An End of an Era

This past year or so has found us saying goodbye to many talented people, who have shaped our culture and our lives …

Steve Jobs
Whitney Houston
Don Cornelius
Sherman Hemsley
Richard Dawson
Dick Clark
Donna Summer
Andy Griffith
Ray Bradbury

And that’s just a short list. With each announcement I feel the hit. Each marking the fact that we’ve come to an end of an era.

This week finds me saying goodbye to a personal celebrity and life influencer. A woman who’s been a part of my life for more than three decades.

She was known for her role as church mother. If you’re not familiar with the term “church mother” it is a title of respect for a woman who cares for everyone she comes in contact with. Very common in predominantly African-American churches. It’s the living out of the African proverb:  “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

Church mothers were vital to me growing up. They filled the gaps when my Mom wasn’t available because of work. We even called her mother.

As a church mother she shared her faith, strength, and wisdom. She encouraged us and spent time with us. She taught Sunday School and sang in the church choir. To this day her version of Go Tell It on the Mountain is the version that resonates with me.

Others will come along and show me examples of faith and strength. They’ll even provide me wisdom. But gone is her voice and experience.

She was known for being a church mother but she was famous for her southern hospitality, down-home BBQ, and home made peach cobbler.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve had the opportunity to stand beside her in the kitchen. She tried to pass down the recipe for the famous peach cobbler. But she was from the school of just a pinch or a dab, a smidge or a dash. It couldn’t be written down in measurements I could follow:  teaspoon or tablespoon or cup or quart.

It’s lost to us.

But the memory of her and everything she had to offer our lives and culture will live on. I celebrate her life and honor her legacy …

Thank you Mother for the hand you had in raising me.


  1. A special tribute to an obviously special woman. I am sorry for your loss but happy for the fact that you were able to share so much time with her and for this celebration of her. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Phil Hanson says:

    Very nice tribute to someone who obviously touched many.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: