A Moment with Ecolia
On May 4th, 1931, in the hills and valleys of North Carolina, the late Mary and Simon McDougald blessed the world with a child named Ecolia McDougald. Her early lessons in character development started with her siblings Simon Jr., Booker T, George, Mary, and Iona (Bell). While with her family, she picked up the tools that were needed to help her develop into an astonishing woman. She was coached on the exemplary skills of how to love and embrace family, but more importantly, how to love and embrace God. She worked in the cotton and tobacco fields with her father. When she was done, she helped in the house doing chores with her mother.
She later married the late Sam Morman Jr. They built a home together from the ground up. It was one of the only houses that had its own indoor plumbing, farm animals, and garden, which gave Ecolia such pride. Along with her house, the universe blessed her with a gift. Her daughter Darlene, whom she poured every ounce of her being into, bathing Darlene’s spirit in all the lessons she had been taught by her parents.
Believing that God, hard work, and family was the key to have an ordinary life, she traveled with her daughter to New York to be with her mom, George, and Bell. There, she would captivate the people around her. When people met Ecolia, they could tell that she was a God-fearing woman with a spirit dipped in hard work, knowledge, and dedication. Working for Father Produce, then later Albany County Nursing Home, you could tell that what she thought was ordinary, extraordinary to others. As a housekeeper, she didn’t just clean but she kept house and worked off the principle that she had learned and carried in her spirit, which was to treat others as you would want to be treated. That meant being the housekeeper, the nurse, a friend, and a prayer warrior. But she believed what she was doing for others was ordinary and looked for no praise, but instead encouraged them to thank the Lord for what had been done.
After decades of hard work, she retired from her physical duties as a housekeeper, but she continued to keep house with her family. Soon Ecolia found herself being the oldest living relative living through the passing of parents and all her siblings. She knew that regardless of the trials and tribulations, God was there, and she took comfort in knowing that fact, while continuing to be a support for her family. That meant when you needed her, she was there. When you wanted just a word of encouragement, she delivered. When you needed to be straightened out, she would help you fly right. She did whatever she had to do for her family to be solid.
During it all she was able to watch her flowers grow. Her daughter Darlene is her first and main flower. She knew Darlene would be there until her last breath, and she was. Ecolia excelled exceptionally well at being a mom, so God once again blessed Ecolia to be a grandme to three grandchildren Latwana (Eric), Royal, and Brandon(Amber) and 10 great grandchildren ShyEssence, Maiya, Royal Jr. Nasciah, Cameron, Desmond, Damari, twins Jade and Ivory, and “her baby”, Eriana. But those were not her only flowers. She nurtured, raised, and loved so many nieces and nephews. If ever in doubt, go to Aunt E. She was the rock for the family and the moral guide. Most of her nieces and nephews, young and old still remember those old southern values that she instilled in them, helping them fly right. Ecolia was also a good friend obtaining the nickname “Rose” from her good friend, Eva.
If you knew her, you loved her. Not because she was a mom, grandmother, aunt, or friend, but because she embodied the values principles, and character that showed us who God really is. She did it all while wearing a smile. Whether it was while she was nurturing her family or dancing with her group, Dancing with Our Elders, getting the nickname, Beyonce, she always had a smile. Ecolia never hesitated to hug you or give out that marvelous laugh when she got tickled seeing a familiar face.
She was passing through, thinking she was doing ordinary things, but we all know she was beyond ordinary and so did God. Ecolia was extraordinary in the mirror but even more extraordinary in His vision. So, after 89 years, on September 2, 2020, God decided to add her name to the list of angels in His Kingdom. We now hope that crown helps her realize how extraordinary she was to us.
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