Growing up, my sister Taunya and I spent a lot of time at “Aunt” Molly’s house. Molly and Madrew King lived up the hill from our house on Walnut Meadow Road and we visited there often. Although we were not kin, they were like family.
Aunt Molly was one of my first Sunday School teachers who taught me about Jesus at King’s Tabernacle and I still remember visiting their house for Sunday dinner after church. Aunt Molly had crippling arthritis and Madrew took care of her ever since I can remember.
I never knew of Aunt Molly driving a car, but she hardly missed a church service and Madrew made sure they made it to church. I can still see them driving around in that green Chevy Nova. Sometimes Taunya and I tagged along and enjoyed the ride to Lancaster to see their family members when we weren’t staying with our grandparents as Mom and Dad worked during the day to help provide a stable income for our family.
Summer days were spent on their farm helping in the garden or making mud pies in the driveway. We usually walked up the hill to their house, sometimes we would drive on that winding uphill driveway to get to their house. We went on short vacations together and we were all family. That’s just the way it was back then.
Aunt Molly left us a few years back and real life kicked in. The kids got older and Madrew got married and we all drifted a little, but I will never forget Madrew. She was always smiling, happy and enjoyed life to the fullest. Madrew and Mom always stayed in touch whether it was through church or on the phone. Madrew was always supportive of our family and she was like family to us.
I remember when I was 13 or 14, our house caught fire and Mom raced us up to Aunt Molly and Madrew’s house, while she and Dad tried to douse the flames. We were fearing the worst and just knew our house would go down. Aunt Molly and Madrew didn’t panic. Instead we all prayed and had faith that our house wasn’t going to burn.
I firmly believe prayer saved our house that night because that’s all we had to depend on. We lived in the country a few miles from Richmond and Berea. The water pressure on our spiket was barely enough to get a drink of water from, but God made sure there was enough pressure to keep our home from burning down. Dad just whispered, ‘oh, Lord help me,’ and he said the fire dissipated in an instant.
Simple faith on the hill and at our house that night was all it took and Aunt Molly and Madrew were right in the middle of it. That’s who they were and that’s the kind of neighbors we had.
Madrew passed away last week, but her smile, laugh, faith, and positive outlook won’t be forgotten.