My Mother

Published 2:47 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mothers are one of the best things that God ever created. My mother’s name is Mary Lee Frank Pennington, everyone called her Mamie. She was born Oct. 18, 1903 in Sumpter, South Carolina. She married my father, Arthur Pennington also known as Gosh and they had a total of ten kids.

For as long as I can remember my family lived in Victoria Virginia on Mecklenburg Avenue. My mother would wake up early in the morning and make breakfast for her family. It was the kids’ responsibility to get the wood for the stove. I remember one night we forgot to bring in the wood for the next day’s fire. The next morning when mama got ready to fix breakfast there was no wood and she woke us up and made us get the wood, it was dark and cold outside so you better believe we did not forget again.

In the fifties my father and mother built “The Pennington Store.” My mother did laundry when we were younger and would work all day washing and ironing clothes and then in the evening she would go to the store and work with my father. She was an excellent cook and was known for her delicious cakes & pies.

Sundays was special in my house because my family would sit down and have meals together. Momma would make a big breakfast that consisted of fried chicken, grits, gravy, biscuits, jelly, milk & coffee. After breakfast the family went to church where we heard the Word then we would come home, enjoy each other’s company and wait for momma to finish cooking her wonderful Sunday dinner.

Momma was the world’s best storyteller. After dinner she would gather all the kids around the fire in the living room and tell us the scariest stories. We would scream with delight and fear. We wanted to leave but the story was so interesting that if we left we would have missed the ending, which was always the best part.

My sisters and I often talk about how she would twirl around when she got happy. I use to love to come into the room and say something to my mother and watch her laugh and dance.

About three months ago a minister at First Baptist Church was preaching a sermon and told a story of a wonderful lady she knew when she was younger. My sisters and I were so surprised to hear how our mother affected the minister’s life when she was younger, my mother was some lady.

Mama departed this world on December 26, 1975. Thank you Jesus for the Mama you gave us. Mama because of you I know how to love. I thank God everyday for the things you have taught us. I love you Mama and our memories of you will ensure you live on forever.

Mary Simmons is a columnist for the K-V Dispatch. She can be reached at