When she turned 103, Lydia Grange, otherwise called Mum, told Jamaica Beacon that her long life is attributable to her unwavering faith in her maker.
She worshipped him for decades at the Church of Christ in her village, Tydixon – not far from Lluidas Vale, St Catherine North West.
Mum was not only a devout Christian; she was a farmer at heart – raising pigs and chickens; planting cane at Worthy Park Sugar Estate in the 1970s.
“My grandmother was a very hard worker and most times she did it all by herself. She believed in hard work,” said Georgia ‘Heather’ Roberts, one of Mum’s nearly 50 grandchildren.
Her grandmother was not bedridden until about a month leading up to her passing when she significantly lost appetite and vigour, and became highly economical with words, the family said.
“She is the epitome of a strong black woman,” added Georgia. “She not only lived a simple and humble life, but she lived a clean good life.”
Georgia said her grandmother’s teachings have left an indelible mark on her life; teachings she is sure to pass down to her five-year-old son Jhaythan.
“I learned discipline and modesty from my grandma; I am sure to instill those in my son,” she promised, adding that Mum was a strict disciplinarian.
Mum has eight children – four boys and four girls, namely Raphael, Gloria, Delray, Eunice, Charles, Ethel, Albert, and Silvia – all ‘Roberts’ surname.
Three of her children, her siblings, and two husbands predeceased her.
“I feel extremely proud to know my grandmother lived for so many years,” said Roshelle ‘Ruka’ Roberts, who noted that Mum is the only grandparent she knows personally.
“I cherish the moments we spent especially when I was very very young,” she told Jamaica Beacon. “This is a wonderful blessing from the creator; my grandmother was a blessed lady.”
Mum, who was born 25 January 1915, passed away on July 9 while spending time in Kingston with her daughter Eunice.
Her relatives and friends, from near and far, will gather at Tydixon Church of Christ on Saturday (August 4) to bid farewell to a gentle giant, whose way of life is still no less than a blueprint highly recommended.
By Horace Mills