A Woman’s Life

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After learning much about my ancestry last year, I have started putting photos together for my children and my cousins. While I was working on them recently, I searched for this wonderful photograph of my great-grandparents. I may be prejudiced because they are my great-grandparents, but I think it’s one of the most romantic and beautiful photos of a young couple I have seen from that era.

Mama Boyd
Gabe and Corinna Elliott Boyd

While I was a girl, a kind person in our family made lots of billfold-sized prints of this photo and the one below. I think my Aunt Dot was responsible for this blessing (Thank you, Dot!). Several family members had them, and I got to see and enjoy them often.

Wow. I just realized what an old-fashioned thing I just wrote. Does anyone keep billfold-sized photos in their billfolds anymore? Or do you even know what I am talking about when I say billfold? It’s a wallet, but we didn’t say wallet in my Southern family. They were billfolds.

Oh, me. Well, I digress. I should get back to my topic.

For those of you who have been reading Daily Encouragement for a while, you may remember that Ray and I had a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Canada last August to participate in activities honoring one of my ancestors. Gabe Boyd is my connection with Canada. It goes like this:

  • Gabe is my great-grandfather.
  • Timothy Demonbreun was Gabe’s great-grandfather. He moved from Canada to America in the second half of the 1700s and eventually settled in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • French-Canadian Pierre Boucher was Timothy’s great-grandfather.

But those men aren’t the topic of this post. My topic is Mama Boyd. She was a devoted believer in Jesus and the mother of seven, six boys (including my grandfather Daddy Leland) and one girl, whom everybody — even us great-nieces and great-nephews — called Sister. Mama Boyd was one of the four grandmothers I called Mama. I was also blessed to know Daddy’s mother, Mama Sue; Mama Sue’s mother, Mama Head; and my own mama’s step-grandmother, Mama Farmer.

Mama Boyd was born in 1876 and lived until 1963, when I was ten years old. One of the many things I loved about Daddy is the way he loved his grandmothers. The first time I saw him cry was on Sunday just after church in 1963 when he learned that Mama Boyd had gone to sleep in the Lord. I remember thinking, “Now I know someone in heaven.”

I never knew Mama Boyd as she looked in the photo above, and I never knew my great-grandfather Gabe at all. He died when Daddy was a year old. Mama Boyd was a widow for 32 years. All of my life she looked like this.

Mama Boyd
Mama Boyd

As I saw these pictures last weekend, I thought about a woman’s life between the time she is a new bride and the time when she is a great-grandmother. Each day, week, month, season, and year is a present from God. God loves us beyond what we can imagine. The wise woman gives each of those days, weeks, months, seasons, and years back to Him.

This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


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One comment

  1. Very interesting first picture. I’m almost certain I have never seen the likes of a picture back in this time period that showed any sort of affection. They were all very stoic in photos back then.
    Thank you for sharing,

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