‘This One Was Special,’ six generations of women exclaim as they pose for a sweet family photo.

A Remarkable Family Reunion: Six Generations of Women Gather to Celebrate

A viral photograph capturing six generations of women has provided a family with an opportunity to share the remarkable story of their matriarch.

In a heartwarming family reunion, MaeDell Snow Taylor, a spirited 98-year-old, had the joy of celebrating the birth of her great-great-great granddaughter, Zhavia. Gathering together, six generations of women united to honor the newest addition to their lineage.

 

Gracie Snow Howell, MaeDell’s 58-year-old granddaughter, cherishes the memorable gathering. “We spent three hours with her—she held the baby almost the entire time,” Gracie shares with TODAY.com. “The baby was fussy, and MaeDell immediately said, ‘Here, give me that baby.’ She is a natural caretaker, and her excitement in spending time with us and holding the baby was palpable.”

To commemorate the special occasion, Gracie’s sister captured a photograph of all the women present: MaeDell, Gracie, Gracie’s mother Frances (77 years old), Gracie’s daughter Jacqueline (39 years old), Gracie’s granddaughter Jaisline (19 years old), and little Zhavia, who was only 9 weeks old at the time.

The photograph swiftly went viral, taking Gracie by surprise. Although she acknowledged the rarity of six generations, particularly with all females, the overwhelming public response exceeded her expectations. “I never anticipated the magnitude it has gained,” Gracie admits. “It’s everywhere!”

However, one person who seemed unsurprised by the attention was MaeDell herself. Gracie humorously recalls a conversation with her cousin who informed MaeDell about her newfound fame. “My cousin went to the nursing home and told her, ‘You know, grandma, you’ve been on the news! Everybody is seeing you!’” Gracie reminisces. “She was eating her cheese puffs and got a big smile on her face. He said, ‘Yeah, all the men are just looking at you and think you’re so pretty and that you don’t look your age.’ She said, ‘And they blow me kisses, too!’”

 

Gracie seizes this opportunity to shed light on MaeDell’s remarkable life. Born into adversity, MaeDell faced numerous challenges. Gracie shares, “She was 16 when she married my grandpa, and he was 50. His first wife tragically passed away while giving birth to twins at home.”

Gracie’s grandfather, Bill Taylor, had ten children from his first marriage, and when he remarried, seven of them still resided at home. At the tender age of 16, MaeDell stepped in to care for all the children, simultaneously raising thirteen of her own.

In retrospect, Gracie acknowledges the immense difficulties her grandmother endured. “During that time, girls would get married at 14, marrying young and becoming mothers early,” Gracie explains. “MaeDell faced numerous hardships since she lacked modern conveniences like washing machines and dishwashers. She couldn’t hop in a car and go grocery shopping. Instead, she would carry clothes down to the pond and use a washboard. Each morning, she would rise early to gather eggs, wring the necks of a few chickens, and have breakfast ready before the children left for school. She would then prepare a hot dinner for their return.”

Yet, despite the harsh realities of her life, MaeDell never complained. Gracie admires her grandmother’s resilience, sharing, “She had an incredibly challenging life, but she never let it deter her.”

Gracie, having experienced the responsibilities of raising children herself, including three of her own and two step-children, understands the enormity of the task. Even managing her 3-year-old granddaughter’s daily routines leaves her in awe of her 16-year-old grandmother’s ability to care for a large family while her grandfather worked outside the home.

Gracie reflects on the resourcefulness and determination that defined MaeDell’s character. “She made do with what was available,” Gracie emphasizes. “We are immensely proud of her. We hope someone will write a book about her because she is an extraordinary woman. She is a role model, and I look up to her with great admiration.”

Gracie highlights that her family has never felt shame regarding MaeDell’s marriage to a significantly older man. She shares her own experiences of becoming a mother shortly before turning 18, similar to her mother’s age when she had Gracie. The family firmly believes in accepting and embracing the circumstances that life presents. Gracie asserts, “We have never been ashamed of our history. MaeDell has never been ashamed either. That was her life—her path chosen by God.”

That path has yielded an astounding legacy, with MaeDell having a remarkable 621 descendants. This includes her 13 biological children, 47 biological grandchildren, 104 biological great-grandchildren, 63 biological great-great-grandchildren, and two biological great-great-great-grandchildren.

 

Gracie emphasizes the invaluable lessons learned from MaeDell, particularly the significance of being present for one’s children and possessing a strong work ethic. “My mother recalls that MaeDell was always on her feet, rarely sitting down to eat,” Gracie shares. “She was always occupied with tasks and never idle. My own mother dedicated herself to being a homemaker—cooking breakfast in the morning, ensuring we had supper at night, and taking care of our clothes.”

The women in the family, inspired by MaeDell, have perpetuated this ethos across generations.

As MaeDell eagerly awaits the arrival of her third great-great-great-grandchild—a boy—her family treasures the cherished memories of the extraordinary gathering of six generations. Gracie envisions a future where Zhavia, too, will pass on these stories and recognize her lineage’s strength, rooted in the remarkable women who came before her.

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