Tribute to Jeanette Davis, A Praying Mother

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I met her in 1981, when my husband and I were dating. She was a very pretty woman, with lots of class and style.  She was very kind, but there was a seriousness about her that let me know she did not stand for any foolishness. Of course, this mother of the man I loved, would have to love God.  And the very weekend I met her, we worshipped the Lord together, at her home church “Hamilton United Methodist Church” in Los Angeles.  This was to be a weekend of firsts.  It was also my first meeting with my wonderful father-in-law, Jerry Davis, my sister-in-law, Ronda Davis-Benware and my two brothers-in-law Jerry Jr. and Dannye. What an absolute blessing, to meet who would be my future family of in-laws, and have them embrace me (without Gregory being present).  God is good!

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Jeanette Hattie Davis, will celebrate her eightieth birthday on November 14, 2015.  Over the years she has transformed from mother-in-law to simply “mom” or “mama” to me now.  She has known and loved me for over thirty-four years. She was there to ease the sadness when my mother passed in 1987. She has been an inspiration to her family and an example of a godly wife and mother.  She has taught me so much about the fact that although you cannot always control the decisions your  children will make, you can always PRAY.  She has prayed for all of her children and her grandchildren.  She has prayed for our marriages, our spouses, our jobs, our children. She has prayed during our happy times and also when our hopes have been dashed.  She believed that God would take care of us. Well guess what, He has! We are not perfect, but thanks to our mother’s prayers, we are strong and resilient. We can look back and say, “Thank you Lord, for our praying mother”. The gospel singer Mandisa has a song titled “He is With You.”  One verse states, “He is with you when your kids are grown, when there’s too much space and you feel alone, and you’re worried if you got it right or wrong.”  You got it right, Jeanette!  You did it right, Jeanette.  The Lord is pleased with you and the sacrifices you made for your family.  You’re living has not been in vain.

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I want to share a story of how my relationship with my mother and sister-in-law took an unexpected turn, over twenty years ago.  Our love for each other grew even stronger through an unlikely yet delightful experience at a restaurant in California.  We had been out shopping and decided to stop for a meal.  We each had our own entrée and were trying to decide on a dessert to share.  We settled on an ice cream dish that we thought would be something light, yet would satisfy all of our sweet tooths.  When the waiter arrived with our dessert, he was very dramatic as he put the dish down in front of us as if he were serving the Queen of England! We had asked for three spoons, but as we stared in disbelief at the tiny, and I mean TINY, dish of ice cream before us, we began to laugh hysterically.  Before us was a grand serving of about 1 tablespoon of ice cream, with pretty little garnishes strewn around it. What in the world were we going to do with three spoons, when there was hardly enough dessert for one person?  One by one, we lost control, our shrieks of laughter ringing throughout the restaurant. The tears were falling from each of our faces as we tried to regain our dignity and composure.  When one of us would finally get herself under control, another would burst into laughter and tears.  I don’t even remember if we finished the ice cream!  Oh, and the waiter, he was looking at us as if we had lost our minds. How dare we laugh at this beautiful dessert he had just served!  I have not seen mom laugh that hard before or since, and it will always be one of my favorite memories of us together.

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Jeanette Davis is what the bible calls a Proverbs 31 woman.  Her husband praises her, and her children call her blessed!  Her husband Jerry and our dad, was a truly wonderful man.  We all dearly miss his presence in our lives. Mom has shown us that through the pain of loss, faith in God helps you persevere. Her strength has been amazing!  After dad’s death, she and a group of other widows formed a support group called WOWW, which stands for World of Wonderful Widows.  They support each other, travel together, pray for each other, and enjoy the life of abundance they have in God.  At eighty years old, mama is still one of the most active members of her church. She still drives better than most people I know, except when she runs over the curb when making turns (her son taught her that).  She loves African-American history, and she stays current on all things that affect our community. She has also taught her children and grandchildren to love our history. Our mama even claims President Obama as her adopted son!  She is still a grand diva of fashion, and if you go out with her, you better bring your A-game, because she is going to be “FITTED” (Jerrell’s word)!  She is also an awesome cook and baker. Her children and grandchildren always head for the kitchen when they arrive for a visit, hoping to find a tasty treat that she has made.  When a large box arrives every December, my husband gets excited because he knows it contains her famous fruitcake.  Mom is always looking for little ways that she can make life better for her family and friends.  When you call and ask her how she is doing, she always says “I am doing pretty good, thank the Lord”, always remembering to give Him thanks. 

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I asked her children and grandchildren for words they would use to describe her.  Their responses were:

“Kindhearted, lover of the Lord, classy and tidy” (Gregory)

“Resilient, artistic, faithful, stylish” (Kaila)

“Gentle and kindhearted” (Jerrell)

“Loving” (Ronda)

“Understanding” (Danyelle)

“Very busy,  very loving, always believing in her faith, and always believing in keeping the family together.” (J.D)

“Politely generous, cognitively well endowed” (Dannye)

“Beautiful and caring, the “root” to our family” (Dana)

Like the Proverbs 31 woman, Jeanette is a woman who fears the Lord, and she is to be praised. We truly honor her for all that her hands have done!

Happy Birthday Mom, and may God continue to bless you! You are a gift to our family and to the world.  We look forward to many more years of loving you and spending time in your presence.  We thank God for our praying mother!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. misshappya
    Nov 14, 2015 @ 06:44:42

    Are you a professional writer? This was so beautifully written about amazing women of God – I’m in love with – from just reading about her! Give her Bday hugs and kisses from your Chicago cuzzies. I tried to post this on the comment page but it was not working. Love u girl glad all is well!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply

  2. Shawn
    Nov 14, 2015 @ 15:50:44

    Ms Davis is a wonderful woman. Thank you for capturing this in such a succint and elegant way. dreamin4freedom is a jewel as well. Lovenyou. Mrs Davis’ Second Son.

    Reply

  3. Cindy Reed
    Nov 16, 2015 @ 21:20:23

    What beautiful words of honor. It reminds me of the Ruth/Naomi relationship. How precious to have a mother-in-law that has truly gone before you in graciousness, kindness and love for our Savior.

    Reply

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