My Mother, Lillie A. Jones (Matheny)
My Mother was the Best!
Born To John Henry Matheny and Janie Brantley Matheny on Matheny Road in Goodway, Alabama; (Monroe County). My mother was the eighth child, with 6 sisters and one brother. Earl, Ruth, Myrtle, Polly, Mary, Esther, and Doris. My mother, Lillie, walked to school one mile over to the corner on Butler St. where she and her sisters attended. The land for the Goodway Grade School had been donated by my grandparents family so Goodway could have an elementary school. When she reached high school age she was sent on the school bus to J.U. Blacksher School in Uriah, which was about 15 miles away.
Growing up, her and her sisters were close. One by one they married and left, with Earl Matheny (wife, Virginia) going into the U.S. Navy, Myrtle(Woods) marrying and living in Montgomery, Al. Ruth (Hughes), Doris(Lancaster),Mary(Spencer),Polly(Swanson), marrying and living in South Alabama,and Esther(Singley) marrying and living both in Florida and then in Silas, Al. My Mother married Jimmie Harold (Keith) Jones of Jones County Mississippi. He was the son of Hines and Eula ( Bynum) Jones; also of mention is his older brother Jack Jones and his younger sister, Mary Hines (Jones) Wilson.
After my mother finished high school, she began working as a switchboard supervisor for Bell Telephone in Mobile, Alabama, and met her husband (and my father) through church. They were both of the Pentecostal faith.. My father had enlisted in the Air Force and was honorably discharged. He spent his first years selling shoes at Fine Brothers Madison in Laurel,Ms., then later became a successful car sales manager, and that trade followed him most of his life until retirement. Mother was a black haired, rather tall and thin lady, with a quick response of words that challenged you if you weren't aware of your purpose. She was kind and friendly, courteous and as she grew older, hospitality was her best trait, besides being a mother.
My siblings were by age, Sharon Voetha, Steven Harold, myself, Michael Oscar, Kathleen Eula, Jimmie Kay, and then Alexander Keith. To mention as well, David Aubrey, was alive only a short hour or so and did not live, between myself and Alexander. Besides these, there are grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren, whom you will have to ask about if you ever meet one of this family.
Mother had Steve and I in sharp looking boys suits and Sharon in a pretty Easter dress at an early age and I remember the trip to church, as well as an easter egg hunt afterwards. The pungent smell from my closet the following year when it was time to wear them again, alas, I had left an egg in the coat pocket! My Mother was a disciplinarian of her own right and made sure we obeyed her through the day, reporting us to father in th evening if we had been disobedient. This was before the day of child liberation and need I say more? It was truly amazing though as we grew how she trusted us to go out and play, and to come home in the evening. we did things I am still remembering, and I'm sure if she knew, she might not have sent us out to play! But as an afterthought, maybe she trusted her Lord to care for us when she couldn't be there every moment. This seems to have proven in her life time and time again. This also seems true with my own children.
My mother was an excellent hostess, and worth mentioning was in later years she told me a lot of her recipes were on the Karo Syrup bottle, on the back of the flour package, on the can of pumpkin, etc, Some of her best homemade dishes included her southern fried chicken, chicken dumplings, pumpkin pie, lima beans with butter, red beans and rice with homemade biscuits, sweet potato casserole, and many more.
My family was in transit for quite a few years, with business, church, and adventure driving my mother and father from Alabama to Mississippi, Texas, Washington State, Missouri, and Alaska; then back home to the deep south in 1997. Here they lived my fathers last three years before he passed away, and then my mother with Alexander for the next few years until she passed away April 28, 2012 and was laid to rest In Goodway, Alabama at Old Sowell Field Cemetery on Turkey Hollow Road, in South Monroe County. Alexander lives with his sister Jimmie Kay Baldwin in Fairbanks Alaska; and with her family. Kathleen lives in Palmer Alaska with her husband Fred Richardson, Michael (myself) lives in Monroeville, Al., and is buying the Sugar Hill House that was bought for mother and fathers retirement. Steven and his wife Brenda, are living and working in the Oklahoma City area, tending to their mixed and growing family. Sharon passed away in 2008 after an extended illness.
Spending many of her years in North Pole Alaska, mother had many friends. She was an avid writer and corresponded with her family her in the south, as well as with friends she had made over the years in several states. If someone wrote her, she answered. You were important to her. Some of the letters to me were both of God supplying their needs and sometimes of her longing to see her family in the south again and perhaps to live there again. As my father grew ill she would comment on that. It began to put a deep-seated need in my heart to help them return to their home state, for my father also confided in me that he didn't know how to get "mother" back to her home before he passed away, knowing he had damaged his lungs welding and using chemicals, etc. Mother would comment in her notes, "Mike I found you father outside in the minus zero weather, and I had to help him get back in". This brings up that he tried very hard to keep working and forging a living for his family. They both loved Alaska and felt God had brought them there to live and to raise their family. So it began to dawn they had a split loyalty, and as reality of old age set in, they were sort of in a dilemma, but still trusting that the Lord would provide for them. At a junction in my own life, I acted on what I knew and came south to find a suitable place for them to live and made that possible for them, although sadly and with grief upon me, Lord please forgive if they never do, but making my sisters upset at me, and putting my parents needs ahead of my own wife and children, I paid out many years of heartache and grief of my own, but still believing it was right to honor and respect and obey and care for my parents when they weren't able any longer to do so on their own. My father was of such old school faith that he would hardly go to the doctor and did not until he arrived in Alabama, with his legs swollen x 3, and fluid on his lungs, making it hard to breathe, and then accepting limited but necessary medical treatment the last three years he lived. Even then he was trying to improve their lifestyle and make things easier at 30 Ridge Road. in Monroe County. They both loved their children and especially Alexander. They gave him first class care and attention and helped him to be the best that he could be. Mother was very important as a caretaker to all of us, and I know they loved us all equally. Dad loved to spoil my sisters and mother loved to spoil my brother and I. At least it seemed that way to me. Mother we will always miss you, and your love and caring hands and heart!
Lillie Aubreyneeze (Matheny) Jones, mother of us children, and wife to Jimmie Harold Keith Jones was devoted to what she saw as her calling in life. She taught Sunday School when she was called upon in many different churches across the USA, She taught us children to memorize the Psalms, especially the 23rd and 100th Psalms. She also taught us and lived the "Love" chapter found in 1st Corinthians Chapter 13. "though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not (love), I am nothing". Mother was a Christian in deed and not just in word. When It came time for her to stand alone without my father, she did so. She kept the perfect law of love and served her heavenly father as the one who she answered to at all times. She certainly read her bible and prayed and when she was able she fasted. She shared with me once years ago, "Mike, there's not ANY hardships or needs or seeming impossibilities that your father and I haved faced that God hasn't answered after I got in front of him with my bible, and prayer and fasting for two or three days!" She finished her service to her Lord by caring for Alexander, who had special needs and sometimes was difficult. Another true sign of her faith was that for the last few years she stood up and read the bible lesson and commented on Gods word to the Goodway Church of Jesus Christ where she attended. I have met wonderful people who attended there with her and have stated how faithful she was to come, to bring food, to help and be counted with the sheep of that fold, though it has closed since she passed away. Her heart was always to serve God and her family.
My family means much to me, and as I grew older I learned to appreciate my mother more and more. She cooked for us, cleaned house for us, prayed for us, and encouraged us in the realm of her home. She was devoted to her husband, quick to call him on something irregular or inconsistent with what she believed, but always found her place of Godly submission as soon as she was able. Today, it seems that the order is not of honoring each other as it was in those days. She was true to her husband in loyalty, service and wifely duties; while she was true to her calling as a mother, and raised us with decency, respect and with giving honor to our parents. Lillie, my Mother was a lover of poetry, and wrote more than just a few poems and songs. I helped compile for her, (LILLIE'S POEMS), knowing that she is and was a child of God and carried his message of love and salvation wherever she went..
May 10, 2015
- Adventures of Childhood
This story is about childhood experiences on a bicycle and having fun as a youth and how it effects you as an adult. the importance of physical activity whatever age you are! Simple but profound!
- The Land Where I was Born
Born in the south, but led north to Alaska as a child, slowly I was drawn back by the invisible roots that grew into my heart. Photos are of the authors mother and old home place in Alabama.
© 2015 Oscar Jones