Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes


On Sunday afternoon, March 21st, mom left her house in Bellbrook, Ohio…the one she had lived in for 55 years…for regions beyond. Her story began 85 years ago when she was born to John and Icy Reffitt in Mt. Sterling, KY. She honored her parents and did them proud all the days of her life. Mom did not eat the bread of idleness. She had a house-full of children to care for. Looking back I remember that one of my earliest impressions of mom was what a hard worker she was. Too bad it didn’t occur to me to be of more help to her.

She came from the country and big city living wasn’t for her. That’s how we came to live in the village of Bellbrook. It was indeed a good and safe place in which to grow up. I  have no doubt at all…that it was due to my mom’s persistence…resistance…and insistence that our little house remained ours through all the years. Mom worked in all sorts of ways to keep the wolves away from the door.

She raised five children on meager funds…and I don’t believe any of us ever felt we were poor. To this day, I would just as soon have ham-seasoned pinto beans and dumplings with real southern cornbread (not sweet) as to have a filet mignon. Every fall we went to school in new clothes for which she had scrimped and saved. I would get new blue jeans from JC Penney’s…as well as a shirt or two…and always a pair of US Keds. It almost made going to school worthwhile in my child’s mind. Almost.

She believed in taking care of strays and helping anyone down on their luck. She believed in paying her bills and speaking the truth. The children of Sarah Oakes knew the difference between right and wrong even if we failed to choose the right over the wrong.

I am so grateful that there came a day in her life when she said “Yes” to Jesus Christ. Her commitment of faith later gave me the opportunity to do the same. That has made all the difference in my life.

Mom’s life wasn’t easy. There were many obstacles…some of which I could see and understand…others I could not. I’m convinced she did the best she could. My one remaining sister who served mom with extreme devotion, beyond duty’s call for many years…and my one remaining brother who loved and was loved by mom and was quick to bring her flowers and gifts and help any way he could…and I…are what my mom left behind to remember her…to carry on the good stuff…and to try, as she did, to help someone else along the way. We three pause to thank God for our hard-working mom who loved us the best she could.

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4 thoughts on “Mom

  1. Sarah Elizabeth Oakes was Our Mother. She would talk up in church (especially I remember Mid-County – Troy) or like Sunday School (not during a church worship) and say how Proud she was of her Children…all of them. It would embarrass me some ’cause I was younger and did not want attention drawn to me. Now I am glad I have the memory of that from Our Mother. She truly Loved all her children. That is what she lived for(US). I just found a few shiny marbles in a little plastic bag with a note inside from Mom saying, “I found these while working in my garden many years ago. These were my sons’ marbles, Doug, Allen, and Adrian, that they played with as children” Signed Mother. This brought some tears to my eyes. My
    Mother was like this. Mom has more things in her room and a hope chest that I know will bring great pride of what she kept about US and some more tears will be shed again when we find them.
    Doug is right about she was always about and around doing things for US and other people. It came 1st nature to her to do these things. Mother came from a Mother and Father who grew big gardens in Ky. and they shared their gardens with everyone around and not to make money (just to help and share). Sometimes they would take things to market to sell also. They also (her folks) would if there was a need to take in a child to live with them for some reason, they thought nothing of it.
    They helped take care of a few children that came from other parents that she told me about. Mother also learned from God to do good whenever you think to do a good thing. So Sarah Oakes’ Children learned from Mother and God that we should help people along the way and not to gain something back from it. Just Random Acts Of Kindness and I have seen us Reap from being like that as God BLESSED Us.
    I just read things on the inside and back of her Photo Albums that make me proud of being her’s. She has a lot of things written down that I had forgotten.
    We have a hope chest of Mom’s that she bought when she came to OH from Ky, and she told me in the last few yrs that she had some of her children’s clothes in it that they wore when they were little. I am going to look in that hope chest when I feel a little less tender of heart and missing her so much. I don’t know when the tender of heart will be less but I will wait awhile to do this.
    Mother was so proud of her Sons that preached and she got to hear them at times.
    One Xmas she got to hear Doug and Adrian preach a lesson on Xmas day (yrs ago) and she said that was the Best Xmas present she could have ever had that day.
    Allen never missed bringing Mom Flowers while she was alive and not waiting until someone dies to do that. I took many pictures with Mom laying down and her Valentine Day, Birthdays, Mother’s Day with Flowers by her bedside table. And
    she loved Buckeye Candy that I made for her and Esther Price Candy. The last few years when her Birthday came we made it more special than usual cause’ Mom was so tired of laying in the bed. We had some food and invited friends in the neighborhood. Her sister would come and some of her remaining family from Ky would come and this truly brought many smiles to her face.
    So I could go on and on but My Mother brought Smiles to our faces throughout her life because she could be funny and I think she just delighted whenever her children was around that brought the most Grand Smiles ever. When she saw us she Delighted in US, her CHILDREN FOREVER AND EVER.
    I appreciate the things Doug said about Mom in this Blog.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Mom did have a quick wit, didn’t she, sis? There’s no way for words to cover all the sacrifices she made for us, nor all the memories we have of her. I know this…the devotion she had for her children is still alive and well, in the devotion you have for those of us who yet remain of your family. And we are grateful for that. I love you, sis. I pray His comfort for you…every day.

  2. Email Girl on said:


    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your mom. What a lovely and honest tribute to her life you have shared. Thank you for sharing your rememberances of her life with us who read here. As always, I am blessed by your words.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment about my mom’s departure. I do appreciate it. Your insights are also a blessing to all of us who get to read what you share in your comments on this and other sites. May God bless you and use you to His glory and to your eternal welfare. Thanks, again.

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