Our Friend Edna

I don’t remember the first time I met Edna Childers. Seemed like I had known her forever. She was married to a very colorful character that everyone called “Dagwood”. He always wore coveralls and never shut his mouth. If you ran into him, he would always make some comment like, “you sure are putting on weight, ain’t cha” or “you sure are skinny” as he laughed and looked around to see if everyone could hear him. But for some odd reason, people sorta liked him. Maybe they just acted like they did out of respect for her though.
She was Head nurse at Kings Mountain Hospital almost from it’s beginning and probably knew that place from one side to the other. The biggest thing that drew me and Mrs. Childers together was our love for flowers. I lived near her folks in Grover, N.C. when Kevin’s dad and I were married. Mrs Turner (her mother) had a love for everything that grew outside. I would see her outside early in the morning and sometimes in the late evening, with that hoe in her hand, that little long print dress with the apron covering the front of it and that little bonnet on her head. She would dig away at those weeds in her flowers and vegetable gardens. I can still see those prize winning huge Dahlias and lovely colors of different flowers blooming in her yard. We became fast friends. I really loved Mrs Turner.
In later years it would be Miss Edna that shared her love of day lilies with me. She had an array of day lilies all around the fence, every color and hue you could think of. Some of the blooms were as big as your hand, others were smaller but just as beautiful. She also had roses, lantanas, you name it, she had it. She also loved birds and had plenty of bird feeders and birdhouses in her backyard.
She also could make the best fried apple pies in the country. The homemade peach ice cream wasn’t far behind.  I stayed with my sister Sue when Sue broke her hip for about four months.  Mrs. Childers lived beside Sue (and had for many, many years).  She would knock on the door and have a plate of those apple pies, that peach ice cream or some other treat she had cooked or baked.
Even after Sue was well and I had gone home (we only lived about a block away from each other), every time  I went to Sue’s she would call from across the street and I would walk over and look at some Day lily she had blooming and she would say “Now, you can have a cutting anytime you want it”.
But then one day, she would learn that her one and only child Pam had cancer and would soon die from it. How hard that burden was for Edna!  How can anyone, outside of having God in your life, bear losing a child? Especially an only child. That is the answer right there! For me it would be impossible if I didn’t know that child was safely in the arms of Jesus. But Edna knew her child was in His arms.
Then not long after Pam’s death, She lost her “Dagwood.”  But her son-in-law stepped up to the plate and consequently has been there for her since. The sad part is, now Edna is no longer the hard working, loving, kind neighbor from across the street.  She is in a facility, a part of the hospital that she worked at, and was loved by so many. And where she helped deliver half of Kings Mountain babies.  She cannot hardly speak but mutters some words you can barely understand. Sue and I went to visit her and it broke my heart. She seemed to know it was Sue and even told her that I was her sister.
Sue asked her if she wanted to sing. She did! So they started singing “Jesus Loves me” and she didn’t miss a word. She sang it loud too! It may have been a little muffled But I am sure Jesus didn’t have any trouble listening to the words.  My heart felt as if it would burst because I knew no matter what happened with Edna, God still held her in His Arms.

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