So do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

┬áIf I were to describe Mark’s mom, Etna Marie Blumberg, the words that come to mind are spunky, fun, Southern, a huge Tiger’s fan (University of Memphis), lover of her boys, faithful to her Christian faith, and wanting to do the right thing. Her beloved husband left her unexpectedly as the result of a heart attack 43 years ago and she has never let a day go by without being both annoyed that he left her so early and yearning to join him in her heavenly home. At the age of 94, she finally got her wish.

We traveled to Memphis this week to celebrate her home-going. She wanted a simple graveside service but the weather pushed everything inside. Her hope and her legacy was her absolute lack of fear of the future. In fact, she embraced it with such hope and determination that when the end finally came, we all rejoiced with her, even though we will miss her so much.

One of the songs played at her service was “Be Not Afraid.” The chorus says it all:

Be not afraid.

I go before you always.

Come follow me, and

I will give you rest.

Rest well, dear Mom, Grandmom, and Etna.