The epitome of Christianity

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Mable M. Riddick is one of the most unique seniors living today for the simple reason that she is a person

who has tried all of her life to be a blessing to others.

Many people made positive statements at her birthday celebration in Tabernacle Christian Church last Saturday, but the most moving one was made by her grandson, the Rev. Emanuel Myrick Jr.

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He said the Bible states in Psalm 145:4 that &uot;One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.&uot;

He also said that the main idea is that each generation will tell of God’s mighty works through generations that come out through them.

&uot;One generation has a responsibility of reminding the younger generation that God is a very vital part in

their everyday lives,&uot; said Myrick. &uot;Some of you don’t know how generous this woman is. As a young man I remember many people came by for financial assistance. I remember her as a young boy, how she went to her cupboard to be a blessing to people in need. The people who were recipients would say, ‘Mable, are you sure that this isn’t going to hurt you?’

I then remember her saying to those people that God will provide.&uot; This is true of Riddick because I know her myself through one of my best friends, Gerline Diggs. Diggs and I were classmates from the first grade through graduation in 1962 from the former Booker T. Washington High School. Diggs moved in to live with Riddick about eight years ago when she didn’t want her to live alone after the relatives who she did live with died.

I used to tell Gerline how blessed she was because Riddick told her that she would never have to worry about cooking since cooking was her job and she loved doing it. Every Saturday night since I can remember, Riddick would cook a full-course meal. You name it and she fixed it with no help at all. On Sundays she would then invite her pastor at the church and their families or anyone else who may ask if they could join in the feast. Even though she did do all of this cooking, she never missed a Sunday going to church if she could help it.

I often teased her and said something like, &uot;If I knew you had cooked, I would have invited myself over.&uot; She would just say, &uot;Come on, I’ve got plenty.&uot; And guess what? She really did have plenty.

Riddick has a sensitive side and also a humorous side to her personality.

One Saturday night when I visited Gerline I sat and talked with her after she had prepared a big meal. I asked, &uot;Aren’t you tired after doing all of that? She answered, &uot;I’m just waiting until next Saturday so that I can do it all over again.&uot; I had to laugh at the serious look on her face and the humor in the way that she made that statement.

On a more serious note, Myrick said that he remembered once coming home crying after losing a basketball game. He said that after Riddick saw how bad he felt, she asked him, &uot;Did you do your best?&uot; He said that he told her that he tried really hard. He said she then made the following statement, &uot;That is what God is mostly concerned about, doing your best.&uot;

He said that this is just one example of what the scriptures meant when it said that one generation shall praise thy name to another.

Myrick reminded the guests that everyone at that birthday celebration had been touched by her gracious hand.

&uot;She is called grandma by some, mother by others but is always called Aunt Mable by all who know her.

She has even opened up her home to allow some less fortunate people to live there until they could get back on their feet,&uot; he said.

One friend at the event even witnessed about how Riddick once talked to her all through the night when she had a nervous condition and couldn’t sleep. &uot;I just want to thank God for Aunt Mable,&uot; she said.

Riddick is a descendant of Eddie Stephens from Wales in the United Kingdom. In the fall of 1998 Riddick took a well-deserved flight to the country after Stephens followed his father’s roots to the United States and located relatives here. At the age of 87, this was her first plane ride on what she said was one of the fastest and largest jet planes flown.

In an interview with Stephens and his wife, Terrie, when they visited the United States one Thanksgiving, they said that Riddick left a lasting – pleasant impression on everyone she met.

Myrick said in a final statement at the celebration that he just wanted to thank God for this outstanding woman of God – a

woman of character and dignity.

&uot;Her word is her bond and we are just blessed to be here today

in her presence,&uot; he said. &uot;Only one child came through her womb but she has been a mother to many. She is the epitome of what a real Christian is all about.&uot;