My Mother

My Mother

She died April 1, 2024. She was 94 years old and was married for over 75 years. She had four children and nine grandchildren. She also had 29 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.  Pictures of her in her youth show she was stunningly beautiful. However, advanced years, she became even more beautiful because of who God made her to be. It was not her skin or her hair, but her heart that made her so beautiful. 

In the last years of her life, she suffered from some dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Her speech became slurred and often was hard to understand. That was further complicated because she also lost the strength to speak at a normal volume. Towards the end, to say she shuffled when she walked would have been kind. 

On Wednesday, March 27th, sometime in the morning, she fell and broke her hip. The next day she had surgery, but she never walked again. Following surgery, her slow decline began. She was sedated with medication until Monday morning, April 1st , she passed away.  At some point she lost consciousness, but she was still conscious a few days before as I got to witness my dad leaning over to kiss her, and her kissing him back. It was so touching!

Her name is Eva Marie Jenkins. She is my mother. Her husband praises her, and her children call her blessed. As I write with tears flowing, my heart rejoices because she can now have hope, be sight. 

Dad already misses her tremendously. He is lost without her. He seemed so strong through all the years, but it was her who was his strength. He whispered to her, “I hope to be with you soon.” And we pray he will.
Growing up with Mom 
Mom was fastidious. She always had a clean house. That’s where I learned to vacuum, dust, and polish. In fact, mom was so fastidious we could always tell when she thought company had stayed long enough as she would go clean the bathroom. Yes, we knew then she was ready for company to leave. 

The laundry never lay around waiting to be folded and put away. It never set in the dryer for two days waiting to be free. It was folded and put up right away. That’s where I learned to fold clothes.

Mom also thought men should have their shoes polished and shined. That’s where I learned to have them polished. She would always tell David Watson, “You need to polish your shoes.” She also thought the shirt should be ironed and pants crisp. She loved my French cuffs and cuff links. She also thought the car should be washed outside and cleaned to a spit shine inside. We kids washed the car often.

Mom was the consummate hostess. She was an excellent cook. Seldom did we ever go out to eat. We always loved it when dad would go for a gospel meeting because then we would go get a hamburger. Few hostesses, if any, could compare, with how she set the table and provided for her guests as she did. There is one thing she loved to cook, but the rest of us, including dad, despised! She loved chicken livers. When she fixed them, we all ate them and had to leave a clean plate. Dad’s clean plate requirement came back to bite him then. If I could have given her a last meal, it would have been a plate full of chicken livers.

But one final thing was she loved Dad. She would not fight or argue with him. He loved her. At the end he told her, “no one ever loved you more than I did.” That was true of her too.  Dad came first in winning her heart. We four children were never worried about a divorce or abuse. She was always dad’s queen and our mother. She will live on in us all.  Love you mom!

So many have been so thoughtful to us and dad and sent us cards and messages of love. To say, “Thank you” is all we have but it comes from the heart. 


Rickie Jenkins