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'You never get over': Macon family battles holiday blues with Thanksgiving 5K to honor late mother, Bellvue restaurant owner

Alfreda 'MeMaw' Lockett was the mind behind MeMaw's at LG's restaurant. Her family says she spread her love through cooking.

MACON, Ga. — Many families deal with grief over lost loved ones on the holidays. Macon's Lockett family is no different.

This year, they want to turn their grief into holiday joy with a 5K to honor cancer patients and their families.

"She never walked in the room and remained a stranger," Richard Lockett, Jr. said about his mother Alfreda.

That's just one of the many things he loved about her.

"Brought so much joy to everyone that she met," he said. "Just a fun-loving woman."

Better known as 'MeMaw,' Alfreda Lockett weaved her way into the heart of Bellvue with her cooking. It's how she showed her love. 

Even while fighting cancer, Lockett kept cooking. She fed everyone in Piedmont's Cancer Treatment Center one Thanksgiving.

"She had a big family meeting and said, 'We're gonna feed them all. We don't care how much it costs.' And she was that person," Richard said.

Eventually, in 2017, she had her last chemo treatment. She beat the cancer.

"When she rung the bell, we thought, 'Yes! We got it! We beat it,'" Richard said.

Just a month later, MeMaw died from a heart attack. It was only two days after Thanksgiving. 

Richard says it's hard to look back, especially around the holidays.

"You never get over. You know, you never get over," he said. "It's deep. Because every moment you remember, it means that you're alive. But it also makes you aware that you're not."

This year, the Lockett family wants to turn their 'holiday blues' into joy. They planned the first ever 'MeMaw's Pink Turkey Run' in her honor for Thanksgiving Day at Amerson River Park.

"I always wanted to do something on Thanksgiving Day. Not just for her, but people like her and for families like us," Richard said.

Macon-Bibb commissioners wanted to honor MeMaw too, with a proclamation to make the Pink Turkey Run an annual Thanksgiving event. So it's getting pushed back just for this year, to December 17.

Next year, the run will be on Thanksgiving.

For now, the Lockett's will continue planning, looking forward to the day they're able to share MeMaw's legacy with all of Central Georgia.

The race is December 17 at Amerson River Park. Packet pick-up is 7:15 a.m., with a 10K bike ride at 8 a.m., and a 5K run at 9 a.m.. 

To register, head to their website

All the money they raise will go toward continuing MeMaw's Thanksgiving meal for the Cancer Treatment Center at Piedmont.

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