I am filled to the brim with warm memories

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In my 13 years of living and working in Bainbridge, I have covered many events and written about many people from all walks of life.

This week I was reminded of one of the more memorable persons when I revisited the front page of the January 12, 2013, issue of The Post Searchlight. I saw the picture and read again the article about Judie Belvin written on the occasion of her 100th birthday.

Mother Belvin, as she is called by family and friends, passed away Sept. 5, 2016, at the age of 103. Her funeral was this past Saturday, and her family has placed her obituary in this edition of The Post Searchlight.

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As I reread the earlier story, I was filled with warm memories of the morning I spent visiting with this remarkable woman and the spirited conversation we had.

She was 100, living alone in her own home and caring for herself. She appeared to be in good health, both physically and mentally, “except for some arthritis” as she put it.

I was very impressed, not just by her longevity, but by the strength and positive attitude she displayed, and the courage she had exhibited in her life.

She married at age 17, bore 11 children, all delivered at home, and talked of never being in the hospital except for a few years ago when she was struck by a car that veered off the road as she was gathering her mail from the box.

She also spoke of how she supported herself and her seven children still living at home after her husband left her. She worked for the Nussbaum family for a while, but was best known for her sewing skills. A self-taught seamstress, she began sewing at age 8 and not only made clothes for herself and her children, but gained popularity and acclaim by making prom and wedding dresses and doing alterations for the general public. We recalled how dresses used to be made from feed sacks during the depression years.

She spoke of the history and people she had known in her early years in Bainbridge, and of the many changes she had seen in her lifetime. She spoke of the great depression years, which she said were the hardest. She made one comment that rang a bell with me, of how people today don’t seem to have time for each other the way they used to. They don’t take time to show love and have a conversation with each other in today’s world.

She worked hard and supported herself according to her father’s advice, which she quoted as, “Don’t go round beggin’, borrowin’ and stealin,’ but work for what you get and pay for what you want.”

We could all benefit from adopting a bit of her positive attitude.