In 1979, Sister Sledge spun a chart topping song “We are Family.” It speaks of family unity and love and is something the Houchens sisters have more than plenty of for one another.
Brenda Jackson and her six sisters, Gladys Wooten and Christine Houchens, of Chesapeake, Alice Houchens, Kitty Jackson and Denise Houchens, of Louisa, and Claudia Payne, of Charlottesville, have made a commitment to one another since their father, Cornelius Houchens’ death in 2007.
The seven women agreed to gather once a year to spend a weekend together and reinforce their bond as sisters and family.
“It means so much to me to be able to do this,” Jackson said.
The sisters take turns as hostess to their siblings, which always starts on a Friday evening at Jackson’s home. The seven attend the church of whomever is hosting the weekend and their time together ends on Monday’s after lunch.
“We say we’ll never stop, even if [we are] in a wheelchair or can’t walk, because it is a blessing,” Jackson said. “My dad would be so proud of us.”
Jackson’s mother, Bertha Henson Houchens, was just 29 years old when she died and Jackson was only four years old. Their father, who never remarried, raised his nine children alone.
To read the entire story, see the Nov. 14 edition of The Central Virginian.