A dear friend called me the other day to inform me that his mother was in Hospice and would soon be passing. Rick was in the process of making arrangements for her. He asked if I would be willing to make the trip and speak at her funeral. Fortunately, her funeral was planned for a Saturday so I could make it. I was honored.
I wish you had known her. Allow me to share my thoughts about her with you so you can know her too.
Let me start with the stark truth – I loved Edna. So, my view of her is clouded by a huge hunk of love in my eye.
She was a ray of sunshine in my life during some of the most difficult and stressful times of my life. My life was in the crapper and I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself and here came Edna. Suddenly the fog lifted, light flooded in and I could go on another day. Thinking back on those days I realize that, in some ways, I owe her my life.
We met soon after I was called to be Pastor of the LaGrange Christian Church. I inherited her as the church custodian. The first time I laid eyes on her I knew we would get along just fine. Coming home to Kentucky from several years in the Midwest, her Kentucky twang accent was music to my ears. And then there was her sly smile. I knew she was up to something and it was going to be funny.
Edna and I started as co-workers and soon became friends. She always had a warm smile on her face. And when one of the church members would act up, which happened often, she always saw the humor in the situation. She would calm me down with her laughter and home spun sayings. Her many sayings reminded me of my father. “As nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” “She is as dumb as a rock.” My favorite was: “I wouldn’t say anything bad about him, but he is the little end of nothing whittled down to a fine point.”
Edna loved the church; the people and the building. She loved cleaning that historic old building. It was long after we met that she informed the building was haunted. I think she called it "hanted". I was pleasant about her stories but didn’t believe a word of them. That is, until I worked late one night. As Edna would say, “I got the wadden skiert out of me.” That was my last night in that building alone. I learned to pay attention when Edna talked. And she was a wealth of information – about nearly everything.
Edna was constantly bringing me something to eat. There I was, rotund and looking like a walking heart attack waiting to happen, and she was afraid I wasn’t getting enough to eat. I soon realized the food was her way of saying that she was my friend and cared about me. A further upside is that the food was delicious.
When Rick called me about speaking today, he specifically asked me to say something nice about his mother. My friend Rick knows me well. My question is, “Who could say anything bad about Edna?”
When I think of Edna, I think of something my mother used to say. “If somebody doesn’t like me, there is probably something wrong with them.” That goes double for Edna.
Our loss is heaven’s gain. I am sure Jesus greeted there with a smile and she volunteered to cook something good for him to eat.