The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
The hymn Precious Memories was written by J. B. F. Wright. As a child I remember hearing my dad listen to Jim Reeves, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and others sing this song on the record player. While in college, at Lubbock Christian, we gave Dr. K. C. Moser an organ when he retired. As he thanked the students in chapel, he stated that when he got it home, Precious Memories would be the first song he played.
What makes them precious? There are memories that some try to wipe out of their head. Those memories are painful and hurt to remember. But, precious memories are the ones that we want to hold and keep in our hearts.
Memories of Mrs. Barbara Watson Jackson Jones
I first met Ms. Jackson when she sang for Mr. Baker’s retirement. It was at Wester School, and she tore it up! I loved her voice and she was an accomplished pianist.
Forward a few years, and Ms. Jackson was at Estacado High School and I was teaching at Honey. Hoot’s Bagels had opened and we both stopped by the store on our way to work. I saw this beautiful Cadillac (I have always wanted one, especially an El Dorado), and getting out of the car was Ms. Jackson. We would see each other quite often, because loved those bagels. But, what I loved more were the morning visits with her. She would make me laugh.
Forward a few more years, when I was Coordinator for GT and the Northwest Regional Director for Destination Imagination I would see her at Estacado High School home of the Matadors. The city and regional meets were held at EHS. One year we had to use her choir room. I have no words. It was exciting, but I can’t describe it. After the tournament something was missing, and I don’t know how she knew because it was a mess. Eventually, she discovered that it was not missing but had been moved. We laughed and then she blamed the students.
Advance a few more years, and I became principal at Parkway. Ms. Barbara would bring her EHS students to carol at Christmas time. I was so impressed as to how she was able to get so many young men to participate in choir. These Matadors loved singing with her and they would perform to excellence. So, my heart was thrilled when I heard that Ms. Jackson was moving to Parkway to be my music teacher. I was so excited. Ms. Barbara could get anyone to do anything. I remember the year I asked her to do a Christmas program and she used students in every grade level. I was sweating, as it didn’t seem to be too organized (kind of like the room situation mentioned above). She said, “Mr. Fitz, don’t you worry.” It was one of best programs ever and the gym was packed. As stated earlier, she could get anyone to do anything! She had asked if I would play Santa Claus - because the children would love. I told her that I wouldn’t. As I write this, tears fill my eyes, because I donned a Santa suit for Ms. Jackson.
There were some days that were burdened with problems and stress that are just part of educating children. I would amble down to her room and ask her to play a hymn for me. She not only played but “SANG.” She was able to sight-read music on the spot and error free. But Ms. Jackson could also tear it up when filled with the Spirit.
The children loved her. She worked to help our kids and would tell them things that they might not want to hear. But, she was candid, well blunt, but in a kind-hearted way.
I would be in my office working and during her lunchtime would stop and visit. I am sure that Mrs. Shantell Turner remembers those visits. Those are memories that I will cherish forever.
One night she invited me to a musical at her church in Levelland. That is where I met Mr. Jones. She was so in love with him and the next day she told me he would eventually be her husband. He did, like I stated earlier Ms. Jackson could get anyone to do anything.
My words do not adequately describe our relationship. It’s one that I will always cherish and even though she married Mr. Jones, I will always love her. These are my precious memories of Mrs. Barbara Watson Jones!
Holy, Righteous, and Eternal Father thank you for the blessings that you give us each day. Thank you for the people you put in our lives. LORD, may we not take them for granted. May we be kind and generous to all – building relationships and memories with them. I pray that we lead a life that is righteous so that the memories we leave may be a blessing to others. Father, help us to be obedient to your Word. Thank you for Jesus Christ, the One that makes it possible for us to have a relationship with you, our God. Amen.
Precious memories, unseen angels,
Sent from somewhere to my soul.
How they linger ever near me,
And the sacred past unfolds.
Precious memories how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness of the midnight.
Precious sacred scenes unfold.
In the stillness of the midnight,
Echoes from the past I hear.
Old time singing, gladness ringing,
From that lovely land somewhere.
As I travel on life's pathway,
I know not what the years may hold.
As I ponder hope grows fonder,
Precious memories flood my soul.
Father in heaven, I humbly ask that the family of Mrs. Barbara feel your comfort and presence during this time of loss.