Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
LINSTEAD, St Catherine:Reaching THE age of 100 is no easy feat. Therefore, when Seraphin Flowers of Mickleton Drive, Linstead, St Catherine, reached that significant milestone last Sunday, relatives, friends and well-wishers ensured that it didn't go unnoticed.
The auditorium at Dinthill Technical High School in Linstead was transformed into an intimate setting, beautiful décor, music befitting the occasion, and food. Of course, the vivacious senior, affectionately called Sister Serry or Mother Flowers, was the life of the party.
Like the décor, so were the tributes paid to the woman who granddaughter Hortencia Flowers described as sweet, easy-going, affectionate and patient.
Guest speaker, the Reverend Valentine Wallace of Jericho Baptist Church, where Mama Flowers has been worshipping since 1952 - and was a member of the Women's Federation and the choir for 50 years - implored the audience to reflect on her life.
"Reflect on the journey that she has had. Reflect on her achievements. Reflect on the wonderful family that God has blessed her with," said Wallace. "More than you and I could ever imagine, God has been deeply involved, doing, helping, sustaining and carrying Mother Flowers all the way," he added.
Indeed, retired principal of Jericho Primary School, Beverley Johnson, believed that because the eloquent senior obeyed her parents, she was being rewarded with longevity.
"I am really privileged to be sharing in this special occasion … because the Bible declares 'Honour your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land'," said Johnson.
For her ophthalmologist and church brother, Dr Phillip Mighty, the talents Mother Flowers showcased during her active years continued to linger in his mind.
"I came to love and respect Sister Serry Flowers as a chorister at Jericho Baptist Church. She could sing tenor, bass, soprano or alto. She was so versatile. She was a very vibrant person," Mighty remarked.
The emotionally filled tributes - which included songs, poetry, a skit and a yesteryear-to-now fashion show, ably emceed by the inimitable Marie Facey - were acknowledged with regular applause.
One could never tell that Mama Flowers was hearing impaired, as she sat like a blooming rose in a beautiful bountiful garden, listening keenly and showing appreciation.
"The Lord is keeping me because in growing up as a child, I went to Mount Nebo Baptist Church, and thanks be to God, the Lord has spared me. I am 100 years old," she declared.
Mother Flowers tied the knot with Walter Flowers, a butcher, in 1933, at the Redwood Baptist Church. The union produced five children: three boys - Clement, Solomon and Victor - and two girls - Castella and Icema. Clement, the eldest son, passed away in 2002, 10 years after the passing of his father.
Although she spent most of her life as a dressmaker, Mother Flowers also vended in the Coronation Market in Kingston.
The centenarian, who has 25 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, was also known for visiting and praying for the sick and shut-ins.
"She is the diamond in the family," said her cousin, Herbert Garriques, the councillor for the Linstead division, while reading Mother Flowers' profile, which was written by granddaughter Yvette Martin.
"Now in the winter of her days, may she continue to enjoy the sunshine of summer," concluded Garriques.
'She is the diamond in the family. ... Now in the winter of her days, may she continue to enjoy the sunshine of summer.'