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  • Writer's pictureAriel M. Pace

My Momma Named Lillie

As far as I remember, I always knew my grandmama’s name cause my momma says, “My momma named Lillie! L to the I to the LL-I-E”

That statement is not just a simple statement, but pride in a legacy left behind.

My grandma was known to be a classy little lady. She taught us how to be presentable.

Never pierced her ears but she had her clip-ons ready. Would own a collection of nail polish, but never red. Always wore Sunday’s best, and on a Monday if she wanted to.

Clothes clean & crisp her fancy hats so desirable. That was Lillie Mae.

So of course when I or my siblings stepped outside we knew we had to represent. If we ever protested why we heard “You represent me and My momma named


My grandma was known to be the top chef. Levels beyond Boyardee. He ain’t even close. She specialized in soul food & always put in her heart & her toes.

Breakfast and Dinner - you’d be too full for lunch.

On Thanksgiving - those sweet potato pies!!!!! Everybody got their own - or somebody’s getting punched. Kinda kiddin’

She taught her children to serve others and throw down cooking as well! Cause who’s finna go hungry? NOBODY.

Lillie Mae never wanted anybody hungry and dare I mention she wanted the children to eat WITH their drinks! That was Lillie Mae. Thank you, grandma!

When her children throw down in their kitchens, and it’s time to give credit where it’s due, they’d all say, “My momma named Lillie.”

My grandma always, always, always, rooted for the underdog because she never forgot how she came into this world. She’d say can’t is not a word but Can-do is here to stay! She’d make anyone believe that if you put your mind to it, you could do anything. That was Lillie Mae.

Her children or grandchildren including me, would not be here if that little lady, born smaller than Uncle Coot’s hand, didn’t live what she believed.

It’s an absolute miracle that anyone can say, “My momma named Lillie.”

As the miracle she was, my grandma was known to be an evangelist. And she was so happy to wear that title. She’d teach songs and repeat bible verses and I even heard she organized the BT Rose Choir.

She believed in John 14:14, if you ask anything in Jesus' name he would do it. What’s after “it.”A period. “That’s it! It’s a promise!” she’d say. That was Lillie Mae.

My grandma was amazing! She had a servant’s heart yet the voice of a commander. She was a pillar of strength and pointed to the One who’s grander. Her children could attest to this cause they momma named Lillie.

Although she was small, she was never afraid to stand up and fight! Never. Not even in her old age. Wouldn’t want to be around for a tongue whoopin’ or if she threatened to use that cane! That was also Lillie Mae. Feisty.

She wasn’t perfect here in this world but I know, I know, I know - she’s another soldier gone on home. Made perfect in Christ.

Many of you here and online celebrating her homegoing today may remember her role as momma, mentor, friend, sister, auntie, or you’re like me and she’s your grandma. In whatever role she played in your life, you got to meet a classy little lady, a great chef, a living miracle, a cheerleader for the underdog, and the feistiest evangelist you ever did see. And so much more!

Remember what she taught you, lift your head, and live it out with pride. Cause you know why?

Yo’ momma,

yo’ mentor,

yo’ friend,

yo’ sister,

yo’ auntie, and

yo’ grandmama named Lillie!

And you best not forget it.

I love you, grandma.

Thank you!


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