Frances M. Watson (McKinney)
When they moved to Columbus from L.A. she went to work at the Bibb Mill back then mill work was what brought L.A. people up north. The pay was good and the benefits good but the conditions were dirty, hot and sometimes dangerous. The work was hard but she worked everyday whether sick or tired , unless she got injured by one of the looms, the looms used what amounted to a really large projectiles to move the threads around and I've seen her bruised and battered several times. I know of at least once when a looms ripped her dress off and beat her up badly. She would still work on a lesser job if able because back then the mills preached hours worked without lost time so if she was there it wouldn't count against them.
Mamma didn't drive until I was I guess 7 or 8 years old maybe later so our Friday night shopping trips downtown would be on the bus which had a stop on the corner close to our house. I would wait at the corner until I saw it coming and go get her so she didn't have to stand at the stop, I did mention she was tired a lot. When we got downtown we would walk for hours to all of the stores that we wanted to visit and finally eat at one of the downtown eateries, The Orange Bowl was awesome because they had these huge spheres of orange juice swirling around that mesmerized me, I didn't get out much so I loved it.
When she did start driving I remember her misadventures like they were yesterday we had a 62 Galaxie 500 4 door that was her car and while it was a great car it struggeled at times to understand her uniqe driving style which at times led to getting stuck on the concrete parking dividers at the Lewis Jones on Hamiton road or when she felt the brakes weren't right slaming it into park while moving. She never wanted to understand technology she just wanted it to work right which lasted right thru her remote control tv days.
She worked hard and long to make sure we had everything we needed and I always had nice cloths and was clean and neat as the schools would put it but in later years I would tell her I would have traded all that for more time when she wasn't so tired. During the week she would come in and hit the bed as soon as she got home and she had headaches a lot I remember so we didn't do much during the week. Most nights me and her would eat something simple out of the cabinet or a sandwich of some kind but she would always cook for my daddy which meant she stayed up until past 11 pm when he got home to feed him then get up at 5:30 to get ready for work the next morning. Looking back that had to have been hard on her but she did it because that's what she was supposed to do in her book.
She stuck by my daddy thru some bad times which I want go into but most women wouldn't have because that's what you supposed to do when you got married. He made her life hard sometimes but she stuck it out until the end. She would always say it was for me but I think she really loved him because after he died she never had boyfriend or suitor and she was still reatively young at the time. I do believe he loved her too but just had issues that had little to do with loving my mamma and more to do with his early life. But still the message here is she stuck by him and that's what was amazing.
When she came to Columbus she brought my grand parents with her and the house we had was a duplex so they had a side and so did we. When mamma went back to work after a difficult pregnancy with me my grand parents were there to take care of me. I think her going back while still weak may have set the stage for her tiredness later anyway when I was little I spent more time with my grandmamma and granddaddy that my parents, and we had maids back then to help cook and clean, I think I thought that my grandmamma was my mamma I must have a really confused little boy but I just knew that in that house somebody was always there to love me and care for me and multiples of love aint bad in my book. She didn't want my grand parents to work so she supported them until their deaths and they never wanted for anything that was who my mamma was she loved her family.
After my daddy died we tried to move her in with us for a while but it just didn't work out because while opposites attract likes repell and mamma and my wife are very similar no matter what either one admitted to. We just didn't want her to be alone because when I was young she was basically scared of everything. Her last house was more of a prison than a home with all of the burgular bars on it I was more afraid of her not getting out if something happen than somebody getting in but it made her feel more safe. Her and one my aunts started rotating nights at each others house which was good for both as during the day they were okay but the nights scared them. Daddy bought mamma a gun which she would put in her house coat pocket sometimes especially during out bad times in the seventies when there were riots in Columbus, I preferred a 2x4 split down the middle, she wouldn't have fired it if she had to I doubt and im glad she never had to. When I was in high school and had a late football game I would walk home some nights from Jordan so she didn't have come pick me up. Anyway her preferred weapon later in life was an axe that she kept behind the door in the room she slept in which was in the middle of the house and on a couch not a bed.
She loved her family when one of her sisters needed a place to stay for a little while she always made them welcome some of my daughters fond memories are sitting in the floor, playing records and singing along for mamma and my aunt Lorene when she stayed with mamma. Just as she did with her parents she wanted to be there for her siblings and it worked out great for their kids as they knew their mammas were in good hands and they could go on with their lives).
She loved her grandkids when they came along and tried to do anything they wanted while they were around her and Angela did the girlie stuff and she would throw little plastic balls to Zack to hit. When I cleaned out her closet in her room last year I found stuffed animals and dolls that were left over from those days and had been forgotten.When she was needed to pick them up from school for some reason she never had anything better to do than that . She always tried to make school functions and show her support whether Angelas singing and dancing or Zacks baseball games. She had clippings put back from anything she could and when I found them they showed the signs of many unfoldings and refoldings. Family was all she lived for I can see know.
She always wanted to look nice, not fancy or glamouros but nice she did it for herself not to impress anybody. She wanted good cloths and shoes but it was because they would last longer than. She loved her gaudy jewelry big beads and broachs and earrings were all she wanted gold and silver never appealed to her. The one piece of jewelry that meant the most to her was the ring we had made for her with our birth stones in it. When she came out of her final surgery and woke up the first thing she asked for was her ring I kept it in my pocket the whole time she was in the hospital and nursing home and would let her visit with it but didn't want to leave it for fear of something happening to it. I put it back on her finger when we brought her home until it just got too big and tape wouldn't even hold it on. It fell off one last time during a respit and they put it in an envelope with her name and room number and its still it today.
When she was still able she always wanted a little garden with tomatos and such and she loved pretty flowers. There was mum that was still growing out side of her window at her old house the last time looked she didn't plant it its one I had got her and she didn't feel like planting it so she just put it outside of her widow in the flower bed and it took root and came back for years. She loved to watch humming birds and at various times I would get her a feeder which I would eventually run out and ruin I never had time for that it seems well ive got time know and I wish I could see those hummingbirds again.
She was a great cook and from the time me and Kathy got married we ate with her atleast once a week it started out being because she knew we didn't have much money when we were starting out and wanted to help us then just never stopped. She loved doing it and we loved eating it peas and beans and corn and cornbread and baked ham and always something sweet as she put it. Damn what I would give for a chunk of that ham again but. We continued that tradition well past when it should have stopped and we only quit doing when finally found out it was wearing her out to do it but she never really said so until I finallt noticed one day and the cooking stopped. We still went on Saturday but know it was Mcdonalds or KFC but we were still there and that continued until we got the store and then the Saturdays stopped looking back now I know that had to hurt her but I didn't think about that then just myself. I still had somebody go by and check on her either Angela or my daughter in law Megan sometimes Kathy but I see know it wasn't the same. The first thing I would do on Saturday and Sunday when I got home was call to check on her and she would want to talk and I wouldn't really want to so I would make up a reason to get off as soon as I could I still went to her house every day during the week but the weekends were now lonely for her I see know.
Her arthritis was really bad the last few years and one time her doctor left town and she didn't have a new one by the time she told me she could barely move, she was allergic to pain until the end, and if it hurt she wouldn't move got her a new doctor and that helped but damage had been done by not moving because of pain and shegan to fall a lot it took an act off congress to get her to use a walker and she didn't sometimes which led to falls and injuries towards the end of her time at her house I even got her a motor chair but it was hard for her to steer around and only got used a couple of times its still at her house. She had a hard time getting up so I got her a lift chair I thought she could even sleep in when I finally sent it back it was still brand new, too complicated she said. She never fully recovered from her last bad fall and due too inactiveity caused by pain got weaker and weaker. I tried to keep her pain down with advil which is probably what caused the hole in her stomach and hence the major surgery on a 90 yearold woman lots of time in the hospital followed by a terrible nursing home experience which brought us to you guys.
To sum it up
She loved family, sometimes a little too much
She loved to cook
She always wanted to look nice
She had lots of pain in her life
She had fears early in life but later learned to deal with them
She blessed a lot of people just by being there
She really did have a wonderful life and now shes pain free at last
Food was a great way of saying hello
First and foremost babies make everything better
After my daddy died she always would say her biggest fear was dying alone and no one finding her. The one thing I did right was make the not dying alone happen when she died those she held dearest were there with her and always will be. I held her hand watched her last breath and totally lost it
You know Im not religious but I will thank God til the day I die for what you and Sandy and Jennifer and Mishell and Tanya and Yolanda and even Linda in her own way brought to mammas life and mine. I know you guys deal with this daily which I cant imagine doing but Columbus Hospice is now a part of my family and I love all of you.
I loved that old woman more than words could ever say
You are, and were loved, and will be missed. Every time I make a salmon patty, you will be there. Salmon patties, mashed potatoes, english peas, and a concert in the floor.... Memories I will cherish, and treasure forever. Rest peacefully, and remember that you are remembered, and with us always. You gave all of yourself for everyone else, now rest.
Thanks for the memories of sweet Aunt Frances. She loved her family so much. She was so blessed to have such a caring son and daughter-in-law. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Thanks for the great pictures and memories of our sweet Aunt Frances. She loved her family so much. She was so blessed to have a caring son and daughter-in-law. Our thoughts and prayers are with you
Great pictures of a wonderful and caring woman. I know you will miss her greatly, Dewey and Kathy. How lucky she was to have you both to love and care for her. God bless. Patti