Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

That is from 2 Timothy 4:7 (link), Mema died yesterday. She would have been 90 years old on February 19, 2007.
She will be buried Saturday in the New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery in Hineston, Louisiana. Her final resting place will be there with her family.

What follows is from the February 19, 2006, blog (link). She had some more stories, Mrs. Jim and I will compile and post them soon.

"I was born in 1917, in
Poplarville, Mississippi. We came to Louisiana when I was four. We made our home at Camp 19 [near Elmer, Louisiana]. That was in an old logging camp."
"We came by train. When we crossed the Mississippi River, there weren't any bridges at Baton Rouge. Each car was carried across on a barge and hooked up again on the other side. We stayed in the cars, on the barges."
Mrs. Viola T is 'Mema' to us and her grandchildren.
Today is her 89th birthday. She has one son, Danny, and is the mother of two daughters, Velma and Mrs. Jim. Mema also has seven grandchildren. Her kids and grandkids are scattered from West Texas to Alabama. Of course each is the brightest and smartest and has the best job of any in the country.
More: "I had two husbands and buried them both. They both died of barbecued lungs. That killed them. I won't get married again because I can't afford to bury another man." . Mema now lives in Conroe, Texas, fairly close to Mrs. Jim. She moved here from Louisiana and has been here a couple of years now. She likes her apartment but often muses how nice it had been to live in a 'paid for house.'
Her work was stay at home mother, church nursery worker for 62 years, and a caretaker for elderly or sick ladies. She also worked with the Cub Scouts for a while when her son, now 52, was a Scout.
In her 89 years, her faves:
An observance made by her son-in-law: When she went to the Holy Land, she needed a passport. When her birth certificate came from Mississippi, her name was listed as 'Baby Girl B____.' It bothered her that her mother hadn't given her a name. An explanation that maybe her mother just didn't have enough time to get a name to the nurses worked a little. I know she still wonders.
Birth certificates lacking names must be a common occurrence in Mississippi, as they were prepared for this situation. Mema just had to tell them she wanted to be called Viola. And Viola, she got a new birth certificate with a real name. . The Holy Land trip was Mema's first time to fly in an airplane. She watched and watched from her window all the luggage that was being loaded. She remarked that "this plane is going to be to heavy to fly." . Then too, the plane was full. She just knew that with the full plane and all that luggage we could not leave the ground. But we did.
Yesterday we celebrated by going to Pancho's Mexican Buffet restaurant. That is her son's favorite place to eat when he comes here. They don't have Pancho's in Tennessee

Some of the wait staff at Pancho's
singing Happy Birthday to Mema
Oh yes, Mema has never held a driver's license. She does have a 'back seat driver's license' given to her by the State of Louisiana to be used as an ID. Mema is good at her back seat driving while telling us her many, many, funny stories.

7 Comments From Original Posting --

Cliff Morrow said...
My family will know I've passed on the day I allow a wait staff to sing Happy Birthday.
Well Happy Birthday to her. Great post. Nice lady.

Sun Feb 19, 07:10:35 AM CST

Karen said...
That Mema sure is something!!! We have all of her stories memorized!! The cake I made is just about to go in the oven for us to celebrate. One great thing about church beginning at 11 AM!!

See you this afternoon and 'happy birthday, Mema!'

Sun Feb 19, 07:54:16 AM CST

Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...
Aww! What a great tale of Mema! Happy Birthday to her!

Sun Feb 19, 09:59:21 AM CST

Rachel said...
Great story about a fine lady! Happy birthday to her and may God Bless her with many more healthy years!!

Sun Feb 19, 11:03:59 AM CST

Anonymous said...
Congratulations Mema! What a life! My mother, Helen Jacobs, celebrated her birthday the same day, the 18th. She would have been 94!! She's resting in peace now.......
Judy Gottsch, your cuz

Sun Feb 19, 01:37:43 PM CST

poopie said...
What! No sombrero?????? Happy birthday Mema..and many more.

Sun Feb 19, 04:35:30 PM CST

Useless Man said...
Happy Belated. If only we can all be so blessed to live such a long life!

Tue Feb 28, 12:25:18 PM CST
Commiserations to the whole Jim family.
Hi Jim ~~ I was sorry to read of the passing of Mena after such a long and wonderful life. My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Jim. It is always so sad to
lose a parent, no matter what age we
are when it happens. Take care,
Tinking of you and te family at this time. Merle.
Mrs Jim came from good stock. No doubt. What a celebration there was in heaven. My deepest sympathy to ALL of the clan.
Thank you Jim.

It sounds like she did run a good race.
Dear Jim..I don't really know her but reading about this little lady, it sure does seem like there will be a large empty space without her!
How thankful that she is where you will meet her again.
Like Wess and Sue Adams have always said and I often repeat..."You haven't lost something if you KNOW where it is!"

I sure do love that little doggie of your's!....from Terry
I'm so sorry to hear this news Jim, but not real surprised at her age and all. My sympathy to everyone. She sounds like a grand lady.
Dear Jim and Mrs Jim

My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

I am sure Mema will have a wonderful party in heaven.

Take care xx
Dear JIm and Mrs JIm
My deepest sympathy at this very sad to you both on the passing of much loved Mema.
Take care Jen
My prayers are with you.
My deepest sympathy to you and yours. May she rest in peace.
Mema sounds like a lovely old fashioned lady (my favorite kind)
very nice and dignified, as well a child of God.

I am sorry for yours and Mrs Jim's loss. God Bless You.

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