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Celebrating 104 Years of Legacy| Marci Renee Photography Lifestyle Warner Robins Photography

On January 27, 1918, my grandmother Pauline Beasley was born. May 13, 2022 my grandmother passed away. For one hundred and four years my grandmother was called to leave her impact on the world. One hundred and four years. This past Saturday we celebrated her life. I live a litter under two hours in drive time from my Atlanta family. When preparing for the day I was focused on ensuring my kids were dressed, their hair was in order, and there were snacks to keep them occupied. Driving I was in my world in my bubble, aware of the family and friends in mourning also with me however still in my bubble.

As I approached the church arrived at the church my memories became flooded. My grandmother was the proud Matriarch of this church for so many years. My mother would bring us to this church despite it being 30-45 minutes from our home. She would make the trip. Our grandmother, her mother-in-law was here. My mother’s family didn’t live in Georgia. My father’s family was all she had. This church was pivotal in my life because of this. As I waited outside with my girls for the rest of my family to arrive the number of people that I was able to remember, hug, and speak to was an honor to allow my children to witness. I knew these people. These were my people. I knew them not only because they knew my grandmother but because of the core memories that involved them.

We entered the church, a church that used to seem to be so massive to me was so small. A church where I held so many outlines of my memories and I was able to find physical traces of myself was the same yet so different. These people, this place was once a part of my everyday bubble. Over my thirty-eight years the bubble has changed. As I listened to my family give their own testimony of how my grandmother's small quiet personality influenced their life in so many unique ways. My grandmother’s choice to simply attend this church greatly influenced my life and in that moment I could see it full circle. All the small ’everyday’ interactions I had with everyone made a big impact on me.

For one hundred and four years she made an impact this way with small interactions. She adapted as her own bubble changed so many times over the years. The resiliency of my grandmother, I’m not sure how to correctly describe as amazing just doesn’t do it. The Great Depression, World War II, The Civil Rights Movement, and beyond the point of the first black president being elected into office. I wonder how often she was able to see traces of her past in places that have changed so over the years yet remained the same for her. One hundred and four years, I keep saying because it’s truly amazing to me.

January 27, 1918, my grandmother was born. On January 27, 2006, I gave birth to my first daughter. Of her nine kids, twenty-two grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren my daughter is the only one to share a birthday with my grandmother.

These are a few shots I got at her celebration of life ceremony. Though this is a sorrowful time for our family as a photographer I could not go without photographing a few moments of the day.

She was called to build her legacy for one hundred and four years. I can only hope my choices and actions live up to all that she has built.

She was called to build her legacy for one hundred and four years. I can only hope my choices and actions live up to all that she has built.

Here is a link to a news article about her and a video with my Dad and her at the Hawks game celebrating her 102nd birthday.


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