On this day in history, November 10,1925, a baby girl was born in Butler County, Kentucky. She was the third of seven children. However, her birth went unnoticed by the world. Nor will it be listed among the important events on this day.
While her upbringing was simple and unsophisticated their family was close-knit, bathed in love, and based on Christian values and virtues. When she turned 18, she moved to Indianapolis to work in a factory. There she met the man of her dreams, would marry, quit work and begin a family. She would be unknown to anyone outside of her immediate family and friends. She would be a homemaker and help her husband in carving out a middle class lifestyle.
But her life made a profound difference in my life and many others. You see, she was Mom. Born 90 years ago today, Mattie Katherine Key, passed from this life on December 29, 2009. So, today allow me a little time to reflect and reminisce on my Mom’s legacy.
Legacy often implies a monetary inheritance or personal property. In actuality it is anything handed down from the past. What I have received is much more valuable than any estate or amount of money.
There is the legacy of Biblical values. Values that glorify God. Values that bless other people. Values that provide purpose. This kind of legacy is lasting. So many things in life are fleeting, changing, and transitory. But Biblical values provide a lasting legacy because they offer stability. And they teach personal responsibility.
The legacy that has been passed to me was founded in proper priorities. I was taught that work came before recreation. People are more important than things. The spiritual is more significant than the material. My Mom did not need a Harvard education to understand these values. She learned them in a rural Kentucky county. At home. At church. In the community. They are firmly fixed in an ethic that is decidedly Biblical.
When Mom met my Dad, Roy Weliever, she influenced him to become a Christian. Later he would serve as a Deacon, then an elder in the church. With Mom at his side, he taught many people the gospel. In fact, one winter, I remember Raymond Harris telling me that Dad was personally responsible for 11 people being baptized.
My Mom’s influence was reminiscent of her Mom’s impact on their family. Mom told me once how that Granny Key would have the children gather around in the evening and she would read the Bible. She set an example of Christianity in the home. An example to my Mom and her siblings. To my Papaw. To those in the community who knew her. It was an example of kindness, service and spiritual devotion. One that Mom continued in our family that impacted my father, my brother, Bill, and me.
Today, I see her legacy living on in the lives of our children, Kenny and Rachél, and their sons Miles and Roy. I am reminded of her influence as I minister, preach the gospel, and share the Word through this blog.
Many young people who were Florida College friends of Kenny and Rachél have eaten in her home, spent the night, and affectionately called her MaMaw, have also felt her influence.
Within me is a desire to see my Mom and wish her a happy birthday. But I am comforted and glad that she can enjoy her spiritual inheritance from the Lord.
Indeed, “A good (woman)leaves an inheritance to (her) children’s children” (Prov 13:22).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman