Sister Rosie N. Harless
My mother, Rosie Mae, was born in 1934, in the rolling hills of Mississippi, which was a difficult time and place for African Americans. I remember her sharing stories of when she was a young child walking over the rocky, hilly, and dusty terrain for a mile or more, eager to get to the school house that was a little one-room building stationed on the church grounds that accommodated children of all ages. She loved and attended school with her aunt and cousins. She shared the importance of learning and how she dreamed of going places after the teacher read storybooks.
My mother met my handsome father as a teenager and they eventually married. She became a housewife and mother to six wonderful children. Although my parents did not graduate from high school, my mother pursued her General Equivalency Diplomacy (GED) and my father worked successfully to take care of the family.
My parents stressed to us the importance of God, church, family and education. They knew the key to making a successful place in this world for ourselves included all of us having a strong solid foundation in Jesus Christ, a lot of love, a great education, and the unmistakable value in family bonds. While both of my parents were active in the home, my mother was the glue that held everything together. She kept God first, humming gospel songs while going about her day, singing, shouting and crying about the goodness of God, and reminding us of how blessed we were. As a young girl, I did not understand why she was shouting then (with me sometimes, laughing but always wondering), but I sure do understand now! The bible tells us to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord; serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing; and enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (Psalm 100:1-4). Funny how life repeats itself, like and my mother and grandmother Laura Lee, I sometimes find myself, shouting, crying, and praising God for all of his wonderful blessings (and I’m sure, at one point, my kids looked at me funny).
My mother was a great role model for us and I am so thankful for her guidance. I wish my grandkids had gotten an opportunity to meet her and learn from her wisdom. Mom, I hope I’m making you proud, sharing your words of wisdom, faith in God, and love for family.