Travelin’ shoes

29 05 2011

Me and my old lady
Ain’t been getting along
If things don’t get better
I’ll soon be long gone

The situation is driving me insane
Somebody fetch me my hat and coat
And hand me my walking cane

Gotta put on my traveling shoes

By Elvin Bishop

These are the lyrics to one of the songs that Ed chose for his memorial service. When I listened to the words, I asked him, “is this really the legacy you want to leave me with?” After a good laugh, he decided to take this one out of the line up. The song has a great guitar rift and a great chorus in it. That is what made it a favorite of his. We would play the song on my itunes and he would sit in his recliner and dance as only Eddie can dance while sitting down. <Those of you who know him are picturing that right now aren’t you?>

Well, the morning after Ed passed, I woke up with the melody in my mind. I knew I had to find a place in the service for the song. I also felt a need to incorporate one of the simple things that brought us joy and made him laugh out loud every time; the nose and glasses. I sent an email to my senior pastor who knows us both very well. I asked if it seemed disrespectful or offensive in any way. Pastor Bryan and Pastor Ron impressed on me that a memorial service should reflect the personality of the person being remembered. That helped me to put it together.

We played the favorite part of Ed’s song and invited the friends present to don their nose and glasses and join the family in the celebration of Ed. There was hand clapping,dancing, laughter and some tears. Some folks just stood watching and all of it was good. I just imagined my Eddie, standing up straight and dancing with energy. No cane, No oxygen tank!! Just free and dancing… with Jesus.

Hope you enjoy these pictures, courtesy of our friend, Pastor Matthew Ray.

Special Ed wins the race!!!

24 05 2011

For any readers who did not know, my sweet husband, Eddie the Baker to all his AA friends, passed away on April 20th.

He fought as hard as anyone could possibly fight. In the end, he won the battle. Eddie kept his faith until the end. He passed as peacefully as he had hoped.

In March, our liver specialist told us that Ed’s body would only hold out for about a year. With all that we had done, still, his organs could only take so much before beginning to give out. It was time to tell the children. As you can imagine, that was a difficult task. Ed loved his three girls, Cheryl, Christine and Fawn. He realized that each one has a different personality and he always tried to give them the freedom to be who God created them to be. They would probably be surprised to know how many times he has called out their names, asking God to lead them, draw them and protect them.

Death by cirrhosis of the liver is normally very painful and prolonged. We both knew that. Our faith in a loving and merciful God had never been more precious to us. Ed and I have prayed at the end of every day for years. Wether we were embraced in a hug,(our normal prayer position) or over the phone from far away, we always prayed. We talked about seeing Jesus face to face, what Heaven is going to be like, will we recognize each other in Heaven, and how scary it is to look death in the eye. For a Believer, being dead is not scary. It is the process of dying that was worrisome to us. Especially when diagnosed with such a horrible liver disease. Our prayers began to include a request for a peaceful passing from this life into eternity for my beloved. God is faithful and He answered our prayers.

Together, Ed and I planned the type of memorial he wanted. He did not want a solemn procession but rather a joyful celebration. He wanted folks to know that he had lived a good life and had enjoyed it. Laughter was a huge part of his life.

Ed chose the songs and the speakers he wanted to represent his life. His memorial service was like nothing I have ever experienced. Many who attended have echoed that sentiment. It was unique to my Eddie. We called him Special Ed for a reason. There is not another in this world like him.

Ed touched many lives in AA and out. He had more friends than he realized. The people who showed up to pay their respect to my husband have been a blessing and a testimony to the life he lived. The folks who have sent cards, texts, emails and phone calls to me have helped me through the grieving process. Our three daughters and their husbands have been a wonderful support as they too grieve. Tony and Brandon bless me beyond measure.

My husband won his race, he kept his faith and he graduated the program of AA by dying sober on April 20, 2011.