Anita Rene Brafford (also known as Granny, Oma or in her early days Tempered Steel) entered eternal life on Friday, December 10, 2021, at 3:16 PM. Rene’s miraculous life began on March 16, 1955, by her parents Martin and Nettie Demarest. Her spirit was carried on by her two daughters, Rachael Hamberg and Jessica Pennington, her grandchildren: Daniel Hamberg, Sebastian Hamberg, Deserae Hamberg, and Jayse Pennington, as well as an extended family of relations and friends from every walk of life.
We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from her, throughout her 66 years of life. The 12 Golden Rules were her moral compass she stood by and would quote to all that would listen. Rene was strong, independent, fierce, and loyal. She taught us the value of hard work and the value of strong love. My sister and I knew that we didn’t have all of the things other kids had, but mom had a way of making us feel that we had more. We remember times we were without running water and she would take us to the creek to go swimming. She would bring shampoo and conditioner and tell us we were going to make bubbles! She encouraged us to be strong as well; there was nothing that we couldn’t imagine or achieve in her eyes. Mom believed in the balance of life and that there was a time and place for everything. My sister and I were the “Apple of her eye”, but even apples need polishing. Anytime we stepped out of line, mom would sit us down and explain why the things we did were wrong before she would pick a switch. She would always tell us, “This hurts me more than it will hurt you”. At the time, that was nonsense to our young ears, but now we know why; mom was teaching us to be ready for the world and all that comes with it.
Our mother was quick to love societies’ “unlovable” and even quicker to forgive others’ transgressions towards her. Mom didn’t have much in the way of worldly possessions, but she would be the first to give the shirt off her back to the less fortunate, even if that meant a cold night ahead.
Mom was known for her love of animals and plants. She knew both just needed a little love and compassion to prosper. It would come as no surprise to find her nursing a slew of wildlife back to health including squirrels, racoons, possums, and birds alike. One of her loves was a vulture named Enie, of course, short for Einstein. We remember when she first found the baby bird - she swore it was an eagle! Even after finding out it was a vulture, she didn’t care; it soared just like an eagle to her! Thus, was our mother’s view on life itself.
So, in honor of our mother, “Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill”, “Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house”, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” and “Treat others as you yourself would want to be treated”.
A public memorial service will be held from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Saturday, December 18th, 2021, at the Pennington Residence. Official announcement will be made via social media. If you need further details, please reach out to Jessica Pennington at (903) 806-4780 or Rachael Hamberg at (903) 975-2242.
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