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The Dart: Family gathers at the pool on Mother’s Day

illy Fitt, from left, holds Leighton Fitt, 5 months, and Josh Fitt holds Levi Fitt, 5 months, as they swim in the pool with Olivia Parker, 2. Rebecca Parker, Keisha Fitt and Jared Parker sit on the side of the pool during a family get together for Mother’s Day. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

illy Fitt, from left, holds Leighton Fitt, 5 months, and Josh Fitt holds Levi Fitt, 5 months, as they swim in the pool with Olivia Parker, 2. Rebecca Parker, Keisha Fitt and Jared Parker sit on the side of the pool during a family get together for Mother’s Day. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — For Essie Donald, family has always come first.

Luckily for Donald, her family has remained close and when The Dart landed on Eleanor Avenue in Vidalia, that closeness was on full display as her family came together at Donald’s daughter Teressa Reynolds’ house for Mother’s Day.

The gathering included four generations of their family to celebrate three generations of mothers. They ate cake, mingled and swam in the pool.

Donald, 86, watched from the side of the pool and sipped sweat tea as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren played in it.

“It’s a blessing,” she said, “that we all live close together and are able to come together like this.”

“A lot of problems could be solved if we all stayed living close together,” she said, speaking of families in general.

Even though the day was a joyous occasion for Donald, it was not void of her ever-present feelings of loss.

She recently lost her husband of 63 years, Johnnie Donald.

But looking out at the family around her makes things easier.

“We made a good family together and having them around helps,” she said.

The family is always together on holidays and because of their close proximity to one another they spend a lot of time together between holidays.

“It has been great for the kids because they got to know their grandparents and their cousins,” Reynolds said.

For Reynolds and her three daughters, the day holds other significance outside of Mother’s Day.

“The house is up for sale,” she said.

“It might be the last family get together we have here.”

In the house, Reynolds and her husband Eddie Reynolds raised their three daughters and it sits a symbol of memories and other such family gatherings.

“But there are still many more memories to makes in a new place,” Reynolds said.

 

 

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