Caroline Gardener - a woman of God
On August 8, 1940 Amos and Adlyn Davis welcomed their daughter Caroline into their hearts and the world.
She was the 14th child of 17. Since then, the little village of Roses Valley in St Elizabeth has been touched by the life of this remarkable woman, Caroline Gardener who has been eulogised as a true woman of God. Gardener was a devout Christian and she has been lauded as one of the founding members of the Bethabra Baptist Church. She credited her faith in God and her involvement in church with all her successes. She often boasted that when she stopped going to school because of the teasing she received because of her hearing impediment, it was at Sunday school that she learnt to read and write.
'Stacarrie' as she was affectionately called, believed in giving. She made her livelihood from farming but some persons believed that she gave away more of her produce than she sold. Her meals were always prepared with enough to spare for passers-by. Her apron pockets always had sweets which she generously shared. She gave not only what she had but gave of herself as well. She enjoyed her duty of cleaning the church. She always had an encouraging word. Even when she became indigent those who visited her always left with a renewed spirit.
Gardener had a special gift; she had a discerning spirit which was sustained by her deep spiritual life in Christ. She could often tell when something was going to happen even before it did. This was often a marvel, especially to unbelievers. She was also feared and revered because if you did anything wrong, whenever you visited her she was able to tell you. However, she was never judgemental.
Her union with Mr Laddy Gardener produced six children. They extended the line to include 15 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Her husband, one child and 15 siblings predeceased her.
On August 19, 2016 Caroline Gardener wrote the final line in that chapter of her life but her footprints remain to guide those who will follow in her path.