Monday, October 23, 2017

Mom's Monday ~ 100 years

Mildred Inez Reynolds Setliffe (1917-2004)
My favorite photo of my mother was taken in 1987, the year she turned 70.  Today marks a century since she was born.  One hundred years ago!  That's hard for me to fathom.

Reynolds family at home at 3208 5th Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Here's a photo when she was 12 or younger, since her dad died in a traffic accident when she was only 12 years old.  That's her on the front row, a tall girl with her sister Bonnie (behind her), their six brothers, and their parents on the left.

She loved her four children, twelve grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  I'm not sure how many great-grands she had before she died, but seven of them were my grandchildren.  This photo shows her with one of my sister's granddaughters.

Here's our family about 1944, when I turned four and Billy was about a year and a half old.  Later that year, Dad was drafted and had to sell our grocery store.  Mother couldn't run the store.  She was pregnant, had the two of us children to look after, and ― besides ― Dad was the meat-cutter in the family.  With him gone, Mom had to learn how to drive.  He didn't see Ann until she was several months old.  They didn't have Jimmy until 1949.

So what would she want me to tell you about her, besides her love of family, of course?  Maybe .....
  • that she taught an adult Sunday School class for more than forty years;
  • that she was president of the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) of my elementary school two different times;
  • that she went back to school and became a cafeteria manager (she always loved cooking), 
  • that she took college courses when she was Assistant Manager of the Food Service at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga;
  • that a grandson called her "gallivanting granny" when he talked to a trucker while they were on the road visiting family;
  • that she never seemed to sit down when she had the whole family over for dinner because she was too busy getting things for everyone.
Nah, she wouldn't want to brag, but I'm doing it anyway.   I love you, Mom, and I miss you.

Edited to add what my daughter Sandra sent in an email about her "Jamma" (Auntie is my Aunt Bonnie):

Mom,  I loved the pics and biography you wrote.  However, when you mentioned "taught a Sunday school class" I wish you had taken it a bit farther.  Knowing Jamma, she would want her biggest legacy, being a strong Christian, to be given more emphasis.  When she was in her last stages, her memory often failed on so many things.  She often "switched" family generations around and she thought I was you and you were Auntie.  However, one thing she could always remember perfectly was:

"Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to him belong,
We are weak but He is
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so."

I truly love remembering how happy she was, even when nearing her end, when we would sing this together. 

Happy 100th, Jamma!


Helen's Book Blog said...

Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman! What a lovely tribute on her 100th

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Three friends who actually knew my mother commented on Facebook:

Jess: "Sweet little lady. I love and miss her. Great Hugger!!!"

Sylvia: "Mildred was a joy to know!"

Dana: "I remember when your mom lived with you in Rivermont. I know you must miss her."

(Actually, we lived in White Oak, but not far from Rivermont.)

Bonnie Jacobs said...

And while I'm praying for and thinking about my daughter having surgery right now, the one who sent the email about Jamma, I clicked on the link to read today's post on RevGalBlogPals and found this post about my mother is one featured there today. Here's the link: