Archive for August, 2017


By Vernalee
quotes-about-grandmothers-love-9axh7di3 llap. info
As the reminiscing continues in honor of my Mother, read with me as I share this story.
Here goes.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” William Shakespeare penned that phrase hundreds of years ago, but I witnessed its effects come to light this past year.
My oldest nephew from Tampa made a surprised visit to see his Grandmother. She had not been feeling well all day. One look at her oldest male grandchild immediately put more pep in her step.
As if she had been injected with a dose of penicillin, she immediately felt better. One could conclude that he was the “shot” that she needed! It was a mini miracle.
Speaking of shots, the two of them started talking about the NBA finals. A fan of the Miami Heat, my Mother, at the insistence of her grandson sent LeBron James a videotaped message with a tang of her Mississippi Christian dialect.
In part, she said, “LeBron, the ball is in your hands, but you are in God’s hands. The talent that ya got….can’t nobody take it away from ya.”
I don’t know if LeBron will ever get Mother’s message, but the message that I send to you is, “Show love to your family and friends, particularly when they are not feeling well.
Your visit, call, or card may be just what the doctor ordered!
Just ask the Grandma basketball coach!
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By Vernalee

Yesterday, my Mother was laid to rest in Glen Allan, Mississippi.
Though she can no longer hear, see, or read my tribute, the memories of her are sketched in my heart, my children’s hearts, the family’s hearts, and in the midst of the lives that she touched.
Here’s to you Momma!

A Tribute to my dear Mother,
There are not enough words that can express my love for you. Like a broken record, my love for you was no secret because I told you every day how much I loved you and how special you were to me and my family.
I have always felt honored to call you my Mother so much so that your name was the only name that I chose for my daughter – Phoebe.
I am blessed that you taught my children the same values that you taught me. Truly, our values and beliefs help determine our destiny.
You have never left my side from rocking me in your lap to keeping me on your heart. Only miles separated us, but we were always connected through one heartbeat.
As a Mother, you taught me the traditional things – how to sew, clean, and cook. However, you provided me with so much more – lifelong lessons that I will never forget. You taught me how to be a loving Mother with a disciplinary hand, how to love, and how to be a strong responsible woman/professional by standing up for my convictions. Implanted in my soul are your words of wisdom and traditional Mississippi sayings.
There are several that stand out. “Watch your tongue. Everything that you think, you don’t need to say; Always be the bigger person by doing the right thing; Take care of your kids, because one day they might have to take care of you; Be right with people because the same elevator that took you up will bring you down!”
My Mother, Miss Phoebe … I Love you so much. I will never forget you. Scooter will never forget you. Your namesake Phoebe will definitely never forget you.
Though your spirit rests in Heaven, you will remain in our hearts forever.
Rest in Peace,


By Vernalee
Today, as we prepare for my Mother’s Home going Services, I once again take you to the Bible.
Can you walk with me?
In Exodus 20:12, the first commandment with a promise is given.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Esphesians 6:1-3 follows suit.
That commandment is applicable to all of the parents’ children. As our Mothers and Fathers age, it is our Christian responsibility to take care of them.
After all, it was their hands that took care of us!
As one of my dearest friends and I recently discussed, we cherish our roles of being caregivers to our Mothers.
It is a privilege being there for them; to bring happiness to their aging years. Nothing beats the joy that we receive from giving and providing for them!
We are blessed to have our Mothers in their old age; cantankerous or not!
To whom much is given, much is required!” Doing beats excuses!
Doing is honoring; it is our Christian duty.
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By Vernalee
As we mature in years and have a family, we come to a greater appreciation for our parents, Mothers – in particular.
Continuing this week with the memories of my Mother who recently passed and went home to be with the Lord, I share an excerpt with you that validates how much work our Mothers do to keep everything and everybody afloat.
Take a look!
Conducting an experiment, a well-known advertising agency placed an online ad for a Director of Operations. Although it received over 2.7 million hits, only 24 applications were received.
The job description, though brief, read in part: Have to stand all day; work at least 135 hours a week; little or no sitting; requires considerable mobility; ability to lift at least 75 pounds; ability to proficiently multitask; receives no vacation or days off; receives no compensation or bonus pay.”
Several applicants unanimously said, “This is ludicrous!” They laughed and asked, “Who would do a job like that; Is this legal?”
These tasks and more are performed by us Mothers everyday – rain or shine! Notwithstanding these functions, add in a 40 hour work week to the existing responsibilities.
Being a chef, a chauffeur, a housekeeper, and so much more – come with the territory.
In fact, interestingly enough, the duties of motherhood never leave. They stay even when our adult children leave the nest. Our motherly love, concern, worry, joy, and all of our emotionality remain but shift as our children move from our laps to our hearts!
Thus, a Mother’s job is never done!
Thank you Momma for all that you did for me!
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By Vernalee
Granddaughter teaching grandmother how to use a cell phone
Reflecting back a few years ago, I can vividly remember my daughter teaching my Mother how to use her cell phone. In watching them, truly patience is a virtue.
Let me share their story with you.
Here we go.

Once upon a time, there was the telephone land line.
Now, there are cellular phones everywhere.
Teaching the older population cell phone techniques has its challenges, but my children taught their Granny well.
“Grandma, all you have to do is just pick up your cell, push this button, and talk.
We have programmed it to do everything automatically.”
The teaching didn’t stop there!
To understand, I have to take you for a walk down memory lane.
In the late 1990’s, I had to install a second telephone line because I could never comfortably talk on my phone without my children’ callers interrupting me. Having two separate telephone lines in our home was advantageous, particularly to my children! They loved it! Then, before I realized it, my children started calling me on my telephone line from theirs. Calling me was easier than their getting up to walk into my room; less steps! Besides, it saved them time and energies! So their calls went like this: “Hey Mommy, if you go downstairs, would you be so kind as to please bring us up some snacks and juice? Thank you so much my dear Mommy.”
Translated, that statement meant, “Stop doing what you are doing. March downstairs Mommy and get us some food!” I was so taken by their politeness that I did it! Down the stairs, I went! Wow, I can’t believe my naivety and their shrewdness.
Now, guess what! My daughter has once again taught her Granny by repurposing an old system. Why reinvent the wheel? It worked then; it’ll work now!
“Hey Grandma; Let me teach you the ropes since Mommy has never installed an intercom system in this house. Geez! Use your cell phone and call her if you don’t feel like moving. We did it growing up and it worked marvelously every time!” Now, my Mother telephones me from her room on her cellular to performed tasks. The kids’ system of old was revitalized. Now, I am at my Mother’s beck and call. This time, it is a blessing to be of service. In fact, it is a great honor to provide service to my ninety year old Mother! In this case, the second time around is better! My kids’ shenanigans of old produced a great deed!
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By Vernalee
As election time is rolling around again and since this week is a reflection of my late Mother, I must share this story about the last Presidential Election.
My 90 year old Mother drove the family and me crazy about her absentee ballot. There was no way that she was not going to cast her vote for the President of the United States. Thank goodness she received her ballot.
Of course, it had to be overnighted from Cleveland, Ohio to assure its timely arrival to the Lake Washington County Board of Elections in Greenville, Mississippi.
Her tenacity may have taken us over the edge, but I understand why.
To explain requires a brief history lesson.
Listen up.
* In 1955, Rev. George Lee, Regional Council of Negro Leadership and a NAACP worker was shot in the face and killed urging Blacks in the Mississippi delta to vote. The murder occurred in Belzoni, MS.
* In August 1955, Lamar Smith was killed in Brookhaven, MS. for voting registrations.
* On September 1961, in Liberty, MS., Herbert Lee was gunned down followed by NAACP State Director, Medgar Evers in 1963 in Jackson, MS. To further frighten Blacks from going to the voting polls came the violence and killing of three civil rights workers; Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner in Meridian, MS.
* Let’s not foget the Selma, ALA. marches where Blacks were met with whips and tear gas as it was broadcasted on television to the amazement of some who couldn’t believe what they saw.
In Glen Allan, MS., we had an articulate fearless leader named Jake Ayers who lead the charge to get voters registered. My Mother was in that initial group.
I give you this history recount so that you can understand why and how my Mother who has voted as she says “in every Election since she registered.” It’s a matter that she doesn’t take lightly or for granted.
Yes, she was one of the ones who sang, “I shall not be moved” and “We shall overcome” in the 1960’s.
Yes, she and my Daddy marched for our freedom.
Yes, my Mother was in the background joining forces with Ruleville, MS. civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer when she said, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
So, I say, “Momma, you can worry us to vote.”
Without question, your generation paved the way and paid the price for our voting freedoms. Our right to vote rests on your and on the courageous people of that time shoulders.
You witnessed the injustices first hand and carried the heavy load.
So I reiterate “Vote Momma Vote!”
It’s a coveted constitutional right that you treasure though it didn’t come easy.
It’s a right that Black fought, died, and marched to achieve for the generations to come.
Yes – I will follow your lead!
Yes – I will cast my ballot in the voting booth today!
Rest in Peace Momma!
Photo credit: An archival photo of a voting protest in McComb, Mississippi.


By Vernalee
As I continue with our family’s tributes to my Mother, I call your attention to the significance that my Mother has played in the up and coming generations of our family.
Take a look.
Our hands – the crinkle skin, the lines, the wrinkles, the visible protruding veins – show our age.
They display the “wear and tear” of living. As we age, our hands carry with it years of wisdom, love, heartbreak, pain, joy, and every physical and emotional feeling.
They celebrate life.
My 90 year old Mother’s hands “that clapped in church on Sunday morning; that played the tambourine so well; that picked me up each time I fell”; that pointed at me as she uttered “I know you really love that man; put yourself in Jesus’ hands” function as a grandmother, a great grandmother, and a great – great grandmother.
Four generations, she has lifted. She is our family’s Southern matriarch, and we rally around her in groves. Her sometimes arthritic hands prepare dishes that no one can duplicate. Cooking is her thing! Everyone wants her recipes.
There is so much that the lines in her helping hands tell us and so much that they don’t reveal!
We applauded her as much as we missed her, but understand that to her “there is no place like her home.”
Though her hands can’t pick 200 pounds of cotton anymore; though they noticeably tremble as she grips objects, those ten fingers and two hands have given my family and me so much love and strength. We dare not cross her because her strong hands can still discipline you with a back hand lick! Whether we call her Momma, Grandma, or Big Momma (depending on the generation), her hands carred and lifted us daily though our weight may have been heavy. Each generation has brought their varied problems to her for an opinion. Although her hands have seen hard times, what amazing strength and a wonderful touch her soft hands had! She encourages us and said, “Your weight ain’t that heavy. I can hold it. Now sit down, hold my hand, and tell Big Momma all about it!” And we did! And she listened! And we left better than we came! Yes, we were blessed to have her!
She had made her pilgrimage from Mississippi to Ohio and back many times.
As we bring her back this last time, we cannot hold her hand anymore, but we can hold on to her words and memories forever.
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By Vernalee
Years ago, on one of my daughter’s summer vacation trips to Mississippi, she and her girlfriends were in church.
So the adolescents decided to “get happy” pretending that they had been filled with the Holy Ghost.
As they were shouting and kicking on the floor, my daughter opened her eyes to see her Grandmother standing before her.
Her Grandma Phoebe sternly said to her namesake, “Little Phoebe, if you don’t get up off that floor, I am gonna tear your tail up! You don’t play with God!”
Telling the story invokes laughter now, but it wasn’t funny to the granddaughter then. It was quite embarrassing.
It did however teach her about the sacredness of God and provided a lifelong lesson to the meaning of Southern old time religion.
When she talks about family “stuff” and childhood memories, this is one of her favorite Grandma stories.
Can’t you visualize that scene?
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By Vernalee
My post today is dedicated to my Mother, Mrs. Phoebe Collins who went home to be with the Lord.
My Mother will be in my heart forever. There are so many memories.
Today, I pray for those who have lost loved ones so dear.
Gone is my Mother from this earth, but her memory lives forever in the hearts of the lives that she touched!
The Bible teaches us much about death. Nothing lives forever, but the Bible speaks of this phenomenal called The Resurrection which gives us hope; hope of life again; hope to see our loved ones again; hope that eases the mourning of your heart.
In John Chapter 14, Jesus said:
1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
When we lose a loved one, there is an emptiness; a void.
It hurts!
Because of Jesus’ love and preparing a way for mankind, we can see our loved ones again. What a joy and privilege that will be!
So, today I offer these words of encouragement to my wonderful, loving, respectful, caring, dutiful family … particularly those who took the time to converse with her; who took her to church; who wheeled her around as she shopped; who showed her unconditional love. I need not call you by name. You know who you are!
Thank you for loving her; for comforting her; for being by her side until her last breath! God will bless you for your service.
I know that there will be days that without her, we will feel all alone.
We are not!
She is with us in spirit!
Remember her words!
Hear her voice!
Let the memory – of our beloved Mother, GrandMother, Great – Grandmother, and Great – Great Grandmother who departed this earth to be with the Lord on Friday, August 4, 2017 – stay in your hearts!
Mother guided our hands and taught us so many things.
Strength was one of them.
I pray for our strength in her absence from this earth because she will forever live in our hearts.
I am proud to be her daughter.
May God bless her.
Rest In Peace Momma.
Wear your crown and walk around Heaven all day!
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By Vernalee
indy bay. org
All of you have probably seen or been confronted on the streets by individuals asking for money and assistance.
What do you do when they ask?
Do you give, ignore, or pretend that they are not there?
Generally, if it is in a safe environment, I try to give.
One day recently at McDonald’s, I saw a guy soliciting help who was an old family friend. OMG!
My heart started to bleed! I gave him the $10.00 that I had. He had fallen on hard times.
Life happens; bad circumstances can befall anyone!
I remember on another occasion, I was riding with a friend and a gentleman had a sign that read, “I need food.” Of course, I was touched, but my friend said. “ We aren’t giving any money!” Instead, he drove to a nearby fast food restaurant and brought back a sandwich and gave it to the gentleman.
There is no easy answer.
There is also an element of danger when you let your car window down.
Safety and good judgment always come first.
The saving grace is compassion. When your heart urges and tells you to help, you are rightfully looking at the need; not the person. It is the right view to have.
What should we do?
How do we help?
Maybe, your assistance can be a charitable donation. Perhaps, you may desire to volunteer at a homeless shelter, a food bank, or your church.
We can make our contribution with various forms of resources including our time and financial contributions. It all counts!
Remember this.
Matthew 25:40 “… Whatever you did for the least …. you did for me.”
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