There are people in the world that are loved by everyone one. They aren’t just liked, but truly LOVED. Freda was one of those people. I learned a lot by knowing Freda.
- She loved her husband. Every time I heard her talk about him she finished the story with, “Lester is good to me.” Admiration is never a bad thing in a marriage. Public admiration is a home run.
- She has a sense of humor like no other. She can find something witty to say every day. She did it while maintaining her Christian values. That is a talent.
- She didn’t take life too seriously. I attended Bible class with her in the auditorium at church. Most auditorium classes are pretty serious and lecture style. That’s not the case while Miss Freda was a student. She spoke her mind and would find a way to make us think when she found humor and irony in the Bible. She brought us all down to earth.
- She was vulnerable. Many funny people put a guard up and make humor their defense mechanism. This was not the case for Freda. Our church has a monthly ladies Bible study. This Bible study is an opportunity for women to get together and discuss and learn what it means to be a Christian woman. Trials and tribulations come up and Freda shared her story many, many times. The evening usually ended up in tears. Her vulnerability was not a weakness in my eyes. It takes a strong woman to cry in front of others.
Everyone has a Freda story. Most people have a Funny Freda story. My all-time-favorite Funny Freda story happened when I was about 8-years-old (yes, it’s been a hot minute). I was with my mom and my grandparents at a Blue Grass Festival in Kansas. We camped out for a week listening to Blue Grass competitions all day. Between performances, everyone would gather under tents, tell stories, pick a little and eat amazing food.
I was the youngest one there in our group and was pretty shy. I stuck to my mom closely. One night about 10-15 people grabbed lawn chairs and put them in a circle around a campfire. Tall tails were told while we munched on food and drank soda from cans. Those details are important… particularly the cans. I stayed close to my mom and listened a lot. I was (and still am) a big people watcher. I noticed this little lady holding a can between her legs. Her hands covered the top of the can. Every once in awhile she would wiggle her bottom had, but she never revealed the top of the can. This intrigued me because she never missed a beat of the conversation. In fact, she even told a story or two while she wiggled her hand.
Keep in mind that we were outside in the heat in Kansas. Bug spray was as plentiful as fried pies at the Blue Grass Festival. A bug got the best of her and she had to scratch her nose. I then saw that Freda had her thumb stuck in the can.
I got worried that it was going to cut her, so I elbowed my mom and whispered, “Mom is that lady’s thumb stuck in the can?”
My mom quickly responded, “I don’t know, ask her.” Like I said, I was pretty timid. I shook my head ‘no.’
So my mom hollered across the campfire, “Freda, do you have your thumb stuck.” with a big grin on her face.
She immediately started busting out laughing and said, “Well thanks a lot for telling on me. I’ve been trying to get it out for nearly an hour. I almost had it too. I really think it’s stuck though.”
Someone responded and said, “Just pull it out Freda.”
Well that just opened a door to Funny Freda. “Don’t you think I would if I could! Do you think I’m that stupid?” She barely got the words out of her mouth because she was giggling so much at this point.
Freda didn’t take herself too seriously. I need more of that in my life.
At 2 p.m. today, we will say goodbye to Freda as we lay her down to rest. The auditorium class won’t hear her witty comments. The monthly ladies Bible study won’t be the same. With that said, I will always giggle every time I see someone play with a soda can.
I love you Freda. Thank you so much for making me laugh.
Here is a video tribute too: https://www.facebook.com/freda.williams.94?fref=ts