“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” Proverb 12:4
For almost 50 years (my entire life) I have witnessed this incredibly strong woman endure some of the most cruel and painful treatment that I would not wish on any other woman in the world, and yet she remains a virtuous and steadfast prayer warrior.
I have seen many so-called righteous people come and go claiming to be “Holy” but failing to live up to the claims. One such experience I wrote about here.
Born and raised by an abusive father and timid mother, she picked cotton in the fields of Arkansas only to give her entire earnings to support her father’s bad habits. I have often heard the stories of her father holding her mother at gunpoint threatening to kill them all and how she would cry and plea…
“Daddy, please don’t kill us.”
When she finally mustered up the courage to escape, she fled to California to live with an auntie. There she soon met the man she would be wedded to until his death in 2008. In spite of her pastor’s advice that marrying this individual was NOT a good idea, she married him anyway. This particular man had already scorned his first marriage having slept with his wife’s best friend bringing another innocent, illegitimate life into this world. Little did anyone know, he was just beginning.
I never really knew about the double (or maybe quadruple) life that my father was living. I often got clues like the time I was visiting a girlfriend of mine’s house and her mother asked if he was my father and continued to tell me how her and my father kick it together all the time. A very awkward moment that was and that was just the tip of the iceberg. All the while this virtuous woman remained faithful, working, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the home, paying the bills, buying the groceries and raising his daughter from the first marriage and myself. The majority of her personal time was spent attending a little local church rightly named Rehoboth which means “There’s room for us” but the real testimony of this virtuous woman’s life was how she lived when not at the church which I was blessed enough to be able to observe and learn from. Consistently and persistently she could be found locked in her room on her knees crying out to God. Some mornings I would wake a little before she came into my room to wake me and I would witness her on her knees thanking and praising God for the new day. I can still remember her weekly routine: Sunday was church ALL DAY, Sunday School plus morning and evening services. Monday through Friday she was loyal to her employment. So loyal, in fact, I can’t remember her taking not one sick day. On Tuesday nights, I remember a church function called YPWW (Young People Willing Workers) Wednesday night was Bible Study. Every other wednesday, she went grocery shopping for the entire household. Tuesday evenings, she balanced the bank account and wrote checks to pay the bills. These things, she did religiously.
Meanwhile, her husband was out living his other lives creating more and more babies. I rarely saw him and missed out on many father/son moments. He was never there to teach me any sports or have any memorable conversations with me. I always thought it was because he was working all the time.
Yep, he was working ALL the time!
I will not speak on that part of the story as it will definitely strike a nerve with the rest of my siblings and that is not my intention and so I have edited those parts out. My intentions with telling this story in the first place is, number one, it has been cathartic for me and second, I believe it is a part of my mama’s life that she struggles the most with and now and wants HER story to be told.
THAT VIRTUOUS WOMAN IS MY MAMA, BERTHA MAE:
Before you get it twisted, please understand that I do not hate my father or any of my brothers and sisters I have nothing but Love for them (both half and full) I simply wanted to share this true story of this incredibly strong and faithful woman who, in spite of tremendous trials and tribulations, still managed to shine on ALL of them.
“Just Go!” Don’t Stop.
P.S. It is my belief that enduring such harsh conditions is the cause of Bertha Mae’s current diagnosis of dementia. She now resides in a memory care facility where she is receiving the necessary care and attention she needs, however, memory care is very expensive and there is a very certain possibility that her small nest egg may not be able to sustain her stay. For that reason, I am asking for donations. If you find it in your heart to help,
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE. Every little bit of help is appreciated. Thank you and God bless you.
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