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Brown shining brightly

Each day, I receive a Word a Day in an email from Word Genius. On Monday, I received the noun “apotheosis.” It has several meanings, but this is the one that jumped out at me: the perfect form or example of something.

Let me say, Magnolia Crenshaw Brown is the apotheosis of a true Christian lady, who doesn’t hide her light under any bushel basket.

The community celebrated “Miss” Magnolia last Saturday. Her 100th birthday was actually last Tuesday, and there was a smaller celebration then, but the big surprise came for her on the weekend.

Oh, she was resplendent in her white hat, blue suit and corsage, looking not a day over a well-preserved 80. Her lovely face was wreathed in smiles as she waved to her guests, nails polished a cheery red. Her niece Joyce Buskey, who considers Miss Magnolia to be the mother she no longer has, enjoyed getting “Aunt Mag” dolled up for the occasion.

The words of praise came easily, unforced and from the heart, for this wise and venerable senior citizen at her celebration.

On Facebook, comments were plentiful on The Greenville Advocate’s post featuring a couple of photos from the event, including:

“She was my neighbor in the senior center where we lived, two doors down. What a wonderful person with a heart of gold,” J.M. Callahan posted.

“Happy birthday, wow — that’s awesome! She’s a kind heart and a sweet lady. She always had that smile on her face and OMG can she cook,” commented Cassandra Foster.

“One of the sweetest, most beautiful-spirited people I have ever met. I remember her working in the cafeteria at W.O. Parmer and Greenville Elementary Schools and she loved us children and made sure we were well fed . . .” wrote Inett Jackson.

“Happy Blessed Birthday Mrs. Brown, she made an impact on my life 40 some years ago along with some other Christian women — Dorothy Marshall, Mary Roper, Earnestine Miles, Bertha Yeldler all with the handle of Mrs. just to name a few, I am who I am because of theses ladies and my mother and grandmother included. She’s truly a blessing,” Cynthia Hasley wrote.

“Happy Birthday, Miss Magnolia. You are one of the few beautiful people in this world. You have nothing but love for everyone . . .” said Elizabeth Mello.

“I first met Miss Magnolia because she lived next door to my mom. Every time I got to talk to her, to be near her, I always left smiling and feeling better. Like I was truly loved by someone just because I’m alive and that makes me a child of God, and that means she loves me . . . she’s about as close to God as I’ve ever known,” Rob Mello commented.

Rob summed it up pretty well. As I said, the apotheosis of a true Christian, shining her light on all of us, making us feel loved and special.

Happy 100th to a beautiful soul. I wish we could keep you another 100 years.