"I am donating to BRWIA in honor of my mother, Laura Oates Smith. She grew up on a farm in eastern North Carolina before and during the Great Depression, lacking in material things but not for food. One of 11 children, she became the first person in her family, male or female, to graduate from college. She became a school teacher and touched the lives of many young people.
When she married my father, a Naval officer (and a Yankee from Ohio), she had to transform herself from a country farm girl into a military officer’s wife and attend official functions, parties and ceremonies, as well as try to be accepted by her in-laws from a drastically different culture and background. She lived around the country and overseas, moving and having to make new friends constantly while raising three children with her husband away on duty for weeks at a time.
Throughout her life, she faced her many challenges with grace, compassion, an abiding curiosity, enduring kindness to everyone she met, and great pride in her roots and where she had come from.
It would have given her great joy to know that life has come full circle for her family in that her grandson is now a farmer in the High Country, carrying on her legacy of great things arising from the dirt."