A special person left us this past week and I wanted to share the story her family wrote of her. She is the mother of my "adopted" brother David. Sometimes, you go find a family when the one you have, lets you down. Thank you Ida, from the "Cabbage Patch".
On Sunday morning, Ida Mae, Our Mother, Our Sister, Our Grandmother, Our Friend, God's special child, left us to be with her heavenly Father. Before she left this earth, she left us with her greatest gifts: courage, love and her beautiful smile. Ida made her entrance into the world on May 18, 1941. She was the seventh and youngest child born to Walter and Lillian Wilkins. She was born in Detroit, Michigan and lived in various surrounding cities until she settled down in Flint, Michigan where she met and married Elsworth Jones her husband for 4 years. She later met and married Ernest Johnson her husband of 18 years. Ida graduated from Flat Rock High School in 1959.
Ida loved life. She loved her family. She loved spending time with friends, playing cards, traveling and she especially loved to dance. Ida's proudest accomplishments were her sons (Isaac, Gary and Dave) and her job at GM Buick in Flint, Michigan. She worked hard to build a good life for her sons, so when she got the job at GM she took enormous pride in going to work every day and being able to provide for her family. She was there for 12 years before retiring. Ida loved everyone. There wasn't a person she met that she didn't love and she had a way of making each person feel special.
She was so very generous with her time, her possessions and her heart. She unselfishly shared her gifts (gifts from God - her sons, her smile, her love and her concern towards others). Ida touched everyone who happened to have been so blessed to be part of her life. As the song says "in all things we must count them as joy", and that is exactly what Ida did everyday of her life. Throughout her many trials and tribulations, she didn't complain about the pain, she didn't complain about her physical disability, she didn't complain! Her life, love, joy, sorrows, and pain is truly a testament of courage and humility.
Ida was diagnosed with MS while she was in the prime of her life. She lived with the disease for over 20 years, but she never gave up. Ida accepted Christ early in life and because of her unwavering belief and faith she persevered lovingly, persistently, with courage and with a smile. God knows all his children and God entrusted Ida to minister courage, strength and love despite her challenges with MS, because He knew that she could; He knew that she would; He knew Ida Mae. She proved to be an obedient servant. She fulfilled God's purpose for her life. It's like Ida sprinkled magical gold dust on all those she came in contact with, except it's not magical gold dust, they are miracles from God that Ida hand delivered and sprinkled on all of us. So, whenever you need courage remember Ida.
Whenever someone you know needs a helping hand, remember Ida. Whenever a stranger comes into your life, remember Ida. Whenever you remember Ida, remember her beautiful smile and the gifts she shared.
Ida leaves to celebrate her life and cherish her memory: sons, Isaac Lockhart (wife Delphine), Gary Pennyman and David Jones; stepchildren, Veronica Johnson and Ernest Johnson Jr.; siblings, Walter Wilkins Jr., Bernice Washington, Elora Hill, Leon Wilkins, Beatrice Phillips (who preceded her in death) and Jay White (who preceded her in death); grandchildren, Isaac Lockhart, Deandre, Shmeia, Asiah and Ashley Pennyman; daughter in Heart, Marlene (Lynn) Hicks; godmother, Grace Abernathy (who preceded her in death); and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends including special friends, Caroline Davis, Brenda Johnson, Cynthia Simpson, Preston Urshery Jr., Viola Asbury and The Court St. Villiage Family; Gwen Marks, the Helping Hands staff, A-Z Home Healthcare; Doctors A. Raffee, G. Forstall and T. Reznick.