Reba McEntire's mother, Jacqueline Smith, died in March after a battle with cancer, and her birthday on Friday was the first since her passing. McEntire commemorated her mom's birthday on Instagram, sharing several photos of herself and other family members with her mom as well as a photo of Jacqueline with McEntire's late father, Clark McEntire, who died in 2014.
"Today is Mama's birthday," the singer wrote alongside the family photos. "She's celebrating this one in heaven with daddy, her mama and daddy, her brother and sister and many many more people she loves so much. Mama we miss you very much! Give Daddy a hug for me."
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After Jacqueline's death, McEntire returned to her home state of Oklahoma to be with her family just as the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to spread in the United States.
"We wanted the next Thursday to be the funeral and they said, 'No, we’ve got COVID-19. You can’t have the funeral. People won’t be able to come in,'" she recalled to Sounds Like Nashville. "So consequently I stayed in Oklahoma until the day after Mother’s Day. I wanted to stay in Oklahoma with my sisters and my brother and my family for mama on Mother’s Day. We did bury her on the 29th of March and then we cleaned out her house and everything."
McEntire admitted that being isolated from her family allowed her to experience the pandemic differently than many others. "The pandemic didn’t hit me as hard as it did a lot of other people because mainly I was in southeast Oklahoma," she said. "I was on a working cattle ranch. There was more cattle. There were more dogs than there were people at that place. Chockie, Oklahoma is little bitty and I was with family."
"I don’t watch the news," she continued. "I watched five minutes of it last night and I got so depressed. I just don’t understand. So I choose not to watch the news. I bet I’ve watched 15 minutes of the news since the pandemic hit. I watched it at [sister] Susie’s house a little bit, but that was KTEM SE Oklahoma and they were giving the farm market report and things like that, which was a nice relief and talking about good news."