THE large congregation that overflowed the Elim Tabernacle Church of God in Cane Heap district, St Mary, on September 15 left the thanksgiving service for the life of Ivy May Walsh with many humorous recollections from her children and close friends of her penchant for discipline.
But that was not all; the 83-year-old also earned a reputation for providing for her 10 children, no matter how hard the times, and for being unwavering in her commitment to God and her church.
"Mama was a committed and dedicated woman of God to both her family and the Church," said one of Walsh's five daughters, Janet, in her tribute.
"While Mama had to care for her family, she found time to serve her church as Sunday School teacher... some of her students are here today. She was also a church mother. Indeed, she was a prayer warrior."
Describing her mother's love as immeasurable, Janet said Mama Ivy or Ivy Lue, (as she was known to some) firmly believed in the scripture that advised that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
"At times she did it out of nothing, thus releasing her blessings," said Janet, who also revealed that her mother consistently kept in touch with her siblings.
Mama Ivy was also remembered as an industrious woman of worth who had set days for specific chores.
Tuesday was ironing day. She would get out of bed early, sprinkle clothes with water, place them in a metal wash pan and stand for the entire day, ironing and ensuring that seams were perfect before putting the clothes away.
"It was joy to watch her," said Janet.
She also recalled that her mother would use another day to sew hats for her girls who would proudly model them at church.
Saturday was the day Mama Ivy instructed that her younger girls must clean the church hall.
"No matter how hesitant we were, before night it had to be done for worship the following day," said Janet.
She also recalled the fun times she and her siblings spent with their mother, tickling her on the sole of her feet or simply snuggling up beside her in bed for warmth and comfort.
"Those are unforgettable moments," she said.
The congregation also heard that a few weeks prior to Mama Ivy's passing she was heard praying for her children. "Lord," she said, "have mercy upon my children, you know them by name and by nature and so, Lord, I leave them in your care".
"We know that we will be well cared for as we know that Mama's prayers were always effective," said Janet .
"Momselle, Ivy, Mama, you fought a good fight and many battles for us. You ran the race with patience, even when we thought it was too hard for you. You held on to eternal life because you saw what was ahead of you. You now have us wondering how many stars God almighty will decorate your crown with for your faithfulness in Him.
"We love you, Ma. We promise that we will see you on that special day.
"May you now rest in peace, and life perpetual shine on you."
Janet's brother, Delroy, recalled how strict his mother was, as well as her ability for providing meals for her children from the simplest of provisions.
"If is even one roast banana, Mama would ensure that we got something to eat," he said, adding that she would use water and a little butter to cook whenever they had no cooking oil.
He also praised his mother for her faith, and said, "people who trust in God cannot be ashamed".
Elder KG Knibb, an ailing 93-year-old who defied his doctor's advice by attending the service, spoke of Mama Ivy's strong faith in God and praised her for her work on behalf of the church.
Ivy Walsh was interred in the family plot in the St Mary district.