pingback: Blogging Reflections… | Feed Yard Foodie

  8. Reblogged this on Feed Yard Foodie and commented:

    Tracking Hurricane Irma as it headed toward my home state of Florida provided for interesting introspection this week. Not only was the original path of the hurricane set to hit the Southeast Coast where I spent my formative years (and much of my family stills calls home), but the name chosen for the large storm was “Irma” which was my beloved Grannie’s name. I am not certain how the National Hurricane Service chooses storm names, but Hurricane Irma shares little in common with my quiet and compassionate grandmother.

    My beloved Grannie lived a few blocks south of us and I spent many of my early years bouncing back and forth between our houses. I remember how proud I was when my mom decided that I was old enough to walk to Grannie’s all by myself, and I cherish the memories of the times that we spent together. My grandparents spent more than 70 years together – weathering a variety of storms – and positively touching the lives of many.

    I wrote this blog post shortly after my Grannie past away in 2014. I re-blog it today as a tribute to the wonderful lady who taught me to give endlessly and selflessly in this journey that we call life. She will always be the picture of “Irma” that I hold in my heart.

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