Summary: This is a eulogy for a woman who was not heavily involved in church, but was a pillar of love to her family.
In a very small town, in the heart of Alabama, in the year 1909, God sent a little bundle of life and potential to John and Colevia Jeter, and they called that little bundle Rosia. That’s about as close to a rose as you can get. She lived a life with all the beauty of the flower that you can hear pronounced in her name. Rosia was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a friend and a gift to the world from God above.
Rosia was the work of God’s creation, and as beautifully as God created her to be, she has returned to her Creator. She now stands before God, to give an account for the life that she lived, as we must all one day give an account. For all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
The Bible tells us, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. A time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to hope and a time to give up, a time for joy and a time for pain, a time to be born and a time to die. The one experience that is common to us all is death. It is as common and as natural as all the other things done under the sun.
We all have a certain number of days to live and our joys and struggles are different. But in the end we all come to the place that is called death, and from that point we look back and see what happened during our lives. Who was this person that the world knew as Rosia Walker.
Well her kids gave these words to describe her. Sweetest, nicest, caring, gorgeous, strong, loveable, backbone of the family, wild, best cook in the neighborhood, great counselor, and generous.
Life was not always easy for Rosia. As a child she lost her eyesight for a period of time, but God restored her sight at age 12. As a child she had an opportunity that none of us can have today. She had the privilege of listening to her grandmother whom she greatly loved, admired and adored. Her grandmother had been a slave, and she gave Rosia a first hand account of what life had been like for a slave. Rosia could listen to her grandmother for hours on end as she shared the experiences of her life. It was probably in listening to her grandmother that she gained the wisdom to be a good listener and counselor later in life.
God grants us life for the purpose of becoming all that He intended for us to be. He gives us all unique talents, gifts and abilities to have an impact on the lives of others. One of the talents God gave to Rosia was the ability to cook. She took that gift and turned it into a way to express love to her family and to her community. Rosia was known throughout for those famous rolls that she could cook. The rolls have been known to melt in your mouth. She could fry apples and chickens in a way that brought a touch of heaven’s food down to earth.
Food played an important part in her life. It was while working around food that she met the love of her life. She was working in her Dad’s restaurant when in came a man by the name of Albert. Albert kept showing up to get coffee and to get food even when he was neither thirsty nor hungry. Albert confessed it was not the good food that kept bringing him back to the restaurant, but rather that good looking waitress. Albert would later tell his kids, the moment he saw Rosia working in the restaurant, he knew that she would one day be his wife.
I don’t know what he did to capture her heart, but capture it he did and they spent 43 years of marriage together. Together they built a small tribe with eight of their own children. But do not be deceived by the number eight. At one time there were almost 22 of them in the household with the grandkids and other family members. But even the number 22 does not tell the full extent of their love, because it does not include all the neighborhood children who were drawn into the family because of Rosia’s love. She truly had the gift of hospitality with an open door and an open heart. They may not have had a lot of money, but they were some of the richest people in Cleveland in terms of what really matters in a home.
Now do not confuse her love and gentleness with being a pushover. All you have to do is ask her kids about what type of disciplinarian she was. If she said you were on punishment for two weeks, she was a woman of her word. You got the full two weeks. If you tried to ask for a shortened term, you automatically got an extension. It paid to simply do your time and keep your mouth shut.