Gazette Sea Foam: Poetry of love

Story of Beaufort couple transposed into prose, verse by local author

September 12, 2011 

Thanks to Deonne Parker of Moss Creek for sharing an essay and poem she wrote about a Beaufort couple.

She is writing a book, "Lowcountry Splendor," which will include this poem and essay as well as similar stories about Lowcountry people, nature and history. It is to be published in a few months.

SARA AND CHARLIE GRISHAM

By Deonne Parker

Sara and Charlie grew up in Mississippi, where they were sweethearts. They became engaged when Charlie was away in the military. He mailed the ring to Sara. He was sure her answer would be "Yes!" Charlie Grisham was a U.S. Marine when they married in 1944. Sara was 18. His military assignments took him across the continent -- to Hawaii, to China and even to Vietnam. Sara followed when she could, but they were often separated. Still, they were able to start a family.

Sylvia, their firstborn, was a joy when she arrived in 1945. Patty, born in 1946, was a preemie who grew up to become a nurse and started a mission in Mexico. In 1951, Charlie was away on assignment, so Sara drove herself to the hospital to give birth to Larry. She made it just in time. He was also a preemie but grew up to weigh 180 pounds. Sara and Charlie are now grandparents and great-grandparents.

They settled in Beaufort when Charlie retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1968. The Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort was his last post. They became a part of life in the Lowcountry, where they spent their lives in service to others. The rhythm of their lives of helping the people of their community is as constant as the tides that nurture the Lowcountry landscape.

They joined the Baptist Church of Beaufort, where they have been members for more than 40 years. Sara taught Bible classes and Sunday School, organized youth programs, and visits shut-ins. Charlie builds houses for Habitat for Humanity, grows a bountiful garden, and joins Sara on visits to shut-ins. Their caring comes from the heart and the people of Beaufort love them in return.

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