Wow. That gal had grit didn’t she?
The Doctors gave up on Aunt Sadie and
sent her home to spend her last days
with her family,
saying she wouldn’t make it through the holidays.
Well, they got part of it right.
That was 3-4 years ago.
Back in Sept of 2011 my dad, (her brother) was really sick in the Jackson hospital.
NOTHING would do Aunt Sadie
but she was going to go see her brother.
We couldn’t believe she was going to try
to make the hour long trip
in the condition she was in.
At that point she had worn hospice out THREE times already! (yes, this was in 2011!)
In she rolled in her wheelchair,
smile just a shining.
When we asked her
how in the world she could make such a trip,
she just flashed a big ol grin and said
“I got this kind of patch for pain,
and that kind of patch for ease,
and another patch for something else,
why they got me patched up like an old tar!”
Our care and concern was always met
with Aunt Sadie’s reply,
“Only God knows when my time will come.”
and she was right.
We’ve all witnessed
how she kept
hanging on to a thread of life.
So many times we each have wondered,
how can a person hang on like that against all odds?
I don’t think we can appreciate Aunt Sadie’s life appropriately and realize
what brought such grit to this person,
until we step back a bit
and look at not just Aunt Sadie recently,
but at how and what
brought her through to this point.
Sadie Marie Mansfield
was born January 30th, 1950.
The 4th and final child of
Frank Lee & Ruby Lee Mansfield.
She was the baby sister to
19 year old Mildred Ann,
14 year old Robert Dennis,
and 5 year old Frankie Lee.
Now, I am told that after Sadie was born,
proud daddy Frank made his exit from the hospital
and ran home to check on the kids
(Robert, Frankie and Mildred Ann).
Somehow little Frankie
found his daddy’s car keys fascinating
and began playing with them.
When it was time for Frank to go back to the hospital,
no keys could be found,
thus the entire house
was turned upside down
in an attempt to find the car keys.
Ruby, their mom,
was a devote christian lady.
She raised her children
with her Pentecostal faith and principles.
She dedicated all of her energy
toward her family and home.
After little Frankie was born
she got a job at the shirt factory
so she could buy extra things like
an electric range stove
and a wringer style washing machine.
Sadly, Ruby’s life was cut short
as she grew sick with cancer
when her baby girl was still in diapers.
God called her home on October 13th, 1952.
Sadie was 2 1/2,
Frankie was 7,
Robert had just turned 16.
Mildred Ann, 21 had already left home
and was beginning her own family a few counties away.
We’re talking early 1950’s here.
A different world than we now know.
The loving home that had been their foundation
had just been turned upside down.
16 year old Robert quit school
and ran the household
while his dad worked.
With the help of his mother’s sister, Annie Bell,
he learned to cook, clean, wash,
and take care of his 2 year old sister
and 7 year old brother.
Mansfields are kind of known for our temper. 🙂
When Robert was almost 20
and took his own bride in September of 1956
the news did not go well
with his father, Frank.
can only imagine
the frustration and fear
Frank felt as he realized
his inability to handle the home life by himself.
What was he going to do?
How was he going to work
and raise an 11 yr old boy
and a 6 yr old girl alone?
And then God blessings flowed.
On August 30th, 1957,
at age 52, Frank Mansfield married
49 year old Ola Bell Wright.
Ola had never been married before
nor had any children.
She came from a big family though
and had plenty of experience
loving and raising children.
And she not only fell in love with Frank,
but his scraggly bunch of young’ens,
especially a 7 year old dark headed
burst of energy named Sadie.
Life was once again filled with joy
as Ola filled the hugh void in the home.
Man! she could cook!
Frankie and Sadie scampered around happily.
Then tragedy struck
on a cold winter day in 1962.
Frank worked on the county crew
building highway 118
that ran from Dresden, north
and on to Dukedom.
On that cold tragic morning,
the ground was covered
with snow and ice all around.
The crew reached the equipment
that they had left near Dukedom the day before.
They started cranking up the engines,
as they prepared to clean the snow
and ice off the roads.
As Frank fueled up the road grater,
it began to move,
catching him in the process.
The massive road grater rolled over Frank,
crushing his leg.
For the next several months
Ola stayed by Frank’s side
in the hospital in Memphis.
Robert took Frankie (a teen ager now)
and 12 year old Sadie home with him.
I’m sure Frankie held his little sister’s hand
as they once again,
were shuttled amidst family.
Robert and wife Jessie
had their hands full
with 2 toddlers of their own,
and Sadie adored playing
with the two little girls.
As Sadie blossomed
into a young lady
she loved dressing nice
and wearing heals.
Jessie made extra money as a seamstress
and so making outfits
for all those in her home
Sadie ate it up.
One day Sadie glided across the room
sporting a cute outfit
and her favorite shoes
that happened to have plastic heels.
She paid no attention
to the 3’x3′ gas floor furnace
that had just kicked on.
As she strode over the furnace
her heel got stuck
catching her off balance
and down she went!
NOT one of her most flattering moments,
but a MOST memorable one. 🙂
Frankie and Sadie loved fried potatoes.
I mean LOVED them so much
they sometimes ate them 3 times a day!
During that winter
of living with Robert & Jessie,
Sadie wanted some fried potatoes.
So, after school
Jessie sent Sadie
down to the cellar
where the summer’s harvest of potatoes was stored.
Of course, by late winter,
the best potatoes were gone,
leaving only smaller, weathered ones.
As Jessie went about her other chores
after instructing Sadie to start peeling the potatoes,
she didn’t notice how Sadie’s peeling
was leaving more potato
with the peeling
than with the potato to fry.
It’s my understanding that
Jessie and Sadie went round and round
as the lesson of potato peeling was taught. 🙂
(This fond memory was joked and laughed over just a few weeks ago as she visited with Robert and Jessie).
Sadie was known during her high school years
as a good friend
with a bubbly personality.
She was always able to keep her sense of humor
no matter what Life threw her way.
She never lost that,
even during her last painful days.
Sadie attended the
Dresden Pentecostal Church
her entire adult life.
She met and married
her husband, Edward Lamb,
there 43 years ago.
Now, that was an awesome day. 🙂
I was 9 at the time
and served as her flower girl.
My sister Rebekah was a bridesmaid.
Our 3 year old little brother, Mark
was the ring bearer.
Mom made our dresses, hats and accessories.
To this day I still think fondly of
the pink satin dress I wore,
making me feel like a little princess.
We were all so proud
of how well Mark marched down the aisle
the night of the wedding practice.
He felt so proud
to have such an important job!
The night of the wedding,
all was going well.
The church was filled
with beautiful cascading candlelight
as the bridesmaids flowed in.
I made my way to the front
sprinkling the aisle
with rose pedals.
I turned around
of Mark making his way down behind me.
What I saw was a little boy
with sheer fear on his face.
Everyone was urging him
to go on, go on…
and he tried….
But walking down the aisle
was not what he bargained for
and before we knew it,
back into his momma’s arms
and nothing would change his mind!
Sadie just laughed
and continued to enjoy the memory
of her “almost” perfect wedding.
If I could sum Sadie’s attitude up
in one sentence
she took things in stride.
Whatever it was,
she’d laugh and
take it in stride.
My cousin Greg
summed her up well.
he never saw Aunt Sadie Mad.
My memories are filled
with my dad’s laughter
joined with Aunt Sadie’s.
They could recount some funny times!
Now, Mildred Ann is his sister
and they share an extreme closeness
and many fond memories
as being the only kids for a good while.
But the bond between Sadie and Dad
has a different tenderness.
He has said many times how
he feels she was more of a daughter to him
than a sister.
And justifiably so,
since he had a big part in raising her.
When Sadie became a mother herself,
I can still hear all the many times
my daddy sang with joy, “Sadie had a little lamb”.
He took such delight in Sadie’s little girls.
Sadie took motherhood seriously.
She devoted her life to her daughters,
raising them with the same faith and principles
that her own mother had oh, so long ago.
Sadie’s devotion didn’t stop
with her husband and daughters.
Her 4 grandchildren were the delight of her heart.
It was her grandchildren
that made her smile on the bad days
that were filled with
unbearable physical pain.
Sadie did not have the average stable home life
that most of us take for granted.
Every few years her home structure changed drastically.
She could have been filled with anger of disappointments.
She chose, however,
to use these life events to grow stronger.
Her last few years was proof.
Pushing through unbelievable Health issues,
proving Doctors didn’t have her timeline,
wearing out hospice time after time,
and expressing her love for her family with every breath.
Throughout Sadie’s life,
there was one thing that never, NEVER wavered.
It was her passion for her Lord and Saviour.
She loved her family and
devoted her life to them,
but she was passionate about her Lord.
She lived her faith,
walked her faith and
showed her faith every day.
She has the heart of Christ and
it shined brightly from within her.
Now, I would say Rest In Peace Aunt Sadie,
but that just doesn’t seem fitting.
She’s no longer in pain and
her weariness is now gone.
But she’s not resting now.
She’s up there in heaven
a shouting and
a hugging and
a loving on all those who have gone before her.
She’s getting to hug her mother.
The one that gave birth to her
and prayed for her
and was taken from her while she was a toddler.
She’s getting to hug her momma.
The one that God sent to love her
as only a momma can.
I can see Grannie Ola now
with that sweet smile of hers.
Can’t you just see Aunt Sadie
sitting down with these two awesome ladies??
and I bet they are joined by Aunt Annie Bell.
I bet they’re holding their sides
with all the giggles coming from their joy.
She’s getting to hug her daddy.
The one that provided for her
even when he didn’t know how to raise a little girl by himself.
And I’m certain Aunt Sadie is
holding onto her dear, sweet precious Jesus
and hugging Him tight.
I can just see Aunt Sadie
shouting hallelujah and
praising her Lord
for all the blessings he bestowed on her.
This is what Sadie Marie Mansfield Lamb
has been working toward for so long.
And she’s there.
Denise Mansfield Bradberry
and read at her funeral 11/23/2013