I would love to dedicate this blog to my Grandparents, Rev. Bennie and Dorothy Oliver. Right now they are with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They spent their lives serving the Lord. What they dont realize is how much I was watching them and gleaning from all they were teaching. I learned alot from them and just want to pass it on down to my children and anyone else who wants to learn some old fashioned wisdom.
My PaPa Bennie Franklin Oliver, Sr., was born on July 23, 1918 to Luther and Adeen Oliver. He had one brother and three sisters. He is a 4th generation descendant of the Olivers that settled in the historical Cades Cove in Townsend, TN. I am a 6th generation descendant. He served in the Army for 6 yrs. While he was in the Army he accepted the Lord as his Savior. Later, in a letter he wrote to my grandmother he said the Lord was dealing with him to preach. He was on the verge of being discharged when WWII broke out. On Easter Sunday 1944 his battalion landed on Okinawa Japan. A Japanese artillery shell exploded beside him and he was badly wounded and left for dead. He was taken to a hospital in Memphis, TN where he recovered for almost a year but was disabled. For some reason my grandmother went for a whole year not knowing whether he was alive or dead. Finally, she was notified and was able to go see him in the hospital. He was Honorably Discharged from the Army and received a Purple Heart for his service. After returning home he joined his wife and children to live out the rest of their lives. He did answer Gods calling and became one of the most wonderful preachers I ever heard and he looked so handsome and distinguished behind the pulpit. He was so loving and kind to others just like the Bible said for us to be. He pastored several churches and began a few churches. He touched many lives and witnessed to thousands of people. In his later years he had a preaching segment on a television program where he reached even more. One man called in from Russia to tell him how much he loved his program and his preaching. I can still see him behind that pulpit.
My MaMa, Dorothy Rebecca Oliver was born October 10, 1919 to Jessee and Myrtie Benton. She had two sisters and five brothers. She was saved when she was 14 yrs old. She said she always wanted to be a preachers wife or serve in the church somehow. Well, she got both. After PaPa surrendered to preach she became that preachers wife and she served in the church well. You see I remember her being my Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher for years. One time they led the young people of the church. She stool behind her husband faithfully and stayed in prayer on his behalf.
They were married October 8th, 1936. They had three children, one in which is my momma. She was that ideal Proverbs 31 woman .She was so dedicated and devoted. She was an excellent homemaker. I wanted so much to be like her when I grew up. I watched every move she made and almost mimicked her everyday. I spent all my summers with them. As soon as school was over I was on my way to their house and would not come home til it was time for school to start again. One year I was late registering for school cause we were fixing to load up the camper and head to Texas. My mom called and said I couldnt go. Phewy. I helped them plant and harvest the garden. I shelled so many butter beans til I had blisters on my fingers. I shucked my share of corn. I remember my Papa plowing with two old mules and getting so mad at them. I remember churning butter til I thought my arms would fall off. My grandmother was the chicky hatch queen. She could hatch eggs at a 95% success rate. Then she could fry them up too just as well. She helped make our pretty little dresses too. I loved staying with them. PaPa use to tell the best bedtime stories. Of course mine would be about goats. lol
My mother tells me all the time, I “am” just like my grandmother. I enjoy doing all the things she use to do. I try to carry on some of the traditions. I may not do them well, but I try.
I do miss and love them dearly. When I get to Heaven I know they will be right there to meet me and say, “Come on in Bit, we’ve been waiting”. Bit was the nickname my PaPa pinned on me when I was born. He hardly knew our real names unless someone reminded him. lol. Seriously when he gave you a nickname thats all he called you and he eventually forgot your real name. Mail man came to our house one day and he said, “My what beautiful grandchildren you have. Whats their names?” My papa said, “Memmy, Peanut, and Bit.”
I want a marriage just like they had. They went everywhere together, and adored one another. They were miserable apart for any length of time. You would just have to know them and see them to know what kind of bond they shared. Their eyes still lit up when they looked upon one another. God really blessed their union.