I have previously written about Mama Jessie [see “Aging and Wisdom” posted Jun 21, 2017]. However, I really didn’t explicitly discuss what I learned from her and I want to include that in this series. Just to remind you, Mama Jessie is my maternal grandmother. She married Papa when she was 16 years old and they were married for 62 years at the time of his death in 1990. She was born Aug 31, 1907 and died Oct 11, 2005 at 98 years old.


One of the main things I learned from Mama Jessie is how important love is. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. Everyone was welcome in her bright sunny kitchen that was surrounded by windows where she grew violets. In that kitchen she could prepare an earthshaking feast especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and she could brew some of the strongest coffee I’ve ever tried to drink.


Christmas 1981 showing Mama Jessie’s kitchen

It seemed that she cooked all the time. She worked in the school cafeteria and cooked there, then cooked at home too. She always wanted to “have all the colors on your plate”, greens, yellows, oranges; I think that was the way she planned nutrition into her meals and it apparently worked out well for her.

I wish I had a quarter for every tooth she pulled while she worked in the school lunchroom. She also pulled one of my oldest daughter’s teeth.

Mama Jessie was a faithful servant and she loved the Lord passionately. There is a line in a gospel song that reminds me so much of her: “…the longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.” It sounds just like something she would say.


Mama Jessie and Papa Christmas 1981


Scan0084 (3)Since Mama Jessie’s head was down in the originally posted photo, I have added a better view of her taken Christmas Day 2001.


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