|Dreams were a passion with Mom, and she had the good fortune to explore many of hers during her lifetime. Teaching school was one of her early ambitions. At the age of sixteen, she attained her first job teaching in a one-room school house near her home town, Texarkana, Arkansas.
As she grew older, she began to dream of marrying an honorable man who would be a valued partner in life. She certainly never imagined herself the wife of a minister. When she met Dad, however, and he expressed to her his commitment to become a Methodist preacher and later proposed marriage, she knew a part of God’s plan for her was being a minister’s wife. She pledged to herself to be the best wife possible, and with keen awareness, welcomed the responsibilities that accompanied being a minister’s wife and a member of a total ministry team.
It was also her dream to have children. She had three: my brother, William Carl, Jr., while living in Shreveport; my sister, Doris Evelyn, while appointed to the Blanchard Charge; and me, John Barker, born in Church Point.
She dreamed of a long life afflicted by neither pain nor frailty. She lived to within ten days of her ninety-second birthday, and apart from some accepted problems associated with age, died quietly and was buried, surrounded by family and friends, next to Dad near Rockwall, Texas.
She dreamed of her legacy:
· She wanted to be remembered as a minister’s wife, committed to God’s work.
· She wanted to be remembered as a wife and mother, committed to her family.
· She wanted to be remembered as a friend, committed to her many acquaintances.
· She wanted to be remembered as one committed to life.
Mom was a champion who never gave up living! Until the end she conquered many of the obstacles that tended to interrupt her life’s direction. She asked for little but gave much. All she ever wished for herself was the health to rest quietly during the night and the strength to rise energetically with the beginning of each new day. Those times have passed now. While her spirit has joined that of Dad, others of her family and many of her friends, she will forever live in the heart, mind and memory of all who knew her. She has fulfilled her final dream: to live eternally in the arms of God where there is no suffering from life’s burdens or physical limitations, and where there is no sunset and no more dawning.
Born August 22, 1904 in Texarkana, Arkansas, Annie Marie Barker Barham died August 12, 1996 at her home near Forney, Texas. She is survived by Carl, Jr. and his wife, Carolyn; Doris Evelyn and her husband, Bill Luther; and John, who never married, with whom she lived the last ten years of her life. There are five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. May the Lord bless and keep you, Mom. I so look forward to our reunion!
Your loving and faithful son, John
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1997; p. 261 by John Barham|