Today, July 27, 2006 is a special day in this Fudge family. It is the birthday anniversary of one for whom we all are daily grateful and whom we frankly cannot imagine life without. I am speaking of my bride of 39 years, Sara Faye. We grew up just 80 miles apart — she in Middle Tennessee (Franklin) and I in North Alabama (Athens). We met at Florida College (Tampa) in 1964 and married three years later upon our graduations from college (she from Peabody College, Nashville; I from Abilene Christian University, Texas).
I was initially attracted by her beauty, intelligence, character and alto singing in church. None of that has changed since. She immediately undertook the tasks of smoothing out my rough edges and polishing my cultural veneer, a process I have sometimes resisted and even resented but for which, upon sober reflection, I am truly both grateful and continually in her debt.
She is the strong helper (Hebrew: ezer) wife God made Eve to be — not a servile assistant but a genuine complement, supplying strengths where I am weak, rescuing me from my own foibles, giving wise advice and providing intuitive wisdom in practical affairs (Gen. 2:20). If I am her “head,” she is my “body” and we are “one flesh” (Eph. 5:23, 28, 31). I appreciate and applaud her for many things. She is unselfish, always thinking of others. She loves God and is committed to Jesus Christ. She is faithful in heart, word and deed. She is not materialistic, satisfied with whatever we have had. She occasionally loves to shop, but mostly for someone else and not for herself. And she makes a peanut-butter pie that is legendary in several states!
She is my sweetheart, lover, companion and friend. She is “Mom” to Melanie and Jeremy and to their spouses Michael and Kristy. She is “Nanna” to Julia and Brynna and Zeke and next month, God willing, to another granddaughter as well. She is loving daughter to her 94-year-old mother, Celia Locke, who sometimes remembers her name and sometimes does not. Four generations of us rise up and call her blessed — something we literally do each Thanksgiving as we gather to enjoy the feast she traditionally prepares. She is encourager to our church family, former leader of Ladies Bible Class, 20-year head of children’s library, member of the praise team, constant and ready volunteer for every good work.
I love you and celebrate you, Sara Faye. I thank God that you were born. I pray his best for you for many years to come.