Monday, January 25, 2010

Being Blessed and Be-Hatted

Recently, a Facebook friend from many years ago posted this photo. It brought back such memories. The women in this photo made sure that my siblings and I always had enough to eat growing up. They paid particular attention to us on Sunday mornings. "You want a hotdog, baby? You want a hotdog?" Mother Triplet would say in rapid succession. Our church served hotdogs, donuts, graham crackers, milk and hot cider for the 3,000 or so kids that were a member of our large congregation of some 10,000 members. There was a break between Sunday School and morning service that all the kids looked forward to. A lot of old school mothering was going on. You had many mothers and anyone of them could get you straight if need be.

My great grandfather was the founder of the church and my uncle was the pastor when we were growing up. These women made sure that my mother's 12 children had enough to eat. She was raising us alone and they knew this. My oldest brother Haywood reminded me over Christmas that we needed to call Mother Porter in particular to see if her needs were being met. Her husband, who was like a father to us, passed some years back. He looked after us even though he had a large family himself. We honor him.

Over the weekend I wrote to Mother Porter's daughter to see if I might help in anyway, anyway at all. (What I could not do alone, my siblings and I could definitely do together.) She responded that her mother had all that she needed and that she was indeed blessed. All she wanted was to see us more often. I assured her that I would visit more often. There was no doubt that Mother Porter looked blessed. But you never really know the circumstances of others. So, it's important to always ask. It was good to know that she is indeed blessed; it is clear that she is most beautifully be-hatted.


septembermom said...

It is important to always ask. There are people who cross our path in life and make such a difference. Lovely memories of all those sweet mothering ladies at the church. Love the picture. Pretty hats!

Judith Ellis said...

Kelly - There was a lot of love going around. It's amazing how clean living doesn't age. These women look absolutely the same. The younger lady on the far left is a childhood friend of my older sister. There are 12 of them too. Our moms were the best of friends. It's funny. Her mom is Irish and we never saw color in our church. Although it was mostly an African American congregation we had other ethnic groups too. Her mom was our mom. I wonder if kids today have the same sense of community.