Mother’s Day means going to church with mom

Published 10:53 am Saturday, May 8, 2010

SEDLEY—Leatha Whitley can always count on one thing for Mother’s Day.

Her seven children traditionally make it home to Sedley to take her to church.

“We take up more than three pews,” Whitley said.

Making it to this Sunday’s, May 9, service at Sedley Baptist Church for Mother’s Day may be difficult. The 88-year-old widow of Julian Whitley said she hasn’t been feeling well.

“I have to go in a wheelchair if I go,” Whitley said.

Despite that, daughter Nett Boyce of Sedley said the best effort will be made to get her mom to church.

“I hope we’ll be able to do it,” the 60-year-old Boyce said.

The Mother’s Day tradition began more than 15 years ago, said son David Whitley of Capron.

“My mother and father always wanted the kids to be with them on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day,” said David Whitley, parts manager for Blake Ford in Franklin. “Normally everybody does go and they bring their spouses.”

“We love it,” Boyce added. “We do it just for her because we love her. That’s the most special thing she would have us do for Mother’s Day.”

This Sunday Leatha Whitley, who has 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, will be joined by David Whitley, Boyce and son Ronnie Whitley, 59, of Courtland.

Daughters Shirley Coggsdale, 65, of Tampa, Fla.; Patsy Butler, 64, of Colerain, N.C.; Linda Johnson, 61, of Courtland; and Jean Barrett, 51, of Windsor will not make it.

After the church service, the family meets at their mother’s home of 47 years for a potluck lunch.

“We always go back to my mother’s and have a big dinner,” David Whitley said. “All of us. Each one of the kids brings something. She loves for the kids to get together and for us to share a meal and old stories.”

“This year, we might cook hamburgers on the grill,” Boyce added.