Ingram held family together

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lillie Mae Ingram was known affectionately by her six children and 22 grandchildren as &8220;Granny Go-Go.&8221;

&8220;Mom was elderly in age but young in body and in heart,&8221; youngest son Jimmy Ingram said.

But neither her energy nor her heart was enough to save her on May 30, 2003.

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Ingram, 79, was hit by a drunk driver that day while she was trying to make a left turn on U.S. 84 in Vidalia in front of the Dodge Store.

Jimmy was following his mom in another vehicle. He saw the whole thing.

After the crash, he punched out the passenger&8217;s-side window, crawled in and held his mother&8217;s head up to keep her neck straight while he waited for the paramedics.

He refused to leave her side even when the fire department was trying to use the jaws-of- life to get her out.

Ingram died in the accident.

Shortly after the funeral, Ingram&8217;s granddaughter, Sandy Robison requested that a memorial be made and placed near the site of the accident.

A white cross, decorated with two smaller, gold crosses and a simple arrangement of red roses &8212; Ingram&8217;s favorite &8212; sits in the median now.

&8220;Our greatest loss, besides losing our mother in this incident, was that mother was the bond that held this family together,&8221; Jimmy said. &8220;And we lost that bond.&8221;

Ingram&8217;s daughter, Patsy Crocker, has had a difficult time moving on from the death of her mother.

&8220;I can&8217;t tell you how I&8217;ve coped because I really haven&8217;t yet,&8221; Crocker said. &8220;I have tried to move past the pain but somehow it just resurfaces.&8221;

Ingram was very involved with her family, especially during the holidays.

She had boundless energy and a willingness to go wherever her family needed her, they said.

&8220;Holidays were mother&8217;s favorite,&8221; Jimmy said. &8220;Momma seemed to get everybody, the grandchildren, the children and the great-grandchildren together for the holidays.&8221;

Jimmy and Patsy also remember their mother as very selfless.

&8220;When Matt (Jimmy&8217;s oldest grandson) was born, mother drove all the way from Jonesville in the rain to witness her great-grandson being born at Natchez Regional,&8221; Crocker said.

&8220;It could be 2 a.m. and you could be burning up with a fever and momma would be knocking on the door to take care of you,&8221; Jimmy said.

Crocker said her mother was a very forgiving person and, if alive today, would forgive the driver who hit her car.

&8220;Mother would find it in her heart to forgive, but she would expect that person to straighten up and live a godly life,&8221; Crocker said.

Jimmy said his mother was raised in a strict Pentecostal family and never drank in her life.

&8220;I don&8217;t have anything against anybody having a social drink,&8221; Jimmy said. &8220;But even with a social drink, have a friend who hasn&8217;t drank take you home.&8221;

Jimmy said the family thought about taking the memorial down as part of moving on, but Crocker left it up to him, so he decided to leave it up as a reminder.

&8220;Everybody that goes into that store to buy a beer should know why that cross is there,&8221; Jimmy said.

&8220;I don&8217;t want to throw stones or even try to get even (with the driver). I just want the public to see what loss a family can go through because of someone drinking and driving.&8221;