Motherhood provides Poole with fond memories
When Mother’s Day rolls around on Sunday, 82-year-old Mary Elizabeth Brown Poole will probably hold the county record for receiving the most Mother’s Day cards and well wishes.
She and her late husband Charles, who she was married to for 48 years, will be known for extending their family tree by multiple generations.
Poole gave birth to four children. Her son Charles Poole and daughter Diane Foster made her the grandmother of seven children - Ryan, Lance, Lucas, Eli, Katie, Kevin and Kody- and the great grandmother of 10 children - Dason, Kolt, Kolby, Tylan, Emrie, Dawson, Brooks, Mason, Rylan, and MacKenzie.
Poole had one child who died at birth and a son, Joe, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 55.
Since Joe was born with Down syndrome, it was his life that, in many ways, set the path for hers.
Poole was born and raised in Hart County. She grew up in the Eagle Grove community and graduated from Hart County High School in 1954.
As a teenager, she worked for Gallant Belk and then, after graduation, worked for Hart REA (now Hart EMC).
But, when she became a parent she also became a stay-at-home mom until the children were in kindergarten.
She later took a position working with the mentally and physically handicapped at Hart Franklin Service Center, which is now Avita, and worked there for 27 years until she retired. When Joe graduated from HCHS, he became a client where his mother worked and continued with Avita throughout his adult life.
Poole says losing Joe was one of the most difficult things she had to deal with as a parent because he was with her so many years.
“Everybody knew Joe,” Poole said.
And, although there has been sadness in her life, there has also been an overwhelming amount of joy.
“Charles and I supported the children in any activities they participated in,” Poole said. “We taught them to just do your very best in what you do. There were times when we needed to do a lot of explaining that it is important to accept not winning.”
Poole says she also remembers a lot of ballgames that took place in their back yard.
“Sometimes everybody had an opinion on things going wrong in the game,” she said. “I would call them together and tell them, ‘Let’s all go home for an hour and come back when everybody is happy to restart the game.’ This worked well and I used this one more than once.”
Over the years, Poole has remained active in a number of churches, although she has been a member of Bethesda United Methodist Church of Hartwell since she was 11 years old.
In addition, she has a widow’s group that she fellowships with every Friday.
She now lives alone in her home but never really feels alone.
“Douglas and Diane are always a call away and they check on me daily,” she said. “I depend on God and Jesus Christ in my daily life.”