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May 8, 2008

When Mom died her family was around her bed struggling with the mixed emotions you have when you don’t want to see someone you love suffer any more but you also don’t want them to leave. Within the traditional time period the family along with many, many friends sadly celebrated the life we shared with Mom. Below is the outline of the thoughts shared to remind us, encourage us and to help us move on as Mom would have wanted. Mom, we miss you!


In Memory Of Dorothy Helen Hodges/Edwards
A Special Lady We All Love

There were only a few things important to Mom and her life excelled in each of them.

Mom Was A Maker & Giver Of Things

Like Dorcas in Acts 9

…this woman was abounding with deeds
of kindness and charity which she continually
did…. all the widows stood beside him,
weeping and showing all the tunics and
garments that Dorcas used to make
while she was with them.

It would be interesting to know how many of us here today have received something that Mom made especially for us.

Mom Was A Mother Who Blessed Her Family

 The specifics of Mom’s story differ but the feelings expressed in
Proverbs 31:10-31 are shared by her family.  

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but (Mom) you surpass them all.”

Mom Had Only One Desire For Herself & Her Family

 You didn’t have to guess about what Mom believed to be the important things to remember and do. The following passages are unique to their context but Mom could have used each of them to communicate her heart for her family.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children
are walking in the truth.
(3 John 4)

 8God can testify how I long for all of
you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may
abound more and more in knowledge and
depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to
discern what is best and may be pure and
blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the
fruit of righteousness that comes through
Jesus Christ – to the glory and
praise of God.
  (Philippians 1:8-11)

19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of
childbirth until Christ is formed in you
(Galatians 4:19-20)

 Mom Was A Saint In Death

I went to church with Mom on a Wednesday night about a month ago. I saw her looking for a Bible reference. She was looking in the Old Testament for a passage in Acts. When we sang a song she flipped through the book two or three times trying to locate the numbered page. That was a bitter sweet moment.

A day or so later Mom and I spoke about heaven and about what it’ll be like. I found that while the cancer had confused some of her thoughts it had not dimed the vision she had in her mind of eternal life.

15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the
death of his saints. 
(Psalms 116:15)

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished
the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there
is in store for me the crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award
to me on that day – and not only to me,
but also to all who have longed
for his appearing.
 (2 Timothy 4:7-8 )

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are
the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor,
for their deeds will follow them.” 
(Revelation 14:13)

2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so,
I would have told you. I am going there to prepare
a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place
for you, I will come back and take you to be with
me that you also may be where I am.
(John 14:2-3)

1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in
is destroyed, we have a building from God,
an eternal house in heaven, not built
by human hands. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

Mom was a little old fashioned and you might even call her a little boring but none of us today question where she now lives.

 Reading From: Michael Quoist “Prayers”

 Leaving the cemetery, some of the family were sobbing; “All is finished.”
Others were sniffling, “Come, Come my dear, courage, It’s finished.”
Some friends murmured, “Poor man, that’s how we’ll all finish.”
All others sighed in relief, “Well, its finished.” 

And I was thinking that everything was just beginning.

Yes she had finished the last rehearsal, but the play was just beginning.
The years of training were over, but the eternal work was about to start. 

She had just been born to life,
To real life,
Life that’s going to last,
Life eternal. 

As if there were dead people!
There are no dead people, Lord.
There are only the living, on earth and beyond.
Death exists, Lord.
But it’s nothing but a movement.
A second, a step.
The step from provisional to permanent,
From temporal to eternal.
As in the death of the child the adolescent is born;
from the grain to the full-blown sheath,
from the caterpillar emerges the butterfly…. 

Lord please take good care of our butterfly!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley permalink
    May 8, 2008 9:38 pm

    That was such a sad but wonderful experience I will never forget. Granny is so missed.

  2. May 8, 2008 9:56 pm

    Mom would be honored to know the impact she had on you. She wasn’t perfect but she carried her imperfections well. We’ll try to learn that lesson from her.

  3. J D permalink
    May 8, 2008 10:52 pm

    Beautiful Tribute… thanks for sharing it.

  4. Amber permalink
    May 9, 2008 8:44 am

    Uncle Mark, that was so special thank you for sharing it. My mind was a little hazy from that day so its nice to see how Granny’s life paralleled so many things in the bible. She was such a special lady, and a wonderful influence on her children, and many, many grandchildren. I only hope I can strive to be the strong Christian woman she was. I miss her dearly!

  5. May 9, 2008 9:47 am

    Hard to believe it has been almost eight years since she went home. I posted a tribute I wrote a couple years ago on my blog today, with a song that brings her to mind each time I hear it. She would be so proud of her clan today…so very proud.

  6. May 9, 2008 10:14 am

    It’s great to hear from you! You were very special to Mom. Her thoughts of you made her happy and watching you grow was a great joy.

    Thank You! I remember reading this then and I appreciate you making it available again. It’s funny how easy it is to forget the sound of Mom’s voice before the surgery that left her only with a whisper. I appreciate the pic also. Dad has been gone a long time, dying way to early for my likes but God know best.

  7. Beverly Hoolihan permalink
    May 10, 2008 8:09 pm

    Okay it has taken me two days to be able to read all of this and so here I go. I am so thankful for the mother I had. I am glad my children knew her and loved her. They loved her dumplings and she loved making them when she knew we were coming to visit. She was always cooking our favorite when we came. I find myself wanting to cook favorites for my kids when they are both home for a meal when I have time. I know that is how memories are made. She sewed for all of us and we wore them proudly. With my new job I have now I hear a lot of young people talking about their parents and how they hate them and speak so badly of them and I always tell them when I hear them say those things is that nobody loves you like your mama will. You may do some things that she doesn’t like or approve of but at the end of the day you will always know that your mother will always love you.
    I wish I had told her more. But no one can ever take away the time I spent with her after she got sick. One of the last things she said to me when she was able to was how much she loved me and I never doubted it but it was one of those moments when I was able to tell her how much I loved her. It is just one of those things you just take for granted and now when I am feeling blue and missing her I just think of those times we had together those last months. Also her sitting at the kitchen table with that big smile when I came through the door to eat supper with her after I got off from work. I don’t have as many memories like that when daddy was alive but I do know he loved me and I know he and mama would be proud of all of us.

  8. May 11, 2008 8:13 pm

    Thanks Sis!
    (I tried to post this yesterday but WordPress was off-line and it would not post)

    Maybe one of the greatest things we have been blessed with is that there are so many positive memories of Mom. Those memories so overwhelm everything else that they are what come to mind. A funny thing about our discussion here is that Mom would probably be embarrassed by our words. She would probably want to remind us that she was far from perfect and that she still feels bad about something she wishes she had done differently.

    I share with you the fogginess of memories of Dad. 30+ years have passed and I was only 23 when he died so clear memories are few. What I do remember is that Dad was a spiritual man who was generous to a fault (if that is possible) with an unwavering determination to be a man of personal character. I know that you were even younger and still in school when Dad died so your grief was even more acute. I do remember one thing and that is that you were definitely the glimmer in Dad’s eye. After the three of us boys he was ready for a little girl. As you can see I am “almost” over my jealousy of you stealing the limelight 🙂 from the baby boy at the time -Me..

    I thank God for our family

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