Eula Lee "Dee" Polk Hedgepeth
Ken and I live on Hall's Creek on his family's farm. I wanted to share a post about his mother who lived in the house we live in now. She left quite a legacy....
When Mama Dee was a child, her little brother, “Bud," couldn't say Eula Lee, so he just called her Dee. That name stayed with her throughout her life. Her grandchildren all called her Mama Dee, as did I, her baby son's wife. She was my mother-in-law, my children's grandmother, my husband’s mother, and a dear Christian lady. She died on May 8, 1991 of complications from a stroke. This is her story.
She married young and had 4 children, two boys and two girls. My husband is the youngest and was born later in her life, around age 41. She was widowed in her early 50's and struggled to raise her young son by herself. She never learned to drive a car, which the family says was a good thing because she was quite "spastic" behind the wheel. She finally graduated from high school at age 65 when she got her G.E.D. She wanted to show her children and grandchildren that education is valuable and you're never too old to learn.
She was the ultimate hostess and the definition of southern hospitality. She never minded company dropping by. If you came to her house, you had to have a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea and a bite of some homemade goodies. If you would agree to stay long enough, she would whip up a whole meal - fried chicken, peas and corn from the freezer, home-canned string beans, biscuits, cornbread, sweet tea and some kind of pie. I can smell it cooking now!
Mama Dee was devoted to her church, Carmel Baptist Church. She taught a Sunday School Class all of her life. She tithed every week from her meager income she earned by working at a garment factory in town. She was a woman of prayer and was a prayer partner for many pastors and religious leaders in the community. She was poor by the world's standards, but rich by God's.
She never traveled far from the place where she was born in Lawrence County, Mississippi, but she tried to make a difference in her world. Not long ago, a lady who worked with her at the garment factory many years ago told us that Mama Dee led her to Christ, kneeling right in the aisle between the sewing machines! There's no telling how many people she witnessed to and prayed with to accept Jesus. Not only did she influence her world directly, but her daughters both married Baptist preachers, her oldest son was a Baptist preacher, and her baby son, my husband, is a Worship Minister. Many of the grandchildren are also ministers. What a wide reaching influence from a woman who never even learned to drive!
This world’s definitions of greatness and success are not the same as God’s. God created us all for a specific purpose in His world. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God prepared a simple life for my mother-in-love that included raising four godly children who would go on to serve Him and raise their own children to be believers who are serving in the Kingdom. I thank God for my sweet mother-in-love and I only hope and pray that I can leave the same kind of legacy that she did.