I would be highly remiss to not give credit where much credit is due. It is my pleasure and privilege to share with you about my mom, Jean McGauley, the Original Domestic Chick.
When you know someone for 50 years and have built a lifetime of experiences, it’s hard to pick out all her skills and talents, but I’ll highlight as many as possible.
I normally ask our Profile Women what their first job and worst job was — I know that my mom grew up on a cotton, tobacco, and vegetable farm, so that was her first job. She was the oldest of five, so I’m sure she helped take care of her siblings too. Her mom, my maternal grandmother, was an awesome lady with many talents and skills too. My grandmother would rise at 4 am to make breakfast for up to 20 people that worked on the farm as well as my grandfather and uncles. She taught me how to churn butter and how to make biscuits. She would also make lunch for my grandfather and uncles and then she would settle in to watch her “shows,” aka soap operas. But in addition to all of this, she was also a florist and had her own shop.
But my mom was very talented as well. She lettered in basketball in high school, and also lettered in Library (still not sure what that is about). She went to nursing school and was courted by my dad, who eventually won her heart and asked her to marry him. They moved to Washington, D.C. and she worked as a home visit nurse, helping new moms learn how to take care of their babies. Her skills began to bloom and blossom! She led the women’s group at our church, she ran events for charitable organizations, she redecorated her home, and had three amazing children. 🙂 I vividly remember “bridge nights” at our house, where my mom would entertain people for every occasion and make them feel welcome in our home. She did that for many years, often inviting people for Thanksgiving and Christmas that would otherwise have no place to be. She was a whiz at stretching food, as it seemed that there was always plenty, regardless of how many unexpected guests showed up. She cooked, she cleaned, she cared about people. She worked in the new members class at our church for over 20 years, and without fail, every Thursday night and Saturday morning, she would be on the phone to invite people to the new members class or check up on the ladies that attended the bible study she led — like, for years she did this. I don’t know another person that invested herself so deeply in the lives of other people. She never met a stranger and talked to most people she saw. And she worked in a question about if they knew Jesus as she could. She also personally counseled and mentored many women.
My mom passed away on Christmas Eve, 2017. Pulmonary fibrosis was a battle too tough to win. But she passed much like she lived; there was a constant stream of friends in and out in the 11 days that she was in the hospital for the last time. She was surrounded by family who loved her after a life well-lived.
She was a…
Sunday School teacher, bible study group leader, new members class leader, hospitality expert, loving and patient mom, friend to many, mentor to many, patient and loving wife, dedicated nurse, talented painter (of interior rooms), excellent gardener, excited and dedicated grandmother, fashionable dresser, general all-around extremely hard worker, and best of all, she lived her life to the fullest and made each day count. She always thought about other people more than herself, and just because something had never been done before never stopped her from trying.
Proverbs 31: 29 -31 says it best: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
I don’t have a city gate, but I do have a blog. Thanks, Mom, for being exactly who you were and loving me so well.